Kenyan Vibe had a chat with video director Lolly P who is celebrating 10 years in the business and being under one of the most prolific video directors in the Kenyan film and music industry, Enos Olik.
1. You have been in the production scene for almost a decade now? How’s that been?
10 years is a looong time. No one would stay in it without seeing any results. With that said, it needs a lot of courage and persistence. Also this means 10 years of learning to be where I am today.
2. Staring out as a young video producer, what are some of the challenges you faced now that you have survived the hardest part?
“Some of the challenges I have faced so far, normally are external. Some artists don’t respect you enough. Some don’t want to pay up as agreed and others know too much of my work that they dictate the end product….
“Not so much creative control. And in a case where I choose to do pro-bono, the artists never act professional as well. Also, usual suspects –haters– who know too much about film making yet they do not do anything with what they know. Other than that, I have never had second thoughts about my skills.
3. What are some of your projects that guys really resonated with?
Hard to tell. Maybe ‘Comeback’ by Wangechi, ‘Wasoro” by Boutross. But I know everyone has their own taste of some of my work out there.”
4. Which project can you say really moved you because you know with with video production, you really get to enter someone’s world?
“Definitely ‘Comeback’ by Wangechi…This was a masterpiece for both of our creative process.We took our time to create this short film of a music video..We had to find a proper location, we had to cast .And most importantly, putting Wangechi into character throughout.”
5. I understand renowned producer/director Enos Olik mentored you and really helped you get your footing in the business?
“Enos is a genius. How he does things is different…. like he knows how to improvise and for him its never too serious of a big deal. So everyone is ever happy around his sets and everyone is always on a great mood. Not too many directors can create this environment. I will forever borrow from him. “
6. Still working with him or you started your own production house?
“I always work with him. I Am always a call away but as a Student, you MUST graduate and taste waters. Currently I am running my own thing, and I want to compete against him and creatively challenge him, I know he is proud to take up the challenge.”
7. How’s the film business now that you are getting to experience it on your own?
“The film business is not easy. First of all, you need resources but before that you need the necessary skills and knowledge to kick start your ideas. Then the remaining part of it all is talent and Patience. I am more of a predator, So I can direct, shoot, cut, grade and even light up scenes.
“Coming from a music video background, you actually become very refined with your style. I think this is one secret that great cinematographers like Rodger Dickens hold. You end up learning more about cinematography because of different lighting set ups you have to deal with every now and then. Above all the cheques are not as bad and business is good as well. Hopefully, God willing I will one day bring an Oscar at home.”
8. I see the 10 years have streamed lined you pretty good. So whats Lolly P aiming to achieve in the next lets say, five years?
“As we have seen trends, they come and go. I want to be here for a long time and this means I have to be very careful with my content CREATIVELY. I have to look better and as good. I am my own competition. Expect more and more work upwards.
9. A word for younger video directors who are aspiring to make a name in the
business because now more than ever, guys lack the aspect of patience and persistence.
“Pick up any camera and start shooting. Even a phone camera. Find a serious young artist and experiment with them. Then repeat..I am just starting myself so I will make sure to go HAM. Sometimes its mostly pro Bono so they better be ready for that.”
10. Film or Music? Which is your favorite ground?
“Both film and music but I adhere more to film. But one leads to the other in-term of style and delivery. If you make many music videos, it’s easier to switch to film and move on..that’s my end game plan. “