In the recent past, various clips of African, specifically Ghanaian action movies have been making rounds on social media. Not because their marketers are doing a good job of creating anticipation and driving demand.
The Ghanaian movie clips have been making social media headlines because of their laughter inducing, taunt instigating nature.
They are the butt end of jokes.
And it’s easy to see why. The Ghanaian action flicks are terribly produced; ultra- low budget copies of what we have been accustomed to as far as this genre is concerned. Those who have seen the previews have concluded they should never have seen the light of day. The thing is, Hollywood created, raised and continues to heighten our expectations on the action flick scene. And since action movies demand resources, in other words, deep pockets, we have left this turf to Hollywood.
The Ghanaian action movie makers seem oblivious of these facts.
One of the clips I endured for an entire 58 seconds looked like it had been made using windows movie maker and clip art. The plot looked like Terminator meets Alien with a sprinkle of Matrix, some mortal Combat and a good old fashioned dose of African voodoo. It’s was a riot, ill-fated from the start.
It is a little unfair and extremely unrealistic to expect a guy with a 50 dollar budget to compete with an empire whose pockets are bottomless. So why, pray, would this 50 dollar budget guy put himself in a position of comparison? If he did so of his own free will, doesn’t he deserve the mockery that will inevitably be directed his way? Shouldn’t he just stick to what he knows and leave the high octane, resource demanding side of things to Hollywood? Is he asking for trouble by putting himself out there- meagre resources and all?
Sure he is.
People generally don’t care for others’ excuses and problems. If the low budget guy attempts to do things he doesn’t know, the issue is not the low budget, the issue is what on earth possessed him to do it?
After watching the Ghanaian action video clips, after reading the comments they elicited, after laughing myself into near pain, later- much later, I couldn’t help but sympathize with the producer, director, scriptwriter (I get the feeling it was all one person ).
Poor guy, I thought.
But moments later I had a re-think- when all was said and done, maybe the guy wasn’t so poor after all. Many of us who were laughing wouldn’t dare do what he did. We wouldn’t dare put ourselves in a position where we would potentially be laughed at and insulted. We don’t want to be ‘embarrassed’. What people think of us seems more important than what we actually do. So we stay where we are, doing what we know and subsequently stagnating in the comfort zones that inevitably rob us of our full potential.
The poor guy wasn’t poor at all.
Not in spirit.
Ok, maybe trying to control robots using Windows 98 was a bad idea but at the end of the day, he had an imagination, he was brave, he took a risk.
Who knows, maybe for of his efforts, some hot shot ‘Hollywooder’ might be intrigued with his sheer passion and set up a meet show him an alternative or two to clip art motorbikes.
Meanwhile, those of us laughing can continue to do so, sheltering ourselves in our cocoons, paralysed by the fear of what others will think of us.
And while we are laughing, let’s remember that before the Avengers of this world, Hollywood had its fair share of laughter inducing action- in hindsight.
Also published in the Business Daily Newspaper