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Features

Rayo Banks: Mbale’s video master

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Shooting it: Rayo Banks is one of the renowned video directors in Mbale Town. He is probably the biggest thing in the music video game in Mbale. He shares his journey with Olivier Mukaaya.

Who is Rayo Banks?
My real name is Raymond Magezi Bankasia. I am a music video director, photographer, video editor and camera man. I am simple, self-driven, critical, outgoing and I never stop learning.

What inspired the name Rayo Banks?
It came from my name Raymond Bankasia, and I created it while in high school.

What were you doing before venturing into videography and photography?
I was doing wedding photography.

Which photography studio did you work for?
I had my own studio in Mbale town and sometimes I worked with other studios which I cannot reveal.

Is that where you got the experience to shoot videos?
No. I studied cinematography at Ibadan University in Nigeria between 2006 and 2007.

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Why Nigeria?
Because to me, it is the best place to study film production in Africa.

What are some of the songs you have shot?
Olimwesigwa by Jerusha J, Batambi Bubi by Isaiah Destiny, Omulungi Mubangi by Dream Gals, among others,

Does someone have to go to school to be a good video director?
Yes, school is where you learn the basics. It also teaches you how and when to break the rules.

What do you think of Ugandan videos?
I think things have changed, people nowadays know how to use cameras compared to the past years.

What makes a good video to you?
Many things; a good video depends on what you have achieved at the end of the day. All that matters is if it portrays what the song is all about and also the art you use.

How long does it take to shoot and edit a music video?
It depends on so many things; the story line, how ready the artiste is, the costumes, venue, and lighting, and of course, the “theme of the video”.
I have directed, shot and edited a music video in two days, but there are some that have taken me over a month, depending on how long we take to get all the footage together. What makes a great video is the ability of the artiste to adhere to what the script director wants.

How much do you charge to shoot a video?
I leave that to my clients. But I don’t charge too much, just a fair price.

What challenges have you faced in this business?
People have trouble trusting us where the video shoot is going to take place, and sometimes financing becomes a challenge.

What do you do in your free time?
I spend time with my daughter, Cheryl Edrea, I visit relatives and also go to church.

Are you married?
Not married but soon.

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