How to Film in Nigeria and still be human by Niyi Akinmolayan



Ok! So i finally created the blog!


Hey Guys!

So… I finally listened to my Facebook people and got this blog popping! Thanks to Fola Akinmolayan of Digital Passion for setting this up. Elder brothers are the best! when they are not being bullies :-p.

First I have to say this…I am no authority on anything. I just love to share. i have been making films and documentaries for about 10 years now and recently, I realized how much i took from the internet and how little i have given back. There’s so much distraction in today’s noisy web that most young film makers can’t seem to focus on what’s important to learn. They keep making the same mistakes i made years ago. That’s no progress. The other reason i have to do this is because most of the young and new film makers I’ve met all got their training from people in the USA. Wonderful guys like Ryan Conolly and Andrew Kramer have blessed us with a lot. As good as it is, it’s also a serious problem. Film making in Nigeria is totally different. If you come at it with only the knowledge you have from Hollywood-centred film books and all, you will get burned and might eventually give up. Here are a few of the issues:

  1. In Nigeria, there are no such things as big studio films versus indie films. Every film is largely independent, made from money borrowed from friends and family or personal savings. Only few have gotten funding from Government. Its 90% business, 10% art…for now.
  2. In Nigeria, a film isn’t totally a director’s film. So… No you won’t have all the creative control most of the time. Are you ready to deal with that? I survived…You too can.
  3. In Nigeria, Most Producers don’t like dealing with agents and talent managers. You can’t blame them but you can be smart about how you approach it.
  4. No matter how well prepared you are…fancy storyboards, shot breakdown orisirisi, if you don’t learn to be spontaneous and make changes on set, you will either get fired or suffer a nervous breakdown.
  5. There are 16 million ways you can make your film look better in post…i will share some…lol
  6. We love drama and comedy…why…because it sells well here. You can be adventurous but you will realize it makes no sense to be too adventourous…trust me..i made Kajola.
  7. Respect for elders is a bigger issue in Nollywood than you might expect. You must call some producers Aunty or Uncle if you want to keep working o…lol

So I have created different categories for the blog including stuff for actors, crew, techy stuff, stuff for post-production etc. I will make some video tutorials and share tips while on set filming. Its going to be a pinterest style blog and that’s awesome!

I hope I can share most of my experiences including successes and Failures as a film maker in Naija! And I hope someone finds something useful. I will also hold  live chat sessions once every month too and maybe some free workshops.

I also hope we can take this journey together and grow. Every content on the blog is free and you can use it anyhow you want. You don’t even need to give me credit. If you want to give me anything, Just give me jollof rice…That’s the only way to my heart. 🙂



Categories:   Acting



  • Posted: July 4, 2016 13:14

    Kingsley Oboro

    I am impressed and see a lot of truth in what you have put down here. This will be of immense benefit to myself and every other film student of mine. I am loyal Mr. Niyi. U are a true resource.
  • Posted: July 4, 2016 13:27


    I think the pictures can be better.
  • Posted: July 4, 2016 13:36

    Victor Negro

    Not bad; seem I am the first to make a comment Herr and I deserve fried rice and chicken. I like the layout of the blog and what I read so far is nice. Keep it up, Niyi, Uncle. Lol
  • Posted: July 4, 2016 13:37


    *Smiles* was so glad reading this and I look forward to learning from you. Thanks so much from this platform.
  • Posted: July 4, 2016 13:56


    On Record, we are the first to comment on this sojourn. We look forward to feasting our eyes on great insights you'll be sharing soon to come.
    • Posted: July 4, 2016 14:18


      thanks. I'll do my best
  • Posted: July 4, 2016 14:11

    Adetola Fabiyi

    Hello Niyi...well done bro. This is great. Your point number 6 really touched me. I say because Kajola wasnt the kind of hit we wanted does not mean we should give up on extending the frontiers of sci-fci in Nigeria. We just need to raise the standard. And if it wont sell here...we might as well prepare it for another market.
    • Posted: July 4, 2016 14:18


      Thanks a lot Mr T. we will get there...slowly but surely
  • Posted: July 4, 2016 14:25

    Edun Olakunle sunday

    This grate.....
  • Posted: July 4, 2016 15:03

    Goodluck Azunwena

    Niyi for President... Am absolutely amazed by this... You are all shades of spectacular... Thank you and God bless
  • Posted: July 4, 2016 15:06


    Real talk by my friend and colleague Niyi I am solidly behind you...
  • Posted: July 4, 2016 15:12

    Priye Diri

    I am excited about this ... I can't wait honestly can't.
  • Posted: July 4, 2016 15:19


    heehehe Jollof rice. We cant wait tho.
  • Posted: July 4, 2016 16:30


    Great read, but unfortunately shows this industry has soooooooooo much work to do. There are plenty are getting beefed for wanting to work properly. I don't encourage anyone to follow the crowd. Break free and create; people will come looking for you! I guess this explains why most of the famous Nigerians are famous OUTSIDE Naija and don't want to bother coming home to do anything here. We can do a lot better. All that aside, you pretty much hit the nail on the head.
  • Posted: July 4, 2016 16:57


    Yay! Signing up ASAP. Pls is there s button to subscribe so that I can get post updates directly to my email?
  • Posted: July 4, 2016 17:19

