Why aren’t we binge-watching Nollywood movies?

We seem to love Hollywood. We watch Hollywood movies on a regular basis, we buy magazines to read about the actors and actresses, we want the same clothes and hairstyles shown in the movies, and we even travel across the world just to take a picture with the famous Hollywood sign. It seems like for many of us, there are no other movie industries except for Hollywood.

The three largest movie industries in the world are Bollywood, Nollywood and Hollywood. Nollywood wasn’t even born until 1992 when an electronic salesman named Kenneth Nnebue starting shooting movies, and already in 2009 Nollywood had gone past Hollywood and had thereby become the second largest movie industry in the world, behind Bollywood. Nollywood was a 3 billion dollar industry in 2013, and they released over 1800 movies that year, compared to Hollywood’s 700 movies the same year. So, why are we not binge watching Nollywood movies?

Well, the movies are not exactly up to Hollywood standard when it comes to filming, sound, lights or special effects. To give you an idea, I’ve embedded a YouTube video where you can see some clips from Nollywood movies:

However this is not the main reason for the lack of Nollywood hype in our society. Usually, movies are made so that they can be viewed anywhere by anyone. The issues portrayed in movies are meant to hit home whether you live in Australia, Spain or Nepal. Hollywood is known for great love tragedies and I expect a lot of us could in some way relate to Rose’s pain in Titanic although very few of us have had one of our loved ones ripped away from us in such a horrible way. It is not the actual situation being acted out on the screen that captures us, it is the bond between the two, the romantic sacrifices and risks in the story. The creators of the movies does this so that the movies are marketable everywhere, but it is different in Nollywood; istead of facing outwards, Nollywood faces inwards. They make movies concerning their own issues, their own societies and communities, and this is what draws the audience in. The movies are made for the people in the culture, and people like seeing movies where they see their own circumstances, and their own social issues and mythological references. This pleases their target audience, but make it distant and hard to understand for us who are not a part of the culture, not that it really matters for the Nollywood industry. Being the second largest movie industry in the world, they have all the consumers they need, but it could still be a good idea for us to watch some of these movies to understand the culture better, and maybe appreciate learning something other than “how to be single”.

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We recommend a minor in “how to be accepted by Australians”

Australia is a dream destination for many of us. Whether it is based on the long white beaches, the good climate or the chance to get an education and build a life for yourself, people from all over the world choose to come to Australia to attend University here.

In 2015/2016 Australia made a shocking 20.3 billion dollars off the international students’ education, and it provides more than 13,700 Australian with jobs! In addition to the financial side, international students provide Australia with cultural benefits, and it is a way for Australia to make good foreign relationships that will benefit Australian companies and businesses without Australians actually doing anything for it. Yet, the Australian communities do not seem very pleased with all these international students that provide their country with so many benefits.

Why might this be? International students describe being exploited by local communities, when it comes to housing and jobs. They are forced to accept underpaid jobs to be able to live, in addition to living in apartments that are overpriced, does not keep the Australian standard of living and that are flat out unsafe to live in, in some cases. Yet, it is not the international students who were unpleased, it was the Australians. There were several attacks on international students in Melbourne that raised concern in the international communities, and the Cronulla riots in 2005 painted a picture of Australians as racist and it was not safe for international students to come to Australia. The community of international students fought back, and protested in the streets of Sydney and Melbourne, demanding the government to take action and focus on the problem. Luckily, we have come a long way since, and according to ABC, India’s government says they don’t see racially motivated attacks on Indian students in Australia as an issue or threat in 2017.

The physical threat to international students might be decreasing, but what contributes to the negative perceptions Australians have of International students? Well, it certainly doesn’t help if reports and studies that are presented in the media has a lot of biased opinions and claims that cannot be proved, such as the link Four Corners between the increase in plagiarism in University with Asian international students. There is no data that supports this link, and what it does is to create an incorrect picture of the Asian international students. What we also see is that there is not as much negative perceptions for the American and European international students, which can be explained by the way Australians decode other cultures. Whereas the American and European culture are more similar to the Australian, the Asian cultures are different and may not share the same values. Some Australians may judge them based off the Australian culture, without understanding the differences in the cultures and perceive the Australian culture as superior. This is called ethnocentrism, and may just be the biggest underlying reason for the tension between Australians and International students from Asian countries.

