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ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY IN POST COVID-19 ERA

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AS POST COVID 19 THREATENS ECONOMIC BRIMSTONE AND THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY BATTLES BANKRUPTCY, LAGOS CENSORS VIDEO BOARD OFFERS A RAY OF HOPE.

With its grassroots distribution initiative that will create thousands of jobs, gives advance distribution payment to the producers and brings movies to the people’s doorsteps.

As we all contemplate the frightful post Covid 19 economic situation with trepidation; millions projected to be out of jobs and most small scale enterprises headed for doom, the new Lagos State Video Censors Board’s neighbourhoods movie distribution not only offers a ray of hope but is also timely with its promises of financial empowerment to the grassroots traders, offers of upfront distribution deals for the Producers, decapitation of the raging epidemic of piracy through the implant of a transparent auditable distribution structure which besides making it possible for the producers to know who and where their works are being legitimately distributed can also be used by them to get funding for their new works with either regular loans from their bankers without the hassles or the bureaucracy of a cumbersome policy or from investors who will now be able to readily follow their money. Nigeria entertainment industry will also have its distribution business formally aligned with the best global practices.

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Equally no less significant is that the State Censors’ Video Board distribution initiative will redefine cinematic entertainment and enjoyment by the public that will now again have a government agency’s accredited distribution outlet right in their neighborhoods, like the BLOCKBUSTER and HMV in Europe and America. Latest movies or musicals will be up for grab either on outright sales or hire just for the night or weekend enjoyment. At the group and or individual levels, the new initiative will strengthen the family and friendship bonds, especially given how Covid 19 has introduced forceful indoors stay for all of us; the powerful and powerless, rich and poor, the governed and those doing the governing.

Boredom arising from how best people can entertain themselves without the necessity of traveling long distances to cinema houses will be resolved, same for being marooned watching repeated cable stations programmes! With an accredited movies and musicals retailing shop in the neighborhood offering them on sale or hire, families and friends can get to watch the latest and the best over their meals, snacks and drinks. And when Covid 19 monster is finally tamed and the bar lounges, social and recreational clubs, aerobics, pepper soup joints resume their beats, the patrons can also while doing their revelling also enjoy the latest and the best movies and musicals sourced from their authorised neighbourhood retailers. Parties, barbeques, bachelors and sprinters nights could also now be made even livelier with the screening of new or old memory rejuvenating movies injected into the agenda.

Of course the option of online subsists but the costs and benefits analysis still tilt in favour of movies and musicals that one can watch as the moods dictate and for a fraction of online data cost. There is also the consideration that not all the movies and musicals are available online and even where available there is the contention of network stability. Besides from the experience of other climes, new movies are usually not uploaded online until their initial prime distribution markets have been explored and exhausted.

The Lagos State Censors Board’s grassroots initiative will create thousands of jobs with at least two accredited retailers in each of the wards. Each of the retailers will also need to hire at least an assistant to help run the shop and with their official accreditation by the state government, the retailers automatically will form the most important structure of our entertainment industry which will open torrents of local and international opportunities for them. Producers will get upfront distribution payment from all the neighborhoods retailers offering to distribute their works and as each retailer’s operating territory will be officially demarcated, only in the areas of the retailers that have paid and got the authority of the Producers will be allowed to distribute their works. All those that didn’t pay are not allowed to have such movies or musicals in their territories so once the initiative is fully operational, producers will not only know the authorised retailers and territories distributing their works, they also will be able to monitor the inflows of incomes with which they can now build their business profiles to be able to secure regular banks supporting loans or to prepare investments proposal for their potential financiers. All those now worrying about what next to do if Covid 19 puts them in the unemployment market can start preparing to be a part of the new initiative as a passport to partake in the rising goldmine of our entertainment industry.

With the money now going to the pirates reverting to their lawful owners, the Producers, it will enable them make fewer quality films because only such films will get the retailers’ investments. The uncontrolled all comers situation now in the industry will instantly be sanitized for the simple reason that only the real professionals with their quality works will gain the attention of the retailers because hardly will any of them put his or her money on a movie or musical that their public is likely to shy away from patronizing so the new initiative will in its own way encourage and strengthen professionalism in the industry in addition to all the benefits enumerated above.

In the rural areas, the new initiative will not only serve as a powerful poverty alleviation tool to empower the rural folks, their retailing units will evolve to become the economic convergence points of their communities. This and the regular visits by the entertainment celebrities to promote their works will lead to acceleration of the rural areas development.

Written by Yinka Ogundaisi

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