Banky W Makes Directing Debut With DStv TVC


Banky on set with crewmembers

IN September 2014, R&B singer Olubankole Wellington otherwise known as Banky W, who came into national reckoning with his remix of Rihanna’s umbrella, proceeded on an 8-week filmmaking course at the Union Square campus of the prestigious New York Film Academy.

Taking advantage of NYFA’s hands-on experience, he immersed himself in several projects. “I consider my training at NYFA to be an important foundation for the rest of the filmmaking work I intend to do.

I hope to build on this by putting into practice what I learnt, but I also hope to continue to learn. I have more classes to take, more work to do, and many more films/videos/clips to write and direct,” Banky said of his film school experience.

Having already spent many successful years on the music scene in Africa, I consider this the start of something very exciting and limitless; something I will do for a very long time, and something I hope to excel in.”

He continued: “I can’t thank NYFA enough for helping me begin to make this dream a reality,” he added. While at the NYFA, he was able to develop his skills to co-produce and co-direct his largest music video to date alongside Jonathan Whittaker, Chair of short-term Filmmaking Programme at The New York Film Academy.

Being on set with Jonathan, Til Neumann [NYFA Instructor] and the NYFA team provided me a priceless learning experience,” said Banky W. “I was fortunate enough to have Jonathan as a teacher in my cinematography class, and then again as a collaborator when we co-directed my Unborn Child video.

I feel blessed to have learned so much from him, in and outside of the classroom.” In turn, Jonathan Whittaker says, “for someone of Banky’s stature to trust me with their vision, is a tremendous honor.

There is no higher sense of accomplishment than collaborating with students who are putting into practice what they have learned in my classroom.” Given this vote of confidence by his tutor, it is not surprising that Banky W’s profile as a director is on the ascendancy.

Having shot a couple of music videos, including Mercy, Letter to my unborn child, the soon to be released High Notes video and Niyiola’s Go On, it is safe to bet that Banky W’s storytelling skills in the short audio-visual narrative form can only get better.

Banky recently took a quick break from working on his latest album to execute his first TV commercial as a director, with the relaunch of DStv Compact Bouquet.

In a renewed bid to win the hearts of Nigeria’s trendiest and hip demography, leading pay TV services provider in Nigeria, MultiChoice upped the ante, which culminated in the relaunch bouquet, with Banky W as the director of the TVC.

The Dstv Compact commercial follows the character of Ivie Okujaiye using the a-day-in-the-life trope. In a documentary styled shoot, Ivie is aroused from sleep by her alarm. She hurries out of bed excitedly as it is her first day at her new job. Soon, we see her in a quandary on what kind of outfit to wear to work.

The commercial then takes the viewer through the vicissitudes that marks the day for Ivie’s character – the small corner office which is filled with a pile of work as she resumes on her first day at work, an intimidating grocery list with so many items calling for her attention at the supermarket after work, the huge amount of money she has to pay for the “little” dinner at the restaurant.

She returns home to relax with her TV and her DStv compact bouquet is the only comforting thing that has happened to her day. The commercial is very racy and leaves the viewer wanting more.

Banky’s use of minimal lights and camera movements to define transitions are worthy of note. On his experience while shooting the commercial, Banky said, “the experience shooting the commercial was very good.

There were challenges that come with pretty much any type of production but you learn to manage and navigate around those difficulties that you encounter.

Luckily for me, I had the confidence of the DSTV team, a very talented cast and a very capable technical crew around me. And so when you have all of those pieces, it will be hard to mess it all up because you’ve got to pull all of that together to make it work.”

Banky W is also full of praise for young AMVCA winning actress, Ivie Okujaiye. “She is extremely talented, pleasant and very hard working. Ivie has a humble and teachable spirit, which is a very sterling quality that any actor should have.

If I had to ask her to do something ten times in a row, she did it without complaining or giving an attitude. It was an absolute delight to work with an amazing young lady like Ivie.”

However, Banky W seems not to be in a hurry to make feature film. “I don’t think I qualify to make feature films yet. I am still building my portfolio and crafting my personal directorial style.

So for now, I will be focused on music videos, short films and commercials. From there, I will work my way up to doing full-length features. But in the near future, once I have built my repertoire and skills base, I will definitely be engaged in directing feature length movies but for now, I’m in no hurry,” says Banky W.Quality TV entertainment takes on a new hue, as price will no longer be a sore thumb.

At 6,000 naira, the Compact Bouquet provides access to over 95 world-class channels, from riveting movies channels to high-octane music platforms, educative documentaries channels and news programs that keep you updated with current affairs.

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