How to Make a Badass Nollywood Action Film, According to “Brotherhood” Scriptwriter, Abdul Tijani-Ahmed

September 27, 2022

Everyone you know is probably talking about Brotherhood. The crime action film, which follows Falz and Tobi Bakare as brothers on opposite sides of the law, has taken over African cinemas, with people hailing it as one of the best Nollywood films ever made. 

You know who to meet if you didn’t enjoy the film

As someone who wants to make movies one day, I had to hunt down Abdul Tijani-Ahmed, who co-wrote Brotherhood with Jadesola Osiberu, for all the gist on what it takes to create a world as entertaining as the one I saw in the cinema. Take out your pens and start jotting things down. 

Make sure your characters have cultist names 

Having an action film with boring character names is a big no-no. If you were thinking in that direction, you better start unthinking now. Pick the scariest names you can find — like Shadow, Poison and Kalashskinov, so your character sounds like a Russian villain — even though the film is set in Nigeria.

Confuse the audience by making the good guy and bad guy brothers 

Action films usually have the good and bad guys, with audiences always rooting for the good guys. But where’s the fun in that? We decided to make picking a side hard by making the chief opponents brothers. But e no still do, so we made them twins! 

Shut down Third Mainland Bridge for a major shootout scene 

How many films can say they shut down the Third Mainland Bridge like it’s their backyard? Action films need high stakes, and what’s higher than shutting down the Third Mainland Bridge? It’s either you go big or go home and drink Ribena. 

The choice is yours. 

Sam Dede, because why not? 

Are you really a Nollywood stan if you don’t know Sam Dede? From Die Another Day to Igodo and the legendary, Issakaba, Sam Dede is one of the OG Nollywood action stars. Having him in Brotherhood felt like a homage to the past, and he killed his role. 

If you can’t find Sam Dede, hunt down Saint Obi. 

Plenty of confrontational scenes to give the audience high BP 

You can’t give your audience rest of mind. It’s not allowed. They came to the cinema to watch an action film and be thrilled, which means they woke up and chose violence, so give them that violence. Anytime they think everything is over, throw in another confrontation scene to surprise them like NEPA bill. 

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Throw in some romance and intense kissing to calm everyone’s nerves

Characters can’t be fighting and shooting guns every time; they need to enjoy themselves too. Plus, a little mouth meet and greet here and there is necessary to help cool the audience down. It also gives everyone relationships to ship — should I go with #Wamsi (Wale and Kamsi) or #Aldie (Akin and Goldie)? 

Make all the characters relatable — even the bad guys

It’s always important for the audience to see themselves or someone they know in your characters. From the guy who wants to live a responsible life but that black sheep of the family won’t give him peace of mind, to the friend who’s just a mad person in every situation, your characters have to feel real. 

Plenty of car chase scenes because Tom Cruise doesn’t have two heads

If Hollywood can do car chase scenes, make cars summersault and blow them up, then what’s stopping you? Tom Cruise and Marvel don’t have two heads, dear. Look for kerosine and blow that car up today.

Scenes in dark bars with snooker and smoke 

Every action film has those scenes set in dimly lit bars with people smoking like no tomorrow, playing snooker and making shady deals. For maximum effect, we have more than one. Bit of advice: the more smoke, the better. 

A dramatic death scene 

You need a death scene that’ll make the audience cry. Think Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame or Mufasa in The Lion King. If the audience isn’t plotting revenge on behalf of your character, then your film hasn’t started yet. 

Disclaimer: All of this is bants, so take my advice at your own risk. LOL

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