By Al-Amin Ciroma
(Published in LEADERSHIP Newspapers, July 18, 2009)
In its effort to digitalise the new distribution framework and make the system easy and user-friendly, the Information Communication Technology (ICT) unit of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) has created a special software application called 'Magpie,' a system that will enable film and video distributors track the progress of their films throughout the process of classification.
A major concern in the business of media and communication is the ability to store and retrieve information quickly and accurately. The enormous quantity of information and data available in the business of censorship and classification of movies is so much that the traditional methods of information and data use is grossly inadequate. The use of Magpie Suite applications by the NFVCB is to ensure timely and accurate assessment of data for effective and efficient delivery of services. The system will also ensure the sharing of information, both within the corporate network and the internet. Another value added service inherent in this system is that it helps automate and improve work flow processes. It will also enhance the effectiveness of the censors board's classification processes.
The applications of the newly invented software are the classifier, link master and SMS engine. The classifier, according to the board's spokesman, encapsulates the business logic in the process of censorship and classification of films and video works. It is intended to standardise the process of classification and censorship by properly documenting all procedure leading to the censorship and classification of a film or video work. He said it will aid censorship decisions and generate recommendations by highlighting identified issues and decisions while suggesting a classification.
Interestingly, it embodies an object component that enables distributors track the progress of their film via SMS and the internet as it goes through the process of classification.
The second application package, link master, is an application employed in manipulating the repository of data relating to operators in the film and video work industry.
Its features include data entry fields that capture the distributor's and exhibitor's data for easy retrieval which includes informing operators, via SMS, of the status of their license (expired or about to expire). It has an auto response to inquiries via SMS engine strength. The link master generates printable reports, as well as assigns license token, among other tasks.
The Short Message Service (SMS) as the third package has achieved a huge success in the wireless world. Billions of SMS messages are sent everyday, which is complemented by the fact that virtually everybody owns a mobile phone. Its services are user-friendly in the sense that it makes for easy communication. With a mobile phone one can send and read SMS messages at any time, no matter where one is.
Observers are of the opinion that if the board executes these giant strides successfully, movie makers and distributors will tend to benefit immensely, considering the fact that Nigeria is now rated second in the world, quantity wise.