Frank Mugerwa aka Frank Jah is a music video director with Jah Live Filmz. He is behind videos like Goodlyfe’s Obudde and Rema’s Fire. He meets his fan Dezinz Sadat at one of his video shoots in Kampala.
Hi Frank, or can I call you Jah Live. What’s up?.
Hi man, what’s happening?
Nothing much. Please tell me more about yourself.
Well my name is Frank Mugerwa, born to Mr Baker Mukasa and Ms Justine Nansubuga at a place called Sentema in Wakiso District. I am the first born of three children.
How many videos have you shot so far in this career?
I’m not quite sure. I think they are 350, but they could be more.
Give me five videos you consider to be your best works, not in any specific order?
So Close, by Angella Katatumba, Only You, by Iryn Namubiru, Gal Ah Bubble by Ak47, Fire by Rema and I’m in Love by Goe Steady.
What does it take to be a good video director?
You have to have focus, be analytical and have many concepts.
When did you realise you wanted to be a video director?
Ever since I was a child, I always had an interest in films, videos and music. I was always anxious to find out what it took to have those pictures on TV. Maybe that inspired me to be what I am today.
Which video was your breakthrough and how much did it cost?
Bwekili by Rabadaba. I did it in December 2009 and it cost Shs500,000.
You have a lot of equipment. Where did you get the money to buy them?
I used my little savings. Before I owned my machines, I used to rent. I later decided to buy my own equipment because I saw it as a worthy business.
How much do you charge to film, direct and edit a video?
That varies on certain things but my standard fee is Shs2m besides the expenses like dancers, locations, etc.
In your honest opinion, who is the best (besides you) video director in Uganda?
I consider Bashir Lukyamuzi of Badi Filmz because he’s so creative in everything he does.
Did you go to school to pursue this career?
I joined this profession because of passion but to get experience, I was taken to South Africa by a good friend of mine called Fred to get more acquainted with what I was doing. I did short courses and that explains why I’m so good at that game.
Where are your offices located?
We are on Salaama Road in Makindye, at Muswangali stage.
Everyone has goals in life. What do you want to achieve to consider yourself successful in life?
I want to be recognised as the best video director in Uganda and I would be satisfied if one day, Ugandan video directors are credited for the effort they put in towards the development of the music industry.
What video do you consider the most complicated ever since you joined this industry and why?
Obudde by the GoodLyfe Crew, because I’m afraid of heights and there is this aerial shot I took while standing on a crane on a cliff and any mistake would lead to an accident, but thank God I was able to take it and it came out well.
What do you look at when going to shoot a video?
My first concern is the concept. What the song is all about and how the video is going to be. I spend two days thinking of that, then other issues follow.
Which video are you shooting now?
I’m in Love, by Nicholas, an upcoming artiste.
How have you benefited from this profession?
I no longer rent, I have rentals and own lots of land around Kampala.