My Top Wishes For Ghana Movie Industry In 2014

At the beginning of each year, people make all sorts of resolutions. Some work towards achieving the resolutions made, while others just make the resolutions and do not care whether they are realized or not. Not left out is the Ghana movie industry where practitioners would have to work hard to elevate the budding industry. Some practitioners have individually noted down resolutions they intend working hard towards. I, on the other hand, also have some few wishes for the industry this year. According to President Barrack Obama, of the United States of America, ‘Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” I hope 2014 is not going to be a year in which the industry will wait for someone or an intervention from somewhere before it begins to effect the needed changes. It is a case of ‘God helps those who help themselves’. In 2012, the government of Ghana set aside GHc2 million for the creative industry to help boost the sector and enable it meet international standards. The money was put into the music industry - a part of the creative industry thus the movie industry was neglected. Clearly, the government did not give the money to the music industry alone. But can the movie industry ever attract such an offer as the above from the government? This can only be if it starts working towards correcting certain wrongs in the industry and not wait for any person to effect that change. If things are done differently this year in the industry, such as overhauling some of the ills within its ranks, things will be much better in 2014. I do not have any resolutions, except some wishes for the make-believe enterprise. • Thought provoking scripts: It is my wish that Ghanaian script writers will come out with well written, well balanced, well researched and thought provoking scripts. Very often after watching a movie, you become certain about one thing; the movie seems as familiar as a movie that you might have already seen. Yes, it’s what is called an adaptation of a foreign movie. Then you begin to question the creativity of the script writers. I saw some great movies in 2013. I cannot confirm if all the story lines were adapted from foreign movies. But I’m very certain that, not all were from the creative imagination of the story tellers. Film making is fast becoming a big venture in this part of the world and scriptwriters must therefore change their ways. I believe this wish is not too big to come true. You think all stories have been told already? How about getting into a taxi with your recorder? Through such an experience, the ‘all stories have been told’ mindset will be shot down. Please, stop turning foreign movies into Ghanaian movies. Be original! • Actors must do more research: This is important. It is not out of place for actors to research the role they have been given or cast to play in a production. If you have been cast to play the role of a mad person, what stops you from understudying a mad person for weeks or months on end? As a trained actor, I can say that the hallmark of a good actor is research and knowledge about the character one is playing. When that is done, directions from the director on set just go to benefit the actor. Mannerisms of a character are also important. Do more research please! In 2014, I want to see good casting. Actors must not just jump into a role because the money is good. Actors must push themselves more by researching their roles and improve on their skills. They must do more intensive acting. Being more serious and professional on set or location should be a must this year! • My next wish is on the technical professional who forms an integral part of the industry: Technical people should see the industry as one that is growing. If award events keep coming up for a particular industry, that is because the industry is growing and expanding. The movie industry is one that is growing steadily. The Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAAs), will celebrate its 10th milestone this year and it is growing bigger and bigger. AfricaMagic has introduced a Viewer’s Choice Awards with good prospects. There are several other awards geared towards the movie industry including our own Ghana Movie Awards. It is my wish that these professionals would begin to see the industry as a lucrative venture and that it can only be acknowledged and rewarded when much work is put into it and practitioners are professional on set. I hate to see a movie with avoidable mistakes. It’s a turn off. Let’s endeavour to correct unforgivable mistakes in 2014. • The media should be bold enough to call a spade a spade: Occasionally when movies are being reviewed, the media which are paid to promote or help market a particular movie tend to shy away from aspects of the movie that needs to be talked about critically. Sometimes, these things are done in order not to make it seem as if one was being ungrateful to the producers. But I believe that when a movie does not match up, the production house knows it already and so why try to sound nice? My friend, it is your credibility which is at stake. My wish this year is that, a poorly made movie should be tagged as such and a good movie be given the thumbs up. The media must be able to do a lot of thought provoking analysis and critical reviews of movies. Not all movies should be considered as standard movies and passed as good. When there is something bad about a movie, it’s got to be said as it is and vice versa when it’s a great production. • Marketing of movies: Marketing of movies in Ghana has been a major problem for most production houses. The marketing departments of major production houses must engage in a lot of serious work by understanding that marketing and promotion starts when the script is read and not after the movie has been shot and put on VCDs, DVDs. There must be a publicist to put up bits and pieces of press releases about the movie in the media as the production is running, just so that by the time the movie is ready, the public will be anxious and ready for it. Any serious producer knows where to find such professionals.