Media is a powerful instrument for social change and can be used holistically along with other elements of social development.
Jumpstarting an Indigenous Film Production Industry
Africa is a continent of storytellers and has amongst it, some of the oldest storytelling traditions in the world. Africa’s movie production and viewing landscape is developing its own unique characteristics which include:
- African cultures are traditionally storytelling ones. A rich existing tradition of stories can be tapped into for entertainment on the African continent
- A large hitherto voiceless community who has, until recently been denied access to the world’s favorite modern format for storytelling: movies
- Low cost digital technology has opened up guerilla filmmaking across the continent and has demonstrated, especially in the case of Nigeria, that there is a proven appetite and sustainable market for home grown movies. Currently, there is more focus on storytelling than on production value. Production value is naturally increasing, however, as young producers gain experience with the modern digital technology.
- Due to the traditional problem of low population densities and lack of infrastructure, DVD distribution model…a culture of mass viewing of theatrical releases does not currently exist except in large urban centres.
- Mobile technology is ubiquitous however, only support low bandwidth channels. Again, high bandwidth cost is a limiting factor which currently prohibits practical use of mobile.
There are at least two potential types of film production industry possible:
Film products for the local African market
Many impromtu film production hubs have naturally arisen across the continent to fill the demand for local stories. Most notably is the Nigerian film industry, known as Nollywood, which by some measures outputs more films than Hollywood. There is an appetite for Nollywood productions from every country in Africa and in the African Diaspora as well. Nollywood productions deal with themes and issues that are familiar to all Africans, hence their popularity.
Film products for the International market
The production quality is so different that each of these must be treated separately. From our experience on the continent, we have come to the conclusion that there is a wealth of stories on the African continent that are of enough interest to the international market that a sustainable business is possible.
African production hubs such as the Cape Town studios are built to the highest international studio standards and cater to foreign big budget Hollywood productions. Others are being planned around South Africa. Unfortunately, though such world class facilities exist, most IP has not been developed in Africa itself but is foreign in nature. To be truly sustainable, the IP must be developed and remain in Africa.
Production Centres scaled for modern African productions
Production centres for producing African inspired film products do not have to cost a lot of money. High production value can now be achieved with low cost digital technology. The most important factor in creating a final high production product is that workers are trained to use these tools effectively. Working with our architectural partners, we plan to use actual productions to begin the process of organically building sustainable film communities and infrastructure.
InGienous Designs collaborates with innovative and visionary producers in film, television and digital media around the world to produce relevant content for Africa and the world.
InGienous Designs is a proud partner of Push Pull Media, a new venture that will produce a variety of media products ranging from full feature length films, entertainment properties to global media events…all with local African producers and professionals and using African content. Push Pull Media has decades of media experiemce in marketing, scriptwriting, transmedia, feature-length film production and event production.