‘Create your visual style; let it be YOUnique to you as well as others’~ Orson Welles.

In a world of chaotic dreams and untrue ideologies, the African production landscape and cinema have successfully woven powerful narratives into the hearts of Africans while mirroring the prevailing concerns of other societies.

Amongst Africa’s notable contributions to global cinema is the dynamic nature of the quality of her production personnel who are not just committed to developing the African production landscape but also the world. African production personnel have been able to contribute immensely to the development of content by telling stories from the African perspective, showing our diversity, culture and authenticity and showcasing Africans just as we are – religious, flawed, daring, crazy, talented, hard-working, and the list goes on.

A Few Hitches

While content production in Africa has adapted to the transformation in films and TV productions by sticking to originality and realistic standards, there are a few limitations for foreign crews and production teams travelling into the continent to work.

Some of these limitations include a lack of adequate information on regulatory requirements for filming, poorly maintained production equipment on the ground for use, no clear database of expert and qualified personnel to engage and a relatively informal industry.

The Way Out

There’s an African proverb from the Sukuma ethnic group of Tanzania that says, ‘To lose one way is to find another way’. This is to say that amidst these challenges, there is always a way out.

The way out for foreign content producers, television correspondents and production personnel visiting the continent will be to collaborate with local production professionals who understand the terrain and can guide processes to improve the quality of the overall production. Companies like AGCMediaPulse offer excellent partnerships across the entire 54 countries on the continent bringing their wealth of experience from all countries on the content into one box for you.

According to a report by the United Nations, the African film and production industry is set to grow and contribute over twenty billion dollars to Africa’s GDP while generating direct and indirect employment for over 15 million across the continent. If this projection is to be true, the African industry must open up to foreign and international participation.

What a massive growth!

Are you a television correspondent or a content producer visiting Africa? We have curated a few things you should know when producing on the continent.

7 Things to Keep in Mind When Producing in Africa

  1. Regulatory Requirements: Most African countries now require filming permits for you to record within their cities. Do your research to ensure you get the proper documentation before venturing into your production. A lot of production teams visiting individual countries on the continent have had issues with not being able to show a filming permit while on set. Companies like AGCMediaPulse seamlessly process your filming permit through their vast network of contacts.
  2. Equipment: Depending on the country you are visiting; it is almost impossible to get good reliable equipment on the ground in Africa. Countries like South Africa, Nigeria EGYPT and Ghana have a depth of good and modern equipment that can be utilized. However, countries like Burkina Faso and Niger have a shortage of properly maintained equipment. If you do your research you will find out that it is much cheaper to rent a camera on the ground rather than bring your equipment from your home country because of the customs clearance you will have to face at the point of entry.
  3. Internet: The internet on the continent is not so reliable so don’t depend on it. If you will be using file-sharing solutions ensure you utilize quick and easy solutions that require minimal internet access to function optimally. If you are working outside the different capitals, ensure you get a mobile internet antenna for easy access. Most cities outside the capital are without adequate internet.
  4. Qualified and Experienced crew: A lot of individuals on the continent parade themselves as professional and experienced production personnel. It is important to use crew members that come through referrals. This means that someone else has used their services and finds them useful hence the person is recommending them. By using referrals, you eliminate experimenting. Working with a company like AGCMediaPulse you are assured of getting the best hands
  5. Scouting: The process of finding the right locations is known as scouting. Your locations say a lot about your production ensure you engage a scout to manage the process before you arrive. Engaging a scout can save you a lot of time and production challenges especially when it has to dealing with locals. For example, if you need to tell a story in the form of a travelogue, you might as well scout for a few more locations. Avoid telling your stories in isolation. Your audience believes what they see.
  6. Conceptualisation: No visual presentation happens in isolation; there’s always a story behind it. In Africa, more often than not, the stories behind our content are culturally crafted. There are different angles to tell the African story, and sometimes but overall it is important to have a local producer be part of the process.
  7. Participation: it is important to join an international body to avoid issues like piracy. Associations like these give you some level of autonomy that is known as patent rights in the film industry. One of these bodies is the Pan-African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI). This international body is responsible for the promotion, distribution and protection of African films in Africa and the diaspora.

Our final thoughts…

The world is still counting on the impacts of African film and TV productions. Countries like Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, and Ghana, to mention but a few, have set the trailblazing pace of content production. You can be a part of this innovation if you adhere to the guides provided in this blog.

Do you need consultation or the services of professional Camera crews and TV producers here in Africa? AGCMediaPulse will take you through all your post and pre-production stages of producing top-notch African content.

For bookings, visit our homepage at https://www.agcmediapulse.com/ or email booking@agcmediapulse.com or call our friendly support team at +234 803 310 8952. You can also follow us on Facebook: @agcmediapulse or Twitter on agcmediapulse