How to Make Money Producing Movies and Songs in Nigeria

Do you know that you can make huge amount of money from movie production? Read on you will discover. The Nigerian film industry is undoubtedly one of the biggest movie industries in the world. You simply cannot call names like Hollywood or Bollywood without mentioning Nollywood in your list. About 50 movies are released per week in Nollywood and these movies are sold across all continents. The only down side to these stats is that most of the copies sold are usually pirated copies, which largely reduces the income of film makers in Nigeria. However, the fight against piracy is ongoing and more effort is being put by the government to ensure that piration is cut down to the barest minimum.

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According to the British Broadcasting Corporation, it costs between N5 Million and N15 Million to make a film in Nigeria. This is considering the general costs of acquiring the equipment needed and paying the actors. However, in reality, if you are already in business, you do not need to spend that much on movies.

You should be smart enough to get linked up with firms that will give you the equipment at much lower cost. Members of your production team will also have their own contacts. Things generally get easier with time. Even if you decide to purchase some of these equipment yourself, you won’t have to spend so much on equipment anymore in subsequent movies.

Equally, if you still decide to rent these equipment, you can use them for more than one movie during that time. You would have therefore been able to split the cost of equipment over two or three movies, thereby, substantially reducing your costs.

On the other hand, Nollywood generates an estimated $600M annually.This figure shows that the industry is booming and highly profitable. The film makers are usually able to recoup their investment in less than a month after release.

Another note-worthy fact is that Nollywood top actors do not really earn much per movie, as compared to their foreign counterparts.

While this might be considered a down side by some observers, to you, it is a good thing. You do not have to worry about paying these actors through your nose. The low income per film can be attributed to the number of movies produced weekly.

They act in enough movies yearly to give them a large bag of money by the end of the year. The average stars or popular faces in Nollywood movies collect about $1000 to $3000 per movie.

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Those are standard amounts if you want to negotiate with these stars at arms length. However, the movie industry is a social environment where friends are made on a daily basis. You already know where I am driving at. Also, you can pay a star in lumpsum for two movies at a time. This can significantly reduce your cost with the right negotiation.


Shooting a movie in a country that churns out more than 50 movies per week means that there is a lot of competition. Although, you might think “if you have your money, you can shoot your movie how you like “. However you have to remember that you are in business to make profit.

In recent time, the producers of movies are hardly involved in distribution and marketing. In most cases, when a movie is made, distribution companies go straight to the producers and buy the movie. This makes life less stressful for the producers. Hence, your movies have to be well shot and directed to convince these distributors that your movies won’t kill the market.

Who wants to spend hard earned money purchasing crap? With this in mind, it is wise to ensure that you have the required skill in shooting a video. I am not saying that only you has to be the camera man, producer and director. No. But you have to know what is going on in your own movie shoot and make adjustments where necessary.

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Also, the world bank is embarking on projects to sponsor the Nigerian film industry and other sectors. You cannot be sponsored if you cannot deliver. So it is advisable to get the required training in video and film making.

I have mentioned the fact that some movies in Nigeria get free sponsorship. But are you going to wait around each time for some institution or body to sponsor you? Besides who is going to sponsor you if you do not have good productions to your name?

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The first source of finance is you. How much have you been able to gather as your capital? How much do you intend to spend per film? What kind of movies do you want to go into for a start? Some movies do not require so many locations, or equipment for effect or setting up cost. These movies are basically all about the dramdrama and thrill, not really the action and mind blowing graphics. While others involve a lot of resources to be put in place. If you intend making a blockbuster, you have to be ready to search for investors. Well, unless you have a lot of money to tie down. Fantastic movies definitely cost money. You need the very best equipment. You need one or two top stars to attract the audience (unless you can find some young crop of talents that are simply amazing actors). I have seen great movies without a single known face, yet they were able to tell the story in such a way that only long years of experience could resonate.

To make that blockbuster movie, you must be ready to request for sponship. Draw up a proposal and state the costs in clear terms. Make sure the potential sponsors (which most likely would be corporate entities and/or development bodies, government institutions, etc) are drawn into your story and see how the project is going to be profitable. This is where your experience and skill will be really needed. You most likely will only be able to do this when you are already in business.

Another source of finance is the distributors. If you have shown that you can.make good movies, distributors like IrokoTV will br willing to pay you in advance. Before you can get this kind of finance, you must have proven yourself trustworthy and reliable.

If you are just getting into business, the first and most guaranteed source of finance is you. Friends, team mates, etc can also help out. You cannot go into the movie business as an island.

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1. The first thing you should be concerned about is putting yourself out there. At the beginning of your movie, put your name clearly and boldly on the screen. Make your name known. Make posters that are creative, and make your name known. Some people say sex sells, but this is an educational article, so I am not going to advise you towards that.

2. If you are sponsored, make sure you strategically advertise your sponsors in your movie. It doesn’t have to be too obvious. Also, keep updating your sponsors on the progress of the movie.

3. You want to make a blockbuster movie? Make sure you plan about two or three premieres. This is where your money will start coming from. Have your movie featured in the New York Times too. Try and find some connections.. You will get that feature if you really want it.

4. The top stars charge a lot. Even in Nollywood where they do not get paid that much, the cost of getting them on your movie is still high. Get talented young aspiring actors to feature in your movie. You can benefit in two ways fron this. First, your cost won’t be sky high. Secondly, if aspiring actors notice that you have good stories and produce good movies and you feature new faces in your movies.. You won’t be the one searching for talented actors. They will be the ones looking for you. They just want to get a chance to put their faces out there, and if you provide that platform for them, trust me, you will end up spending the money you would have spent on just one A-list actor, on ypur entire cast.

5. Always have a good story. You can contact professional story writers or meet talented and experienced people in that line. Your story must always be pin point.

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Nollywood is a gold mine, and if you have the right tools and the necessary skills, it shouldn’t be hard for you to make a name for yourself in the industry. Remember to contact out team if you have any questions. Also, you can make use of the comment button. We always love to hear from you.

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Arthur is a Content Developer at InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Roberts. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Roberts. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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