Picha Booth Guest Blogger: Jerry Mushala
Jerry Mushala

If you read the post From TZ with love, then you already have an idea who Jerry Mushala is. Today we thought that you should get to know more about the face behind the video part of the free videography and photo booth wedding contest ending on 30th of June, 2018.

How did you get into film?

It started as a hobby in my first year of university. When we were going to the library to study with my friends, I discovered a program called Windows Movie Maker on one of the computers. So when my friends were studying I’d go to that computer, open the program and start playing around with it. That was in 2004, and I fell in love with it.

Before that I was an artist and used to draw, doing comics and fine arts. University for me was very boring. When my friends were studying, I was missing my fine arts stuff. But when I discovered Windows Movie Maker, from then my time in university was spent learning and editing.

Why wedding films?

Well, I’m not only doing wedding films. I’m now expanding my business and doing corporate gigs, documentaries and the like. So far it is wedding films that have been the backbone of my company. Weddings pay well, and that’s why I’ve been doing them a lot. It is recently I’ve started doing different things to grow more.

How long have you been making films?

From 2004 to date, so that’s about 15 years. But it’s six years of learning and maybe nine years of seriously doing it. As I’d mentioned, I have been an artist since I was young. Even in high school I did fine arts and won a lot of awards for drawing comics and painting with watercolours.

When I was 17, I participated in an art competition taking place in New York in partnership with UNHCR Tanzania. I did a painting. I’d dodged school and locked myself in my father’s home office to finish the art because it was the deadline. Unfortunately, my dad was home that day because he was unwell. I completed it and went to submit. When I returned home, my father saw me and asked me why I didn’t go to school, and I explained myself.

He told me never to draw again and gave me a slap I will always remember. He said to me, ‘If I see you drawing, you’re leaving my house.” I stopped the art; it’s like he removed the desire in short. So I continued with high school, and proceeded on to university though I always felt like I missed something.

The painting I submitted won and I got a certificate from the UN and a cash prize as well. My father was so proud of me, but I’d lost heart to draw because of the harsh punishment. However, after going to university, I discovered you could make films, and it also is a form of art. Before I was drawing and doing comics, so I thought “Ah! Why not try filmmaking?” My love came again. From University till now, it’s never been the same.

Did you go to film school?

I never went to film school; I am a self-taught filmmaker. The internet is everywhere so with your bundles you can go online and learn from Google and YouTube. It is because in Africa we don’t have many film schools. I studied Engineering at university, and it is very far from filmmaking. It is my passion for art that drew me to filmmaking.

How is it like running a company with your wife?

I’m currently working with my wife but she does photography, and I do films. So when we get a gig, for example, a wedding gig here in Tanzania, you find that they hire one company. She loves photography. I inspired her to pursue photography. She quit her job at the Ministry of Lands and now we do weddings and other projects together. It is fun; I enjoy working with her. Yes, we family, but sometimes when you’re going to work, you should leave family things at home and leave business things at work and concentrate. Sometimes we fight, sometimes we laugh together, but we fight about work arguments. But I do enjoy working with her; she’s gotten me to where I am because without her I wouldn’t be here. She’s encouraged me till where I am now.

One thing that stands out about your films is the music. Walk us through your creative process.

It is true, music in most of my wedding videos tend to capture people’s emotions. I do spend a lot of time selecting the right music for the right couple or the right film. Sometimes I can spend a whole week looking for one song that will go with a specific film or a certain couple I’m doing the video for. Sometimes I can take an entire month and find that I have no mood to do the work until I find the right music.

Sometimes in the field when I’m shooting, and, while I’m shooting, I think and feel, “Okay, maybe this wedding is somehow a happy-going wedding or it is somehow sad…” and so I have a music in mind. I use a website called musicbed.com where I find my songs. I license the music so that I can respect the artists who make those songs. So yes, I take a long time to select the music. I make sure it carries the film because the edit can make or break it. If you edit well and use the right music, then your film will capture the audience.

Tell us about your collaboration with Picha Booth.

Picha Booth reached out to me after seeing my wedding videos. I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had a fanbase in Kenya. Now we’re collaborating because we share a common vision – capturing memories and we enjoy doing just that. We want our work to excite and move people all over Africa.

You can find Jerry’s work on YouTube.

As always, thanks for stopping by!