Does mediascape have any negative sides?

Globalization is the process of the world connecting and coming together as one global society. This affects us on many different levels. We have five dimensions of global cultural flow according to Arjun Appadurai; ethnoscapes, technoscapes, financescapes, mediascape and ideoscapes. These 5 scapes shows show globalization is affecting almost every part of our societies.

For those of us who have grown up in the midst of this process of globalization, it is very clear what impact the globalization has had on our everyday life. We are now able to order clothes from every corner of the world, adapt trends and travel, we can access international movies and music just by a few clicks on our mobile phone, and we can keep ourselves updated on what is going on in the world at any time. Initially, one would think that it is a good thing that we have easy access to information at all times, that we hear about what is going on in other parts of the world, but can this also have a negative effect?

Arjun Appadurai’s dimension of global flow mediascape refers to communication media, and how the world is presented by the mass media. The channels which we receive our news from are narrowing in, and we have more big actors owning several of these channels, rather than it being spread out between different actors from different parts of the world. Now, why is this an issue? Do you ever think about how the news you are being presented is affected by money and politics? Have you ever stopped to think about why we “pray4paris” or “pray4barcelona” when there is no one praying for the victims of the Syrian refugee crisis? Why are we not praying for the three hundred girls who were kidnapped in Nigeria in 2014 where only 21 have been released from Boko Haram?

The media needs to sell. They need people to pay for their services, and they will therefore choose their news carefully. If a terrorist attack happens in Europe, people are shocked. The western world have almost seemed immune against big terror attacks the last few decades, so people are not expecting this to happen in Europe again. People want to hear about things that shock them, not about things they are used to and expect to happen. So, when there is a war, a crisis, we want to read about it when it’s new and fresh, but then a photo of Kim Kardashians butt pops up, and the children starving in Syria is forgotten. The girls kidnapped by Boko Haram are forgotten. The media however, will not let us forget what have happened in Paris, in Barcelona, in Nice. Is this because the actors in the media industry are mainly from the western world? Could there be politics involved? Is there a preference for reporting Islamic terror over Christian? It seems like one life is worth more than the other in the eyes of the media, and maybe that is because we are willing to pay more for one story than the other. The mass media as a product of globalization contributes to a society where you are seen as more valuable if you come from one certain area of the world. This is a huge issue in the media we are presented with today.

Should I post a photo of myself in bikini?

So, Kim K just reached 100.MILLION followers on Instagram! Thats 20 times the entire Norwegian population, 5 times the Australian population or 200 times the population of Luxembourg. Kind of insane to think that 100.000.000 people has pressed “follow” when they have seen a photo of Kim´s booty, her handsome husband, or her cute kids.

It seems like we put so much time and effort into our online persona these days, and I experience that people care more about how they portrait themselves online, rather than how they actually are perceived in real life. We save photos from when we travel, to post when our life is uneventful, we spend hours taking selfies that end up looking like someone else, and what for? To gain followers, and to put a certain image of ourselves in our followers minds.

Without a doubt, your online persona is important today. You can market yourself, showing your interests, your skills and your lifestyle relatively easily online, but most of us don´t really use it like this. Take me, what do I do online? I post pictures of me and my friends drinking wine, a little beach snap every now and then to make my friends back home jealous, and maybe a boomerang of my drinks when I´m out. I don´t (like many girls do) post pictures of myself in my underwear or bikini. Mostly, because I think thats a sight people would rather be without, but also because I just cannot be bothered to take 500 photos of myself on the beach, and standing around in my underwear taking pictures at home? I get embarrassed just by the thought of it.

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Then again, I have 900 followers. Not even enough to get me a free tube of toothpaste of a company, while the girls who post these awkward undie-selfies that is so edited, you wouldn´t even recognize them if you sat next to them on the bus, they can make thousands of dollars promoting skinny teas, bikinis and coconut water. They make their online persona their job…so maybe I should post a photo of myself in a bikini? I recon my tummy rolls could sell a lot of chocolate. If you read this, person who works for Kinder, hit me up!

SKAM

Why won´t the Norwegian TV network NRK let me watch my favorite show just because I live in Australia? Like honestly, why don´t they want as many people possible to watch the show?

