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How To Start A Successful Film Production Business In Nigeria


Nollywood is one of the booming industries in Nigeria and is rapidly penetrating the global space. If you are thinking of investing in a billion-dollar industry, the film production business is an excellent choice.

Acting is one of the sure ways to become a celebrity and make money, hence, many desire to become actors or actresses. Therefore, if you start a film production business, you will not find it difficult to get talented actors and actresses to work with.

Also, movies sell in Nigeria because storytelling is an art that grabs people’s attention in a split second.

Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don't Have An Idea
Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don’t Have An Idea

That said, you must know that the film production business is not a walk in the park. After watching a good movie, have you ever sat down to think about the amount of work that went into it? I’m sure your guess is as good as mine.

Certainly, you need some level of knowledge and experience to fully explore the opportunities in the industry. Film production is the process of presenting a story in the form of videos and scenes.

Whether you are a filmmaker or you just want to have an idea of how film production business is done in Nigeria, this article gives you a breakdown of how to run a successful film production business. Nevertheless, it doesn’t
remove the fact that you need practical knowledge of the industry before launching out.

Is Film Production Profitable?

In Lagos, one of the strategies electronic sellers use to attract potential customers is to set a television set playing an interesting movie outside their shop for passersby to watch. The crowd that will fill up the shop in a matter of minutes will surprise you.

This confirms that movies sell and have a huge customer base. And, there is no limit to its profitability. You can rest easy that when you do everything right in this industry, you can amass great wealth from it.

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How To Start A Film Production Business In Nigeria

Take the following steps before producing your first movie.

Step One – Watch A Lot Of Movies

You might have seen a lot of movies but you’ve obviously being watching them for fun and entertainment. If you want to produce your own movies, it is imperative that you watch other people’s works and critically analyse them.

Learn the scene entrances, camera directions, dialogues, suspense, and every other detail in the movie. When you discover that a movie is a blockbuster, study what makes that film different, the storyline, how it was made, the locations used, and other relevant factors.

As you study blockbuster movies, also study movies that didn’t see the light of the day. By doing so, you will learn the mistakes to avoid and what not to do when you begin to produce your movies. Look out for the acting errors, storyline errors, continuity errors, camera errors, marketing errors, cast and crew errors, and the likes of them.

Furthermore, YouTube is a good place for you to learn. Visit YouTube and watch as many behind the scenes as possible. There are some things you’ll learn in the behind the scenes that you might never find out when watching the finished movies.

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Step Two – Read Other People’s Scripts

Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days
Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days

A compelling storyline change the game most times. Although you may have good stories in your head, you also need to learn how it is constructed into scripts. Hence, read a lot of scripts written by other great artists or producers.

Reading other people’s script is one of the fastest ways to learn how to direct a movie. Study them and don’t be ashamed to act out or direct some scenes on your own in your room. The ability to rehearse is a huge plus. See yourself in the scripts, put yourself in the position of the directors or producers, and act accordingly.

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Step Three – Enroll In A Movie Academy

The benefit of enrolling in a movie academy far outweighs the disadvantages. First and foremost, you will be equipped on how to put your talent and interest into the best use.

Secondly, you will meet several actors and producers you can work with when you begin to produce your films.

Thirdly, it will help you network with people you have only seen on screens. More than that, you will be given the opportunity to be featured in movies or stand side by side with a producer and learn how it’s being done.

However, not every film producer attended a movie academy as there are many online courses you can enroll in. Nevertheless, as stated above, you have a lot to gain by enrolling in a movie academy.

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Step Four – Feature In Movies

A good actor or actress will most likely make a good movie director or producer. Most producers you know have been acting for years before producing their own films.

Acting helps you to gain ample experience in film production and to know what to look out for when choosing your casts. Additionally, if you engage in acting, you will appreciate the actors and actresses that work with you as a producer better.

If you are not part of a movie school, you can join a local drama group that can expose you and helps to showcase your acting prowess. Most importantly, participate in a movie that would be sold so you can also learn the commercial aspect of movie making.

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Step Five – Work With Film Production Crew

Since you have the aim to produce your own movie, your best bet is to work with production crews on set. As a business-minded person, you cannot just jump on film production without first testing the waters. If you just jump in, you will waste your money and subsequently, discouraged.

