Tuning your TV to a music video channel, there are chances that for every 10 music videos that pop up, there is a MEX directed video on there. His brand has evolved from VFX to storytelling and we are loving every bit of his evolution. Here is an excerpt of an interview with him.
There is very little information about you out there; tell us about yourself away from your director’s personality.
I actually did that on purpose; well, my name is Emeka Ossai. I hail from Delta State but I was born in Lagos and lived all my life in the southwest region of Nigeria. I am the second child and first son of my parents’ eight children. Shortly after I was born, my family moved to Ibadan and we stayed there for about 6 years before moving back to Lagos. I’m 34 years old and I am married to a lovely wife with whom I have two beautiful daughters. That’s basically all about me summed up.
When did you decide to become a video director?
Funny enough, I never set out to become a video director. I was so interested in videos and how they come about. I initially wanted to study to become a mechanical engineer based on brainwash by my parents but my score wasn’t good enough to make the admission list, so I settled for doing a pre-degree course which wasn’t so exciting to me. During my few university days in Lautech [I eventually left to pursue my passion], I got more interested in video graphics and that was the early internet days here in Nigeria, so I took to reading and learning about anything on video graphics. I was staying with some friends who were also interested in video graphics and we created a synergy together. We even planned on making a cartoon back then but we couldn’t.
What was your parents’ reaction to dropping out from school?
I never considered dropping out of school; I will like to say I left school to get involved into something I was attracted to. My Dad had always wanted us to do something we were passionate about, so when I eventually told him, he gave his blessings which made things quite easy for me.
What was it like on your firsthand video experience?
I started my career in post-production; I was just interested in editing and visual effects, so most people back then just gave me their videos after shooting, then I edited. I was more interested in doing what people were not doing. My dive into video directing happened by chance and it was quite exciting.
Morachi and I attended the same secondary school and we started our career almost at the same time. He had a song he needed a video for and the person I hooked him with was sort of very busy at that time and Morachi got impatient. So I decided to shoot it myself and because I never had an on-set experience, I asked him to just pay to rent the camera.
It wasn’t until when we were about shooting, that I realized there were other factors to consider like lighting, stage design etc. At the end, I shot it on a green screen and did the editing which came out well. I knew where some TV stations were located, so I took the video for distribution and the reception was so exciting that I had to shoot another video almost immediately.
Morachi had this buzzing song then called – Hapuya Like That, so I shot a video for it and that was when my video directing career began fully. After that, I shot for some couple of artistes including Bracket but they rejected it because their brand wasn’t a VFX kind of brand; I then met DJinee through another of my friend and we became quite close.