The Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA) has become so much more about the pomp, the pageantry and the razzmatazz.
While that isn’t exactly a bad thing, it, however, has led to a situation where professionals who do some of the more technical offscreen jobs have been largely relegated off the picture entirely.
So while a lot of folks are very sure Funke Akindele won the best actress in a comedy show, Not everyone would remember who the best cinematographer was. Or who the best graphic editor was. Or, for that matter, who emerged the best costume designer.
So, consider this an attempt to talk about the guys who won in the technical aspects of Best Cinematographer, Best Picture Editor and Best Lighting Designer in a Movie or TV series.
Best Cinematographer (John Demps)
Don’t expect any popular names in this category, unless of course, you’re into the movie and film industry as either a member of production or a member of the critic.
Four cinematographers were nominated for this category. They include Ola Cardoso for God Calling; John Demps for Living in Bondage; Niyi White for the movie, Ratnik; and Mohammed Attah for Set Up.
John Demps won it for his cinematography in the movie, Living in Bondage. Very little is known about John Demps outside of the cinema production world. Apparently, he is the CEO of Demps Pro Films, located in Dakar, Senegal.
He is also an alumnus of the American Film Institute where he completed a cinematography program and ‘learned the art of storytelling with the camera’.
An international cinematographer, Demps is experienced in all image capturing formats from Arri Alexa, RED, HD to SUPER 35mm, Super 16mm and Still Photography.
He has featured in numerous movies, documentary films, music videos and commercials across the globe. He was also Director of Photography for the Nollywood movie, Wives on Strike released in 2018.
Living in Bondage amassed 7 wins including Best overall Movie and Best Movie in West Africa, Best Sound Track and Best Director.
The movie grossed a whopping N25.9 million in its opening week at the cinema, smashing the record previously held by the Bling Lagosian at N23.4 million in its opening week.
Best Picture Editor (Tosin Igho)
The picture editor is mainly responsible for turning the raw images taken by the cinematographer into the perfect, crispy and wholesome images we see on screen. Without these guys, we might as well be watching the movies on stage.
According to motion graphic designer, Kent Nwaemene, well-edited films shouldn’t lack continuity. “A well-edited film ought to keep the audience engrossed in the movie, not to distractions due to noticeable cuts and dissolves. That can make a good story bad.”
Thus, the Best Picture Editor category is basically for the best graphic and general image editing in a movie.
Once again, don’t expect any popular names in the nomination’s list which includes: Holmes Awa for the movie, God Calling; Dimeji Ajibola for his input in the movie, Ratnik; Antonio Rebeiro for the movie, Living in Bondage; Tosin Igho and Bryan Dike for their contributions to the movie, Seven; and Emiola Fagbenle for Elevator Baby.
The award went to the dynamic duo of Tosin Igho and Bryan Dike for Seven, proving once and for all that two good heads will always beat one, even in pictures editing.
Tosin Igho has a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Effects from the prestigious AFDA in Cape Town, South Africa. He would go on to bag another Bachelor’s in cinematography and Film Production. He is the CEO of his own film company, IGH Films and Managing director of Remote Pictures.
His previous movies include The Eve and Once upon a time. And according to him, his biggest fear is not been seen.
“Filmmaking is my main outlet of creativity. I admire aesthetic cinematography, complex plot and thought out character development. Writing scripts for films never to be made would never be as rewarding as seeing the finish products.”
Best Lighting Designer (Ola Cardoso)
Without proper lighting, we may as well be watching shadows on a black wall. Lighting is what gives life to the images on the screen.
Poor lighting makes pictures on-screen look like paper images. And the best of this all-important category was rewarded at the AMVCA.
Four wonderful lighting professionals were nominated for this category. They include Ola Cardoso for his work in the movie, God Calling; Abiola Ladipo for the movie, Ratnik; Eleaxu Texas for his input in Elevator Baby; and finally Walter Odhiambo in the movie, Plan B.
Ola Cardoso grabbed this category. Born in Lagos Nigeria, Ola Cardoso is also an awesome cinematographer, having directed the photography of the 2017 thriller, Banana Island Ghost. According to him, Banana Island Ghost was a major leap in his career.
He is also the DoP of God Calling, the movie for which he won this category.
Founder and CEO of Cardoso Imagery, Ola Cardoso had been involved in shooting music videos before he decided to start doing films. This diversification was due to his vast experience handling film equipment and the recognition he has gotten from it.
In her review of the movie, God Calling, film critic, Obianuju Okafor lauded the lighting and cinematography of the movie, even though she complained about the sound.
“Sound is also a problem in God Calling with echoes featuring in quite a number of places, which seems at odds with the care that is taken with CGI, set design, cinematography and even lighting.”
Congratulations to these winners as they keep improving the technical aspect of Nollywood of movies for the better.
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