The many reasons why the Ghana movie industry is in a slump has been well chronicled, from lack of funding, through piracy to lack of good storylines but for Kumasi-based filmmaker, Samuel Nyamekye of Miracle Films, low quality productions must be blamed.
“I remember during our days, we used about two weeks to shoot a movie and we made sure we had rehearsed and would not compromise on quality in terms of equipment and personnel.
“But it got to a time, people were using two to three days to shoot a movie and I must say, it gave us poor quality and that is why we are suffering today,” he said when Showbiz caught up with him at Hello FM in Kumasi recently.
For Samuel Nyamekye, the decline in the industry’s fortunes started about 20 years ago but its players were unprepared.
“You see, it started about 20 years ago when showing movies in cinema halls started fading out and nothing was done about that. The cinema hall was the only way one could have access to movies and it helped a lot then.
"However, we could not manage the likes of Rex Cinema, GAMA Films etc where movies were shown. After that, came VCDs but we were not able to change with the times and that also brought us down.
"DVDs later came along and as usual, we could not manage it well so we continued with the downward spiral. Lastly the almighty new technology reared its head and we did not have an online platform that could accumulate or monitor sales for us so we lost out again.
“So you see, it has not been easy and I am sure if we had changed with the times and were swift enough to grow with the trends, we would not be where we are today. Honestly, let’s blame ourselves for what we are facing now,” Mr Nyamekye said.
Even with the decline, Samuel Nyamekye, who says he has given out his movie shop located at Opera Square, Accra, because of low sales is optimistic that by next year, the movie industry will be back on its feet.
“I am telling you this, give us like a year and we will shock you, the movie industry will bounce back like it never went anywhere, mark it on the wall”, he said.
His confidence in the revival of the movie industry is because of Zylofon Media and the prospects it offers.
“I must say, Zylofon is trying and what they have done so far shows that we will get back soon. They have been able to bring producers together and day in and day out, we deliberate on ways to get our once cherished movie industry back on its feet. So yes it will happen,” he added.
When it comes to movie making in Ghana, Samuel Nyamekye is one of the names that must be mentioned. He is a pioneer of the Kumawood industry and has several films including the evergreen Asoreba, Kumasi Yonko among others to his credit.