The difference between a film and other forms of media is that the success of it depends largely on the picture. Not just the picture quality but the way each shot is framed, lit and moved to communicate specific emotions. This is why there are two directors on every film project, the director who is the creative head and the director of photography DOP (also called the cinematographer) who is largely in charge of the picture.
While directors are usually most popular primarily because they are involved in the promotion of the film; most directors of photography are usually not known outside the film industry. Considering how much the success of a film depends on them one would expect that they will be well known but they are mostly the film industry's best kept secret!
Some say it's because, just like chefs, most directors and producers keep their success secrets close to their chests but this is also probably due to the fact that most of the best DOPs in the world are rather quiet and largely known to be intense beings.
A director can operate on creativity alone if he has a good crew but to be a cinematographer you have to have loads of creativity and a sound knowledge of the science of filmmaking; from the electrical complexities of lighting to the technological intricacies of cameras to the grip equipment and exceptional people management skills.
In the past, big budget Nigerian films have depended majorly on foreign cinematographers to make decent films but more recently a small crop of Nigerians have emerged on the same level as cinematographers in the world.
One of them is a young man called Adekunle Adejuyigbe better known as Nodash.
Over the past few years Nodash has grown to become a silent force within the Nigerian film industry. Armed with a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, Nodash is blessed with a knowledge of production design, years of experience as an editor/director and an unusual story telling ability. His works have been so exceptional that he was selected by the Berlin film festival in 2015 as one of the 21 cinematographers in the world to look out for.
Before his entrance in the film industry, he spent a number of years shooting TV commercials because they had bigger budgets and their production standards were generally up to par with the rest of the world.
More recently he has been working with a handful of filmmakers who are looking to make a mark. Industry insiders have said he is on speed dial of most of the serious filmmakers in the country. And it's not just for his good looks but for his ability to make a film’s visual connect to the emotional aspects of the film by making each image tell a story.
His experience spans as writer, director and editor on TV shows, documentaries, music videos among other things. Most of the projects he has worked on have won awards or the very least serious critical acclaims.
Hollywood gaffer, Christian Epps (who worked on SELMA) once said that Nodash is the most interesting DOP working in Nigeria at the moment.
Some of his film credits include Shuga season 3, Fifty, Gidi Up 3, Isoken, The Encounter, and Silence. He has also provided technical direction on a project with the America Consulate and the Niger Delta Creek project where he provided Technical Direction as well as basic film making training for militants.