In Three Days and for a Few Thousand, We Made Our Own Nollywood Film

Dec 10, 2014 at 10:19 AM ET

Nigeria’s movie industry pumps out more films a year than Hollywood. Matter of fact, in terms of movies produced, Nollywood, as it’s been dubbed, is the second largest film industry in the world—behind just India.

Headquartered in Lagos, the industry creates more than 2,000 low-budget films a year, most of which go straight to DVD (the medium of choice for Nigerians). Despite enormous problems with piracy, Nollywood generates about $600 million a year. In a country where more than half of the population lives in poverty and where electricity is in short supply (though crime and corruption are not), Nollywood filmmakers have a lot more to contend with than your average L.A.-based auteur.

To get an unvarnished, insider view of one of the world’s greatest moviemaking machines, Vocativ decided to make our own Nollywood film. To find ourselves a script worthy of production, we held a contest, with first-time screenwriter William J. Haran’s Butterfly taking the prize.

From there, we sent the script to Nollywood producer Eke Ume. The industry vet promptly assembled a crew of 14 and made the movie in three days on an extremely low budget. Top that, Michael Bay.

Take a look at the making of Butterfly above, then click on the film below to see the finished product.