Nigerian Films Will Soon Match Hollywood’s Quality

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Jared Murray-Bruce

Jared Murray-Bruce is a Nigerian-American entertainment personality, who is Executive Director of Silver Bird Group. Jared was born in Valdosta, Georgia and is the son of entertainment and business mogul and Nigerian Senator Ben Murray-Bruce. He talks to Tosin Clegg about taking up a position at Silver Bird Group, new movie distribution deal, starting out his career and a lot more

As the Executive Director of Silverbird Group
What that means is that I oversee a lot of the strategic implementations of the initiatives we put on the ground. So right now, I have more of a production and content background. I used to manage a production studio in Los Angeles. And I’m really trying to revamp the brand of Silverbird andenergise some youths in the company.

I have been in this job for seven months now

I’m the new kid on the block, and no longer active at the studio in Los Angeles, but we have various film and TV projects we work on out there that are still in their early stages. The studio in LA creates local contents for the U.S. and South American markets as well.

There is a lot of room for growth in Nigerian productions

Over the last five to 10 years, we have seen massive improvements. If you look at the overall quality of films and TV productions in Nigeria, you’ll see it has greatly improved. It really comes down to our lack of infrastructure, as anywhere around the world, in LA or UK, you may attend a school that’s been there for 50 or 60 years or may understudy a director that’s worked on 30 different projects. So, there is just a wealth of knowledge that exists out there, and we are still in the early stages in Nigeria but I feel like in the next five years we would be producing contents that you wouldn’t be able to tell if it’s Hollywood or not and that would be in terms of quality and presentation.

Why we decided to distribute the movie, Pillars of Africa

We felt it’s telling a unique story and one of the things we are interested in is that it is outside the spectrum of a Nigeria film. We feel it’s a story that can resonate with people because it talks about a lot of things people are going through. Although it’s a fiction, I think all of our people will relate to it.

Our role in this new movie

We want to ensure it gets to as many territories as possible, and to get to as many people as possible. We also want to do the marketing to ensure a lot of people know about the project ahead of time, during the production process and when the film is about to get out.

The message in the movie

When you see these things happening in your face and in an artistic way, it opens your mind about how it is, as opposed to reading a similar story in a newspaper or seeing a notification. I think it’s a way for people to relate to the character on screen, and then it’s up to the people to make that connection to what’s happening in the real world. When you hear about a fictional African story you think of Wakanda or Coming to America but I definitely feel this is a unique story.

Piracy will always exist and it exists all around the world

The only way to combat piracy is to provide options that people prefer. If your idea is to save money, you would find a way to watch the film, but we try to give an experience and make you want to go to the cinema and watch the film.

Silverbird Cinemas is introducing a 4Dx by the end of this year

We would be the first cinema in West Africa to bring 4Dx to the country. It’s all about offering an experience that’s unique to your cinema, and if you do that, I think people would show up.

Dealing with the competition

It has to do with a few things like staying aware of what your competitor is doing and not getting too complacent. It happens all the time, as you are dominating someone else comes in and grows over time. But honestly, they can’t outgrow us, but we are reinventing ourselves and bringing the 4Dx. It’s just to take a defined focus on what your product offerings are and I think over time you guys will see those improvements.

It’s very easy for people to get stuck in their way

We could say well, we have been doing it for so long in a certain way, why change? But I think change is natural, change is necessary and the world around us needs changes. So, we need to constantly reinvent ourselves and prove to the customers that we are worth having their money spent on us. And in any business we are offering, we consider what we are offering, why will a customer come back as opposed to someone else?

Plans for the next couple of years

I don’t want to give too much away but what I would say is that in terms of growth, there would be a certain level of expansion and not only in Nigeria but across West Africa. And I think you would see us play a lot more on the digital side of things, especially in radio and TV production where technology is changing so much in recent years. I think the brand will be a lot more global, although Nigeria is our core.

Growing up, I think my dream always changed

At some point, I was convinced I was going to be an astronaut, on another I was convinced I was going to be a Rapper, but things obviously changed. Since I graduated, I have worked in the company and studio before moving back here. So, I have always wanted to dream bigger than where I am currently and I’m willing to change when necessary.

I’m a huge fan of music

Music has always been my passion and I love to travel; those are two of my biggest passion.