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How Teenagers In Nigeria Are Making Big Movies With Smartphones

29 August 2019

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How Teenagers In Nigeria Are Making Big Movies With Smartphones

Some of my favorite phrases when it comes to creativity come from Orson Welles and Ansel Adams. Welles is famous for saying “The absence of limitations is the enemy of art,” while Adams was known for saying “the best camera is the one you have with you.” Great words from two masters of their craft. Then there’s “there’s no telling how far someone can go when they don’t know that they can’t.” And nothing brings these words to life more than a group of Nigerian teenagers who are making sci-fi movies with their smartphones. And they won’t let anything stop them.

The young teenage boys call themselves “The Critics” and, to date, they’ve made over 20 short films by saving literal pennies and using it to buy items they need, while scrounging for the rest. The boys saved money for a month just to buy some green fabric, so they could practice learning green screen techniques from watching videos on YouTube. And that’s not all that easy either, considering the internet and electricity in their region of the country is often down, leaving them to fill in the blanks by pure experimentation. 

This kind of drive, coupled with a desire to overcome their situation has freed them up to focus on the basics — telling a compelling story.

Their most recent epic is an ultra low budget post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller called Z: the Beginning.

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Photo credit: No Film School

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