SKAM is a Norwegian web series that quickly gained a lot of, and I mean A LOT of attention in Norway, and within a year the series had been texted, and even dubbed, by fans that wanted to make it available to people in other countries that don´t speak Norwegian. It wasn´t long before it became an international success, but then all of a sudden;

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“NRK does not have the right to show this show outside of Norway.”

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Yes, I have tried using these add-on things to change my position and whatnot, but even that doesn´t work. As annoying as it might be for me, it is actually understandable why NRK chose to not make it available for everyone to see.

When it is only available in Norway, it makes it cheaper for NRK to actually make. When you buy the rights to use certain songs etc, you have to pay more, the wider spread the audience is. NRK gains more control of their own content, and they keep the concept exclusive, which came in handy when they sold off the series to an american company that is going to ruin, or “remake” if you want to call it that, the series. What NRK looses when they limit who gets to view the series though, is free marketing and what it seems like the creators of the show wanted more than anything; to educate and enlighten social issues like how we view sexuality, religion, alcohol and drugs. This is the essence of this show, and to let this reach around the world could have really good social benefits.

In this case, it seems like the the financial benefits by keeping it a closed platform was larger than the social benefits of making it an open platform.

The genius transmedia

What do we pay attention to? Advertisement in the newspaper? A poster hung up outside our local cinema? Maybe a flyer stuck to the bus-stop window?

I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t take notice of these things anymore. Ever since I got a smartphone, and started actively downloading and using apps like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook, that’s where you have to advertise something if you want to catch my attention.

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Transmedia storytelling is so successful, because if it is done right you cannot avoid it! One example is the launch of a Norwegian reality TV series when I was back home over Christmas. When I turned the TV on, I would within an hour see a video-clip of a few boys camping in the woods. The next time I would see them in a cabin, and then by a lake, followed with the text “what happened to these boys”. I would see “missing ads” on the milk carton and I would see advertisements for a whole webpage dedicated to these boys on Facebook and Instagram. Then, out of nowhere a reality show started on TV, where the contenders were supposed to figure out this fake case about the boys who went missing by the lake. They had done it so well, that in fact some of my friends were not even sure if it was fiction or real. Literally everyone started watching it, just because of how well they had used transmedia storytelling, and everyone had at least once over Christmas thought about these boys and what could possibly have happened to them.

That’s the thing about transmedia. You get left- and right winged at the same time, and you can’t ignore it. Then, when you read and see so much about a story, it is natural to get intrigued, and then follow up on the next part of the story. This is simply impossible to get just from a TVC or ad in the paper.1ovv8g.gif

Is it okay to steal entertainment?

Are we aware of what, how and who our free streaming of media content online effects?

Do you guys remember when we used LimeWire? (Or are you all too young, haha?)  Do you remember how bloody annoying it was to have spent 3 hours trying to download a few songs, and all that came out of the speakers was a voice telling you that it was illegal downloading, and then something similar to your national anthem would play? Yeah sure, it was the worst, but we should really stop to think about what we actually contribute to when we do this.

I’m kind of sick of listening to the same type of music on the hit lists, it’s all literally exactly the same and I have trouble separating different bands and artists because they all look, and sound just like the person before, and just like the person going after. However, this is exactly what I contribute to when I stream. I’m not willing to pay for a service, so I basically steal it from the artists. Sure, one could feel like it isn’t stealing because you don’t take a physical object that belongs to someone else, but the fact is that you take something illegally that doesn’t belong to you.  This makes it hard for people to actually make it in the industry, because you can’t make a living of just your music anymore. What happens then is the fact that there is less money in the industry, less money for headhunting, producing, and less money equals a smaller market. The producers have to put their money where they know they will get return – and that’s playing it safe with tropical house, mainstream pop and EDM.

It’s not just the music industry that is affected by our constant demand for free streaming. The movie industry, the news industry, even the porn industry is noticing how it’s hard to survive when no one wants to pay for what is being offered. One thing is that a fair bit of the streaming we do is actually illegal and can result in a hefty fine, but for both the people working in the industries, as well as to be able to actually watch a decent movie or listen to a good band in 20 years, we should start to contribute, and to pay for the entertainment.1ovudk