It’s About Time We Asked For Better Movie Trailers in Nollywood

Everyone knows if you’ve got a crappy movie but you cut an amazing trailer, you might just have more box office success than you ever imagined. Maybe, it’s the advertising girl in me,  but, something isn’t right with most Nollywood trailers.

Here’s the thing, film trailers have a life of their own and like every marketing project, you need to ensure, that your work is different from the clutter out there. You need to make sure that your trailer is not just merely recognizable by your audience, but that it is totally different from every other film out there.  A film trailer has an abundance of importance to the filmmaker and to the audience. The filmmaker must create a trailer that excites or stirs the viewer’s emotions enough to anticipate the release of the film. The trailer should drive and sustain conversation till the film is released.

We do understand that Nollywood functions differently, however, in more developed industries,  film analysts can forecast how much a film will make using the number of views the film gets online. Film trailers go viral in Hollywood because they create their own moments, they motivate emotions and stir an army of loyalists that will eventually pay to see the film.

Nollywood struggles with film marketing and this struggle is further revealed whenever we see a film trailer.  One could easily see that there is a serious disconnect between the film creator and the perceived audience. There are very few trailers that have successfully convinced an audience to see the full film. Nollywood trailers are usually a mash-up of clips from the film, and when looked at, they struggle to make sense or inspire any type of emotion from the audience.

“93 Days” and “A Place in the Stars” had well-cut trailers. Both films are made by Steve Gukas who over time has mastered the art of calling an audience to see his films with good trailers. “93 Days” inspired an online conversation that was good for the film. “Ije” by Chineze Anyaene is one of the best trailers I’ve seen from Nollywood. “76,” by Izu Ojukwu was a good one too.  There are many things that bring people to the cinema to see a movie and the first call is how the film trailer projects the film.

A film trailer is a marketing pitch—this is its most important use.

The best we have seen in the last few months are;

  • Royal Hibiscus Hotel: Originally released in 2017, the “Royal Hibiscus Hotel” has a feel-good trailer that stands out from the regular Nollywood trailers. Ishaya Bako makes an effort to cut an impressive trailer for “Royal Hibiscus Hotel”. A good trailer should convince an audience to see the film. It does not give too much to the audience and this captures it. The “Royal Hibiscus Hotel” is enough reason to check out the film currently showing in the cinema.
  • Lara and the Beat: Seyi Shay and Somkele Idhalama-Iyamah will feature in Tosin Coker’s “Lara and the Beat” set for release on the 8th of June. While an official trailer has not been released, Producers have shared a very interesting teaser. “Lara and the Beat” successfully introduces us to a character we will pay to watch.
  • Amina, Queen of Zazzau: It took a good film trailer for everyone to anticipate “Amina, Queen of Zazzau”. The fight scenes look good and Lucy Ameh’s performance looks even better. “Amina, Queen of Zazzau” does a good job of giving the audience a glimpse of the costumes, well-choreographed scenes and actors. This inspired audience reaction and triggered anticipation for particular scenes that should get us to the cinema to watch the full film.

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