    Susan Majekodunmi

    Thank you! Congrats! Will read it religiously!
  • Posted: July 4, 2016 17:20

    Yemi Daramola

    Thank you, Niyi. I found the content educative. Looking forward to future post from you and the other filmmakers and industry gurus.
  • Posted: July 4, 2016 17:30


    Hahaha this is funny ooo, but in reality, most of this shouldn't be acceptable. Must we continue with the status quo that is plaguing the name "Nollywood" as nothing more than a mediocre attempt of a film? I just don't believe we are trying. Just a few ones that are really, really, trying.
    • Posted: July 4, 2016 17:41


      You are very correct. but i believe if we open up to prospective filmmakers on whats already running and how to make it better, we should expect pleasant creative surprises in future. Creativity can't be stagnated but people can be deprived of knowledge. thats what i hope to fix.
      • Posted: July 4, 2016 19:25


        I am with you on that! I support CHANGE in this industry 10000%. These old mindsets and behaviors need to go once and for all.
  • Posted: July 4, 2016 18:25


    Rather impressed from your comeback from Kajola. True story of dedication and perseverance.
  • Posted: July 4, 2016 19:02

    Emeka Loveday

    nice one Oga Boss. patiently waiting to feast on your bank of experiences.
  • Posted: July 4, 2016 19:26

    Danny Nwauzorma

    Number 4 and 5... Very true... I can personally attest to that.... and kudos for setting up this platform...
  • Posted: July 4, 2016 19:29


    I really feel for the actors. The conditions in which they work under aside from what they are paid are embarrassing. I rememba one girl I use to date was running to do a film that she was paid only 40K for ooo and it was a major role. Imagine.
  • Posted: July 4, 2016 20:51

    Jesurobo-owie Gift Imafidon

    We learn every day. Thanks for sharing Niyi. Excitedly waiting to see the full package.
  • Posted: July 4, 2016 21:50

    Adebisi Clegg

    Thanks so much egbon Neyo.
  • Posted: July 4, 2016 22:20


    Niyoo baba am so-so happy for this this is really a great avenue for me to complete my long course with you can't wait to see all your discussion here at least distance barer will be off now thanks so much for making this move.
  • Posted: July 4, 2016 22:30


    Am probably one of the first set of few people on your neck to set this up... am very glad that this is happening after so many years of waiting... Now here is something we all can relate with... Not so many people are willing to share in Nigeria... I think you just scored some extra points with me boss... I only hope you've not gone pass 100% God bless bro... And am excited already
  • Posted: July 4, 2016 22:43


    Great Work
  • Posted: July 5, 2016 06:39


    Straight, real and down to earth
  • Posted: July 5, 2016 07:27


    well done!
  • Posted: July 5, 2016 08:20


    I have a post suggestion sir, can you do a post on how to hire an actor... Expecially to top actors, How to write to them, do they need to be auditioned, how do you determine their fees... Every thing it takes to bring an actor on your project sha... Thanks baws
    • Posted: July 5, 2016 08:24


      Great idea...noted
  • Posted: July 5, 2016 10:53

    Kounle Aiyegbo

    What can I say...always a fan!? Merci beaucoup!!????
  • Posted: July 5, 2016 22:49


    Nice. ... plus ur rice on the way... waiting for the one on actors an actresses
  • Posted: July 6, 2016 07:16


    I am so over joyed and happy because this has been a concept bothering my mind about film production in Nigeria(the core, down to earth issues...the kokos) I was going along oshodi few days ago I saw one oyinbo pepe with camera and one mopol with shakabula they follow am with one black my mind I said baba God show me the wayooooo,am still up coming o. God will strengthen you to delivery on point my brother. And for your jolof rice.. There is Godoooooo
  • Posted: July 21, 2016 22:27

    Abosi Ogba

    I always wrote. But, by chance, I discovered screenwriting was the thing I was always going to do. It's not too late to start. I mean, you're an inspiration. I'm really thankful for this blog. Nigerian screenwriters/filmmakers like me would appreciate this.
  • Posted: July 22, 2016 02:31


    What's up, I read your new stuff daily. Your writing style is awesome, keep it up!
  • Posted: July 29, 2016 10:16

    Bernie Wills

    I'm very ready. Thanks for the opportunity. You will never regret it and I will never take this for granted. Many blessings
  • Posted: July 30, 2016 16:06

    Danny Nwauzorma

    I just read the Jellof rice part... hehehehehe... i no talk anything oh.
  • Posted: August 11, 2016 16:07


    Following closely to learn.
  • Posted: August 24, 2016 00:19


    Oh dear, am just happy I discovered you and your blog. Amazing, I can't even sleep, reading through every post. Thank you solo much for your generosity. In Nigeria, we don't like sharing, but see you, doing this. Please whenever your are in Abuja, holla oo, I will take care of your jollof rice. And trust me, am as bad ass with jollof as you are with film
  • Posted: September 8, 2016 17:06

    Nollyzone Filmmakers' Corner: Spotlight On Niyi Akinmolayan - Nollyzone News

    […] or accolade once in a while. I would be remise if I didn’t mention how  the Niyi Akinmolayan Blog has helped in bringing me closer to the consciousness of industry supporters and critics […]
  • Posted: October 17, 2016 17:58


  • Posted: November 17, 2016 06:56

    ojo moleeky

    and so far you hAVE stay true on your words. thanks Niyi!
  • Posted: August 30, 2018 08:54


    This is soooo cool! Your blog is a textbook of some sort. Thank you.

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