Q & A: Videographer Jackie Russ Discuss his Career

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Jackie Russ. the videographer who is redefining and reshaping video production in the Liberia music industry.

By Sheikh Mohammed,  Contributing Writer

A decade ago, the act of professionals music videos for our industry was completely zero and a dream for a majority of those artists that have retired from the game and some that are still around.

By then, the lists of these videographers we see here today were to no avail. Fast forward, the industry starts to grow, new faces began to germinate with an innovative mindset, pushing new ideas in order to shift the narrative of the type of visual we had circulating in the musical sphere which wasn’t showing any thought of transformation. 

However, things start to surface as planned, but there was one thing the industry was lacking in buttressing this revolution and that was the quest of a powerhouse who posses a reservoir of ideas that will help turn this dream into reality, and then there came a genius burgeoning videographer from the slum, tagged “ Jackie Russ.”

A guy who is motivated with the burning desire of thinking beyond his expectations and making the impossible, possible. Well, LIB Life caught up with Jackie Russ, as he divulges to us how he started his videographer journey, his influences, his inspiration, work ethics, and how far he wants to go with his craft.

LIB Life: How did your journey as a music video director start?

Jackie Russ: My journey started about 8 years ago. I decided to try something new and different. So I bought a camera and started reading and trying to practice what I was learning from youtube.

LIB Life: What was the hardest music video to create/direct?

Jackie Russ: I treat every project the same and I don’t consider anything hard 

LIB Life: Where do you see the industry in the next few years?

Jackie Russ: Dragging as usual. Unless there are a big-money investment and entertainers change their marketing strategies 

LIB Life: What makes a good music video? Is it location, camera, director…etc

Jackie Russ: Every piece of detail makes a good music video. Location, camera, color profile, director, budget, lighting, props, creativity, etc.

LIB Life: What is the lowest budget you can shoot for a music video?

Jackie Russ: I most of the time focus on the professional fees (labor) that are paid. Most projects have no budget (about 96%). Our entertainers are not prosperous enough to invest more in their craft. 

LIB Life: What equipment do you use to shoot music videos?

Jackie Russ: There are so many types of equipment that are used in the process. Form cameras to light, from lenses to tripods, so many that can’t be named 

LIB Life: Who is your favorite director in Africa right now?

Jackie Russ: Clarence Peters of course. Second, to him is TG Omori.

LIB Life: What were you doing before becoming a videographer?

Jackie Russ: Before directing videos, I was a full-time producer and part-time artist. 

LIB Life: Who would you say influenced or inspired you as a director and why?

Jackie Russ: My inspiration comes from a lot of Directors combined. I follow every Director that I can on social media because I believe that each Director is unique and I can learn from each.

LIB Life: Out of all the music videos you have directed, which would you say are your top 5 favorites?

Jackie Russ: I love all of my work and don’t have a favorite

LIB Life: What do you think about the music scene right now?

Jackie Russ: The music industry right now is at standstill. I believe that we are missing important components and we need to properly understand the business of music. In my opinion, we should get experts from around Africa to educate us in that direction. 

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