A group of students from northern Nigeria are hoping to break into Nollywood thanks to the online success of their short films, created using very basic equipment.
This compound in Kaduna doesn’t look like a sci-fi movie set, but with just a basic green screen, these Nigerian student filmmakers can transport themselves anywhere. Their surprisingly slick short clips have found success online and what could end up unlocking a career in Nollywood.
The Critics as the crew of 8 calls themselves made their first film “Redemption” in 2016. They saved for a month to buy the green fabric for the chroma key and taught themselves how to do visual effects by watching tutorials on Youtube.
Student and film maker, Godwin Josiah says: “Well the main aim was not for our stuff to go viral, we just wanted people to see that, okay, there are kids in Kaduna doing something different, and so that was just the main aim. So it all of a sudden just happening, it blew our mind.”
What’s even more impressive is their camera is a smashed mobile phone, their tripod – a broken microphone stand and their wind machine is the definition of do-it-yourself. But where they really excel is in special effects despite facing regular internet and power outages.
Raymond Yusuf, also a student and film maker says: “The system is really slow; it takes time to render. Our five minutes short film called “Chase” took us like almost two days to render and not only the fact that this system is slow, the electricity where we stay here is pretty poor. “
Their films caught the eye of a well-known producer – who encouraged a fundraising campaign making them almost 6,000 U.S. dollars enough to buy new equipment to make higher quality features.
Nollywood is the second biggest movie industry in the world by a number of films, but, Critics Company have found a niche in sci-fi. They hope to become the biggest producers in Nigeria.