You could work as a camera operator, the light man, or other available roles associated with the film production. It is also an opportunity to ask the right questions.

So, whether you are helping with handling and holding the scripts, standing beside the camera operator, or doing other menial jobs on set, everything is important to your learning process.

In simple terms, learn the fundamentals of movie directing and production.

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Step Six – Establish Relationships

This is a very important step to take as you cannot become a movie director without a reel. You cannot work as a loner in film production business. One of the best ways to network and meet people in Nollywood industry is to attend industry events, premieres of movies, parties, conferences, conventions, movie sets, etc.

Having a good network in Nollywood will make your work way easier. Also, you can approach one of the movie directors you admire to become your mentor in your journey. Becoming a mentee to an established director will most likely give you access to their network.

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Now that we are done with the steps you need to take before producing your own movies, we will now move to the steps you need to take when producing your own movie.

Step One – Register Your Business With CAC And Other Relevant Associations

First and foremost, register your business with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). Apart from CAC, there are several bodies regulating the circulation and production of films in Nigeria.

Some of these include but not limited to the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Association of Movies Producers (AMP), Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), etc.

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It is important to register with CAC because every business operating in Nigeria is mandated to register with CAC. Actually, it doesn’t cause an arm or leg to get your registration done. The process is easy, seamless, and cheap.

To begin, visit CAC’s portal to search for the availability of your chosen business name. By doing so, you will be able to know if someone else has registered the name or not.

If the name is available, CAC will send you an approval mail, and if otherwise, you will be sent a denial mail. After the approval process, you can then move to the registration process and provide all the necessary information.

if you cannot register it yourself, it is advisable to hire a lawyer or a firm specialised in business registrations. One of the trusted business registration firms in Nigeria is ReDahlia.

ReDahlia is located at 43B, Emina Crescent Off Toyin Street, Ikeja, Lagos. Interestingly, they can help you register your business regardless of location. You can send all the registration requirements via email, and your certificate will be delivered to you once it’s ready.

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Step Two – Pen Down Your Idea

Needless to say, every film you see was once an idea in someone’s head. Film production involves pre-production, production and post-production stages. Writing down your story is one of the major pre-production steps you have to take.

Without an idea, there’s no movie. Hence, the bulk of the work is to develop the ideas you wish to make a movie from. Most times, ideas pop into our heads when we least expect it.

You could be walking on the road and see a scenario that fits into an idea you newly conceived. The story may either be fictitious or based on real life events. So, a film producer has to always go out with his pen and diary.

As mentioned earlier, watch lots of movies and read other people’s script. By doing so, you will discover a better way to pen down your ideas. These written ideas are also called script or screenplay.

Don’t be afraid to edit your script as many times as possible. After a thorough editing process, the final version of the script is called shooting scripts. The shooting script comprises of the description of each character in the movie, the dialogue, technical details, and so on.

Additionally, you can purchase a screenplay from a scriptwriter and produce it. On the other hand, you can write a script and sell it to a film producer to produce, whichever works for you. Another thing to bear in mind while writing a story is that not all stories are appealing to your target audience. Hence, carry out a proper research before you produce a film nobody will buy.

At this point, it is also imperative to get a copyright for your scripts.
You can get that done with the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC).

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Step Three – Sketch Out Your Idea On Storyboards

Basically, a storyboard is a sequence of drawings that highlights the shots you plan to film. Storyboards helps you determine things like camera angles, shot sizes etc. It also helps communicate what you are trying to achieve on set to other crew members.

If you cannot draw, another way to set up your storyboard is to take your friends to your film locations, direct them to act, or stand in a particular way while you take their pictures either with your phone or with a camera from different vantage points. You can then affix the pictures to your storyboard.

A storyboard gives life to your story and by looking at it, you can determine whether to add or remove a scene to the entire story.

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Step Four – Select Your Casts And Crews

This step is the time to audition your casts and crews. Getting your team together is one of the decisions you cannot be biased or careless with. So, ensure to take your time to select the right set of people.

When selecting crews, pick people with proven expertise and experience. Preferably, let them show you the past works they’ve done. Don’t also forget that your casts are one of the factors that will draw your prospective customers.

