Nigerian teenagers are setting new borders with smartphone filmmaking
Proving you can make sci-fi movies on practically no budget
If you have imagination and can properly handle new technology, there seem to be no limits in making movies and TV programs. The Chinese are making special mini soaps suited for your mobile, and as AficaNews and Open Culture are reporting, some Nigerian youth are taking things one step further – they are creating sci-fi feature films with their smartphones.
And while the production of the special Chinese soaps is in hands of professionals, Godwin Josiah and his cousin from the Nigerian north-western town of Kaduna, calling themselves The Critics, are doing it all on a non-professional level – using a cracked-screen mobile, a tripod made from a broken microphone stand, and teaching themselves filming techniques from YouTube. Not to mention that they saved for a month to buy the green fabric for the chroma key and that they have to struggle with slow internet and regular power outages.
They started out in 2016 with their first film Redemption, and have made 20 features so far that run up to ten minutes. They are obviously doing something right, as they have caught the attention of Kemi Adetiba, one of Nollywood (Nigeria’s multimillion-dollar movie sector, second largest after India’s Bollywood), and have recently received $5,800 USD from a funding campaign after their films started to go viral on YouTube.
As Open Culture cites them, “Horror, comedy, sci-fi, action, we do all,” The Critics’ proclaim on their Youtube channel, carefully categorizing their work as “films not skits.”