Ayo Makun, comedian/actor, says he has recorded losses as a result of the effect of piracy on his movies.
The independent filmmaker said this while speaking on CNN’s Marketplace Africa, a show hosted by Zain Asher.
AY, as he is better known, said Nollywood is now attracting investments because investors see the profitmaking potential of the industry.
“People are now beginning to know that you can make money from our movies. Investors are starting to come in and collaborations between different production outfits are beginning.”
The CEO of Corporate World Entertainment said the recession experienced in 2016 affected his finances, especially when he was making his recent movie, 10 Days in Suncity.
“It affected the last movie I did, 10 Days in Suncity, because of the exchange rate. I was shooting in Nigeria and South Africa so the exchange rate was crazy and that affected finance,” he said.
AY, however, said Nigerians are willing to spend money on movies regardless of the economic situation of the country.
“Recession or no recession, Nigerians want to like a product and they are ready to go out there and see it – it’s part of the relief for them”.
He said being an independent filmmaker requires confidence and the ability to take risks.
“The secret is not for you to just jump in because you think people are making money. You need to do your research. You also need to have an understanding of finance.
“(As) I have other comedy platforms, maybe the proceeds from doing standup will divert into this new line of business, which is movie making… And I’m a risk taker. I do not ask for any sort of funding.
“I have lost so much (money) from (the piracy of) 30 Days to A Trip to Jamaica. This has also affected the industry – some producers believe that if they spend so much and pirates come, they are going to (have a) huge loss.
“But if they spend less and they make a little money before the thieves come, it will be fine. This is affecting the quality [of the films being made].”
The 46-year-old entertainer said the payment plan of online platforms like iROKOtv and Netflix is not favourable to independent producers, saying: “Netflix stretch payment [over] five years. I’ve invested and done the movie, all I need is quick cash to go back and do another one. It may be nothing for big Hollywood producers, but for people like us… we need the money.”
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