From the movies you’ve watched, you should be able to select who’s best for a character. For a start, it is advisable to bring an expert in movie production to assist in cast selection.

In addition, also consider using top-name stars as this may catch the interest of a potential investor. As the cost of producing a movie is high, you may need the support of investors. Also, considering the fact that many people purchase a film because of their love for the main actor or actress.

Therefore, having an A-list actor in your film will be a step in the right direction. A compelling story and a good cast will help you gain the interest of an investor.

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Step Five – Choose Your Locations

Choosing a location is a big job on its own because you obviously cannot use a single location for all your scenes. Hence, you need to visit different locations to select the one that suits every scene.

Take a camera with you and do as much traveling as possible, taking shots of places you think will serve as the perfect setting for a particular scene. Show the pictures to the rest of the team and make the decision together.

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Step Six – Begin Your Film Production

Note that film production can be time-consuming, tedious, and very expensive. As a matter of fact, a single mistake could cost you thousands or millions of naira.

To produce a film, there are several costs involved: the costs of transporting actors and crew members to remote locations, the cost of equipment, etc. Bear in mind that the first set of people who should arrive in a set are the lighting crew, hairdressers, and makeup artists. This is imperative to avoid unnecessary waste of time.

Basically, ensure you have a good shoot script ready with an organised schedule of what will be filmed and when.

Additionally, endeavor not to rush any scene. Repeat the shooting of a particular scene as many times as you can. Sometimes, a three minutes scene can take up to four hours to film but the most important thing is, having the best result.

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Step Seven – Move To Post-Production

Post production is the stage where you put perfection to the movie. This stage involves cutting scenes, adding sound effects, music, visual effects, color correction, etc.

As a matter of fact, this step is more important than the film making itself because without proper post-production, a film cannot come out well. Oftentimes, post-production takes a longer time than the time spent in filming the movie.

To properly edit a film, you will need editing software. If you cannot handle the editing yourself, it is better to hire an expert to do that for you.

When you are done with the editing, show it to someone whose opinion you can trust. It is better to fish out the errors at this stage than having to deal with the damages when the film hits the market.

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Step Eight – Market Your Film

Another stage of hard work begins after film production. The film production business is dicey because you can never know what will catch the fancy of the public at any given moment. Hence, at this stage, you need to plan ways to get your film to your target audience. There are several ways to put your films out there.

Below are some of them:

1. Release The Film To Theaters

Apparently, this is how to know whether your film will be a blockbuster, a bomb or something in between. Most times, this stage makes or mar the career of a director or producer.

Over the years, many people have pulled out of the film production business because of a number of failures. Also bear in mind that these are not just mere failures, some end up getting indebted hoping they’ll repay once the film gains acceptance.

Hence, I cannot emphasize enough that you need to always put yourself in your audience’s shoes before shooting a movie.

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Viewers are not concerned about whether you spent a lot of money producing a movie nor are they concerned about you losing your reputation. The questions in the mind of your target audience are: will I enjoy this movie? Is the movie good for my child? Will I find the film offensive? Is the movie worth my penny?

Therefore, before releasing the movie to the theater, come up with a series of trailers that answer the questions in the heart of your would-be viewers. If your trailers interest them, be rest assured they’ll show up to watch your film once it hits the theatre.

2. Utilise The Internet And Social Media

This is one of the best ways to build your target audience. Make the film your cover image and profile picture across your social media handles. Additionally, run a sponsored ad for your trailers via social media for a broader awareness creation.

Also, you could create a personal website for your film production business and promote your films through the site. Building a website nowadays is easier than before. With WordPress, Squarespace, or Wix, you can get a website running in no time.

For social media, consider making good use of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vine, YouTube, and Tumblr.

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3. Generate Press Releases

Here is another potent way to market your film. In the press release, give important details about your new film in the most interesting and captivating way.

Also, talk about yourself as the director and your past successes or works. Once your press release is ready, send it across to as many media outlets as possible.

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4. Get Listed On IMDb

IMDb is the world’s most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV, and celebrity content. Therefore, it’s a great resource for you as a film producer. To find out how to get your film added to the site, visit imdb.com.

However, note that an IMDb Pro membership will cost you $20 a month or $149 a year. Needless to say, the cost is always worth it at the end of the day.

