Know the Man Behind the Savannah Camera: Mr. Abdul Washeed

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Our guest post for today is a cameraman, a cinematographer, video editor and a film maker. He is what I call “all round in the film field”. He is a gentleman, a hard worker and has marked his name on many grounds. He is none other than Mr. Abdul Washeed. For the convenience of this post we will refer to him as AW.

AMOAFOWAA: You are welcome to amoafowaa.com

AW: Thank you

AMOAFOWAA: Please tell us about Mr. Abdul Washeed, starting from your parents to schools completed.

AW: Alhassan Abdul Washeed is a simple guy who’s trying to make a positive impact on the society. My parents are Mr. Alhassan and madam Amama. I completed my basic education at Bagabaga Ridge after which I went to Vitting Secondary Technical school.

AMOAFOWAA: Why did you choose the camera of all things?

AW: Before I walked to the video cameras, I had a background in story writing. I used to write short stories for the P&P and the Mirror Newspapers. I however made an observation that one can’t solely depend on writing as a career especially in Ghana. Incidentally, I had that curiosity to see how it feels to bring one’s characters to life on the screen. That was when I heard about a film school called Academy of Screen Arts located then in east Legon, Accra. The school was established by a Ghanaian but the lecturers were from across Europe so everything was so practical.

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AMOAFOWAA: Has it been fulfilling so far?

AW: Yes it has really been fulfilling, especially how I strategically positioned myself in the business. I am not only a camera person, I am a cinematographer, this means that I can strike up a production set with lighting as well as direct talents. I am also a video editor and a motion graphics and visual effect artiste. Together with my background in writing  scripts, I can create and structure a story, then direct and edit it.  So in effect, I can go through all the nine yards.

AMOAFOWAA: Any role models so far?

AW: Not really.

AMOAFOWAA: No role models. Fancy! What are the most important things to consider as a videographer and camera man?

AW: As a cinematographer, your equipment are the most essential parts of the trade so I make sure my camera, sound and lighting equipment are in order and working. I also ensure I carry spares of accessories for these tools.

AMOAFOWAA: Do I have to read if I want to be a videographer?

AW: I would say no and yes…

AMOAFOWAA: Why?

AW: You’ll need to dedicate about 20% for reading to know about the terminologies and what kind of equipments and accessories one may need in the business. You spend 80% of the time watching and practising to build your experience and how to approach any new project.

AMOAFOWAA: Does photography have anything to do with storytelling? If yes why?

AW: Yes…the techniques involved in telling a story through the camera is very powerful indeed. Not only should you just point the camera and shoot but placing the camera at an appropriate position depending on the mood of the talent is very essential. Knowing this will set you apart from your peers.

AMOAFOWAA: Do you remember your first assignment that paid off?

AW: Yes… It was when I was producing, directing and editing a program which was being aired on GTV. It was called “Aviation News”.

AMOAFOWAA: Is your field women friendly?

AW: It is… But most women prefer to be in front of the camera and not behind it. They want to be seen on the screen and not their names scrolling down on credit roll that most people don’t bother to observe.

AMOAFOWAA: (laughing out loud) We are pretty beings indeed but some still have passion for it. I can name names but let’s move on. Currently do you work with any organization?

AW: Yes, I am currently the Northern Regional Correspondent for UTV.  I’m also the CEO for Tamale Films & Television Academy located here in Tamale where we teach an array of modules in the video and television broadcast industry.

AMOAFOWAA: What is your motivation for all the things you do?

AW: Knowledge is the foundation on which all humans exist. I’ve actually invested much into learning this craft so that I can pass that knowledge down through this generation. That’s why I came back from Accra to set up the school. My motivation is preparing the Young minds of this country especially the Savannah regions to take the advantage of the opportunities in the video and broadcast industries.

AMOAFOWAA: Beautiful heart indeed! Let’s get into light conversation. Who is your favourite musician?

AW: I don’t really have a favorite musician, I love all kind of music which strikes a code on me.

AMOAFOWAA: Strikes a code! What are the qualities you look out for in women for dating?

AW: I like a truthful and well mannered woman (in the African sense)

AMOAFOWAA: Single, searching or married?

AW: Married

AMOAFOWAA: Are you a sports fan? If you are which team do you support?

AW: I love basketball. Los Angeles Lakers is my team

AMOAFOWAA: Fancy! Any religious affiliation?

AW: I am a muslim

AMOAFOWAA: If you were appointed president for one term, what are the three things you will prioritize and why?

AW: I will ensure I create a fund through which players in the creative arts industry can source to produce good content for TV and the screen.  2: Will establish film schools in all the ten regions of the country. 3: I will set up a creative contest competition for script writers to editors in the video and TV industry.

AMOAFOWAA: Wow! I am sure people in the arts would look forward to you contesting. What is the craziest thing you have ever done?

AW: I am yet to try the craziest thing.

AMOAFOWAA: Please let me be the first to know when it happens. Who can win your respect in life?

AW: The one who respects me

AMOAFOWAA: You are a role model, what will you tell those who wish to be like you?

AW: They should be self-motivated enough to create their positive thoughts.  Nothing comes easy but one can make it with persistence.

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AMOAFOWAA: Now tell us all about your Film and Television Industry

AW:  Established in October 2014; Tamale Film and Television Academy (TAFTA) is an educational institution which provides a hands-on training in video and television production. The youth, interested in pursuing careers in video and television were left to practice in trial and error since there were no educational facility to provide the empowerment of such skill within the entire savanna regions of Ghana. Thus, Tamale Film and Television Academy is the first education facility in the northern region offering courses in video and television production.

The aim is helping prospective youth who wish to venture into the video industry to learn and apply this knowledge, thereby making our movies more universally acceptable and generating income for themselves.

The school has a specialized curriculum that combines theory with practical application under the mentorship of leading industry professionals. The school awards certificates in Broadcast Performance, Video Editing, Acting, Script Writing, Camera Techniques, Directing, Visual Effects and Motion Graphics. This program requires students to complete an eight month highly intensive hands-on approach to digital film making and television production, designed to teach filmmaking skills in the aforementioned programs. TAFTA emphasizes on hands-on movie making and television affairs, through which students learn creative collaboration, as they begin to develop personal creative styles.

AMOAFOWAA: Wow! Cool. What is your favourite line in the National Anthem of Ghana and why?

AW: “…bold to defend forever, the course of freedom and of pride” Defending the pride of the nation is instilling discipline in our choosing careers

AMOAFOWAA: Admirable! Your last words to followers of amoafowaa.com

AW: Let’s be positive in our thoughts

AMOAFOWAA: Thank you for your time.

AW: Thank you for having me on your radar.

 

WASHEED

There is a reason elephants do not downplay

The existence of soldier ants

There are reasons God boxed souls into bodies devoid of sizes

There are reasons paths lead to destinations

So there is a reason a little bird sings to entertain a nation

 

II

A beautiful soul behind historical capturing

A beautiful heart in the dark

An unsung hero by all standards

Fly on like a dove at work

And continue to write positivity in history

As your well utilized time ticks to land you in references

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2017

3 thoughts on “Know the Man Behind the Savannah Camera: Mr. Abdul Washeed

    1. The office of Tamale Film & Television Academy – TAFTA can be located 100m from the Choggu -Nobisco junction on the choggu manaayili road in Tamale. We can be reached on 0509997847/0267033797

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