Home Entertainment MOVIES Film making: Ishmalight, his light, his Camera
Film making: Ishmalight, his light, his Camera
Ernest Kanjo / Tuesday, 24 January 2012 20:44

tankoWith a license in Structural Engineering from the Yaounde National School of Engineering simply known in Cameroon as Polytechque, Tanko Francois aka Ishmalight nurses ambitions of turning his country’s film industry into an enviable place to belong. He is one of the youngest but most competent and experienced technicians in Cameroon and holds strong that a film maker like himself should be sound enough to give the world   even more than what Hollywood’s James Cameron has given. “It is from Cameron that I drew inspiration and I’m ready to work hard and why not do more,” the lighting technician and camera operator told TIPTOPSTARS Editor.
Ishmalight who has performed his job in the film industry for nine (9) years quickly noticed that good sound and adequate lighting were in short supply and this gave Cameroonian movies a bad name. “Whereas, these are the most important elements as far as the technical quality of a film is concerned,” he said. The 1.60m-tall film maker from Ndu in the North West of Cameroon explained further; “I couldn’t sit back and watch our movies go down the drain, so I took up the challenge to enter the industry via lighting.”
With formal training and occasional in-the-job recycling courses, Ismalight puts creativity at the top of his field performance, but would not hesitate to listen and accept positive criticisms. “I also read and do a lot of research,” he revealed.  That’s probably why the 23 films he has done as a lighting technician and 13 as camera operator have been pretty much appreciated by viewers, colleagues and critics.
Good natured, the soft-spoken but humorous Frank, as the film technician is also affectionately called was ‘the man for the job’ in the recent Zintgraff and the Battle of Mankon project by Premier Films, shot in Bamenda. It is undoubtedly the biggest film project done in Cameroon in 2011. “How I got signed up for the project still remains a mystery. I was the only one selected, out of fifteen who were examined for the role of camera operator and lighting technician. I later had a tete-a-tete discussion with the CEO of Premier Films and the result was a handsome pay package,” he explained.
Zintgraff and the Battle of Mankon, the said serial will be screened on Cameroon’s State-run TV network, CRTV. Editing of the film is currently going on in Yaounde. It was a successful project for Ishmalight, challenging as well. “But not as challenging as Enigma, the series we shot with Billy Bob Ndive in Buea in 2010,” he told us. Ishmalight explained that he did lighting and shooting from the camera under the kind of hazardous weather conditions Buea is reputed for. Said the film maker: “Working with completely new actors for the Enigma project was also a tedious task I had to face.”
The young film maker who benefitted from a brief training by the German Cultural Centre, Geothe-Institut in 2009, hopes to leave a legacy in the seventh art by using it to alleviate poverty and suffering in Cameroon and Africa. “Opening a film institute or a school of arts is my ultimate dream to that effect,” he disclosed.
To Ishmalight, the high cost in shipping film equipment to Cameroon is one of the most serious problems they face. The industry is still young and they haven’t made enough wealth to be able to overcome this. For now however, his wealth can only be found and savoured in the several productions he has worked in including; Black Vampire, Criminal Frat, Forsaken Rose, My Successor, Lost Ego, Crazy Enterprise, Land of Shadows, Great Pain, Ancestral Wrath (series), Students’ Cot, Osmosis, Nexus, Ride My Wrongs, Canal Trap, Ouvre le Carport, Back Page, Dirty Iside, Enigma (series), Zintgraff and the Battle of Mankon (serials), Celebrity Corner (TV show).
The dexterous lighting technician who loves putting on white dresses is a remarkable eater of kwacoco and mbanga soup, a traditional delicacy of the Bakweris in Fako Division of the South West region of Cameroon. If he is not travelling, Frank whose father, Tanko Enock Shei (of blessed memory) is his role model is at a pool swimming. “I also love dancing,” he said this about his hobbies.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 January 2012 21:52

Comments  

 
0 #1 BILLY BOB 2012-03-12 18:28
I elated with this profile,ISHMALI GHT is young man with a bright future in the film industry.Kudos my boy
 


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