What Nollywood can learn from Hollywood & killing characters in series
In Nigeria, it is always happily ever after. The girl gets the guy. The hero always wins. The beloved character always survives. We are too conscious of our audience and the character that is loved always survives. I’ve realize that this affects our stories.
Our foreign counterparts do not really care about how loved a character is, the story will go the way they want it to. Just ask any “Game of Thrones” fan of how the show has played with their emotions. Worse is “The Walking Dead” or even “How to get away with Murder”, these characters die to the shock of many, but that is art. Did you see how “Scandal” killed a major character? Twitter will mourn but we will continue to watch these series.
We need to learn more about flipping events and creating more aggressive stories that allow enjoyment, as well as creates heartbreak. In Ojukokoro this is done. We lose a lot of beloved characters and it is interesting to watch the boldness of the script writer and his ability to create such heartbreak. So how do we learn from the death of major characters in foreign productions?
See what we need to do;
Life is not always a fairy-tale and we must learn that: In our heads, life is a fairy-tale, but outside the head, it is not always so. Life can be mean and if you feed too much on Disney films, you might just be living in a bubble, when it cracks it might be too much to bear. We need to be truthful with our stories. It is okay to show the world that life is never a fairy-tale.
People die and that is okay: Why are we so scared of killing our main characters? Why must they live and make merry? Why not kill them off and give the audience something different. Have you seen The Lion King, it is not just any animated film, it teaches a lesson on death and how we should learn to accept it. For a movie targeted at kids, it was a bold move to create death as part of life. Death is part of life and I love The Lion King because it teaches children this.
Love does not always win: We all love Titanic, don’t we? In such a happy mushy love story Jack still dies. Why does every couple get married and enjoy years of uninterrupted happiness in Nollywood? Marriage should not be a bed of roses. The challenges we give our characters are not enough. The only switch in Nollywood is, we get a very happy couple, and later, we find out that they were not really happy. Enough, people. Enough. There are many dimensions to explore.
Be conscious of the audience while creating your art, but do not always give what they expect: In Nollywood, the audience always comes first. The eagerness to make back the money spent on a film comes first and it is why we are so conscious of not killing our main characters. They live; they never die, because we are scared of upsetting the audience. I will love to watch more challenging films. Where the lovers do not always win. Where the beloved character is killed. If Ojukokoro was successful, then we can make successful tragedies.
These are our suggestions to show creators in Nigeria. The unpredictability in shows make it more thrilling.
Do you have any suggestions to make on how we can create better shows that are not predictable? Let’s talk about it!