Career Choices in Nigerian Movie Industry: How to Join Nollywood and become an Actor

The entertainment industry in Nigeria has become very rich and vibrant. This is because of the growth in popular music and movies. Nollywood the home video industry is one of the biggest in the world. 
Gone are the days when acting was regarded as a dead-end profession. Top actors earn huge salaries and bag mouth watering endorsement deals from corporate giants.
Today the Nigerian movie industry is an employer of labor and thespians earn good money. The advent of movie making technology has also contributed to the tremendous growth.
The Nollywood Movie Industry
Nollywood industry is the third largest movie industry in the world. It features the English movies, Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo sectors.
It also accommodates home video, cinema and television productions. The English movies dominate the market followed closely by Yoruba movies. There are also movies made in pidgin language or ethnic languages.
How to Join the Nigerian Movie Industry
To join the industry you need to determine the sector of interest. Then acquire either formal training or job experience.
Even if you have natural talent, you need to develop your technical skills. This is because each job description requires different set of skills.
Actors need theater training, scriptwriters, writing skill.  Cinematographer’s learn camera manipulation and costumer fashion knowledge.
To become an actor attend acting school, workshops or informal programs. The choice of your career path will determine the type of direction and education.
  • acquire formal training
  • network
  • go for auditions
  • gain job experience
  • develop your natural talent
  • you need technical skills
  • acquire different job skills
  • workshops
  • informal programs
  • courses, read books
Job Opportunities
There are lots of job opportunities in the Nigerian Movie Industry. You can apply as a script writer, actor, marketer or movie producer.
Other jobs are screen writer, director, art director and production designer. More include cinematographer, costume designer, film editor and music supervisor.
  • script writer
  • actor
  • marketer
  • movie producer
  • screen writer
  • director
  • art director
  • production designer
  • cinematographer
  • costume designer
  • film editor
  • music supervisor
Music Supervisor
There is a good chance you have heard those annoying songs in home videos. They could be background music, songs, recitals or melodies.
The music supervisor produces the music that adds mood to the total production. It is an integral part of the films general appeal.
The music could be produced in a recording studio, live or accompanied by a piano or even orchestra.
The right music intensifies the viewer’s enjoyment of the movies content. To become a music supervisor you need music production skills, recording equipment and an understanding of movie music.
You can develop the talent by becoming an apprentice or gain work experience. You could get educated formally and read books.
Type of Movie Music
  • background music
  • songs
  • recitals
  • melodies
  • piano
  • orchestra
  • live music
The job of an actor is to portray characters in films. They are given roles and issued directions by a cinematographer or director.
To become an actor you need formal training or natural talent. Training could involve going to an acting school or attending intensive 3-6 months training.
You can start with a university degree in theater arts and develop the talent. Other ways are through practice, school plays and online courses.
You can also to join the actors guild or society for recognition. To get parts you need to attend auditions or participate in different productions.
The Cinematographer or Director
The cinematographer is the director of photography on the set. The role is to capture the script as interpreted by the actors on video or film.
It requires good technical knowledge of lighting, sets atmospheric qualities and camera angles. The director needs to have technical knowledge of movie cameras to achieve high quality presentations.
The director oversees the ensemble or shooting of the movie. To become a cinematographer you need formal training from a film institute.
You can gain experience through practice, short film presentations and projects. Learn from books, eBooks, online courses and apprentice programs.
The Editor
The editor’s role is vital to the overall production. The editor organizes the footage into logical presentation. They go through dozens of scenes to find the ideal shoot to create the entire footage.
They are very important to the final appearance of the movie. You need to master film editing equipment to become an editor. The equipment includes computer, editing software and other paraphernalia.
Art Director and Costume Designer
The art director is responsible for the films setting. This includes furniture, exterior, interior and landscapes. The take care of set decoration, props to create a believable environment.
 The costume designer expresses the characters through appropriate choice of costume. They help express the character visually through the outfits. The outfits could be periodical, modern and contemporary depending on film period.
The Producer and Screenwriter
The screenwriter’s job is to create the dialogue for the films. It requires good script writing skill and scene translation. The scriptwriter’s role is essential to the story and characterization of the film.
The producer manages the entire production. They develop the project, secure funding and manage the film crew. They coordinate the entire process including the budgeting of the movie.
Earnings of Nollywood Actors
The actor works on contractual bases per film. Hollywood actors earn from USD $5000.00 to USD $4.M dollars. While Nollywood actors earn from N50, 000 to 2 million naira per production.
The earnings are calculated based on level of popularity, type of film, endorsements and roles. The job involves lots of travelling to locations and lodging.  Single production could take 1- 3 months for Nigerian home videos and 6 to12 months for Hollywood films.
It is essential an operator in the industry builds a formidable network. Try to network with fellow actors, directors, cinematographers and producers.
The good thing about movies is the recognition of talented acts. If your performance is credible you would get steady job offerings. Like any industry there are bad and good practices therefore engage a good lawyer and don’t compromise on your principles.


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