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5. Get The Service Of A Marketer

There are some people whose basic job is to market movies. You can strike a deal with respected marketers to distribute your film across the country or a particular region, as you deem fit.

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Equipment For Film Production

Here are some of the equipment you’ll need to produce your film

  • Video Camera
  • Camera Light
  • Tripod
  • Three-Point Lighting Kit
  • Shotgun Microphone
  • Boom Pole
  • Shock Mount
  • Audio (XLR) Cables
  • Wireless Microphone
  • Digital Audio recorder
  • Headphones
  • Light Reflector
  • Lenses
  • Extra Batteries
  • Video Tapes, Flash Drive or Memory cards
  • Computer System
  • External Hard Drive
  • Video/Photo Camera Bag
  • SLR Shoulder Mount Rig
35 Business Ideas

Challenges Of Film Production In Nigeria

1. Piracy

The issue of film piracy is still a subject of strategic focus in Nigeria. Sometimes, a film that has not been released by a producer would have hit the market. This is why you’ll see Nollywood actors protesting on the roads of Lagos cursing anyone that sells or buys pirated copies of their films.

However, this loophole can be traced to the crew members, marketer, or an insider. Therefore, to avoid such challenges, endeavor to work with people you trust.

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2. Disappointment From Film Producers

Another major challenge for someone venturing into this business without experience is disappointments from film producers. Some hired producers will collect fees and fail to deliver the job while some take months and even years to deliver a job that shouldn’t have taken that long.

Thus, if you are getting involved in this kind of deal, involve a reputable lawyer and sign a workable agreement before starting out.

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3. Uncertainty

Film production business is risky because you cannot tell for sure if it would be successful or not. However, there’s no business without a certain level of risk.

What you can do is ensure you are writing stories that resonate with your target audience. And that means taking time to study the type of movies that gains traction.

On the other hand, you may want to come from an entirely different angle to introduce Nigerians to a new and better type of movie which is a great idea. Also, present your stories in a very compelling and acceptable way.

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In conclusion, film production is a lucrative business anyone can venture into. However, you must approach the business with wisdom, expertise, and experience if you truly want to thrive.

The success of a single film can make you scale to a great height in the industry. Hence, due diligence is advised when producing a film.

Do you have additional ideas that can help an aspiring movie producer become successful? Feel free to drop your insights in the comment section. Don’t also hesitate to ask questions if you have any. More importantly, share this content with your audience if you found it useful.

Let’s create visibility for your brand and put your business on the world map. Contact us today to make your brand the preferred choice for our audience of entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Best of luck!



18 thoughts on “How To Start A Successful Film Production Business In Nigeria”

  1. Good day. I loved your article and really found it worth reading. I’m currently a student studying computer Science but my greatest passion is to one day become a successful filmmaker in Nigeria and right now, I don’t know how to achieve that dream.

    1. Hello Chris,

      Thank for writing to us.

      We are rooting for you and pray that you will achieve your dream one day.

  2. Thanks very much. I am so happy for this Revelations. Pls would you send me your phone number in my email 🙏

    1. Hello Stella,

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      We can be reached on WhatsApp- at 08038874148.

      Thank you.

    1. Thank you for reaching out to us.

      We are glad that you want to start your business.

      Our support service team can help you register your business. Reach us at Contact@redahlia.com or 08188122223.

      Thank you.

  3. Wow, I’m so excited having this powerful lesson on FILM business and I believe you will continue to assist me here. Please can you fully introduce me to this business?

  4. Francis Sunday

    Wow, I’m so happy and grateful for this message. Thank you so much and may God continue to increase your grace.

    1. Hello Sunday,

      We’re glad you found the content useful.

      We have an even more comprehensive guide that contains the costs of the equipment you need to start the Film Production business and 34 other profitable business.

      Get it here:

      We’re here if you need any business concern.

      Thank you.

    1. Thank you, Isaac. We’re glad you found the content helpful. Also, know that we have a comprehensive guide coming out soon that contains the investment cost and marketing strategies of starting the film production business and other business ideas. Do keep tabs on Entrepreneurs.ng because we will make the announcement as soon as it’s launched.

      Thank you.

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