A firm believer in the efficacy of creative story telling as a tool for fostering sustainable development, Frank Ileogben is fast becoming a sensation with his witty videos on Instagram. An audio-visual content manager at the energy conglomerate, Sahara Group, Frank is passionate about using his video editing stories to inspire a narrative of hope, excellence and collaboration across the globe. In this interview, Frank, among other issues, speaks on the inspirartion he gets from the Sahara Group impossible is nothing work ethic and how he intends to give back to society. Excerpt
How do you get your inspiration for editing videos?
Inspiration for me comes from a multitude of sources. Firstly, I am a firm believer that a man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven; God is the ultimate source of all things creative. Sometimes, an idea pops up in my head and I take a mental note or write it down and then execute later. Other times, I look through social media and I get inspired by the creative works of other amazing editors.
Are there people you admire their work in video editing and how have they influenced your productions?
O yes! There are tons of creative editors that in my opinion create amazing content on social media. First on my list is Zach King, an American content creator, popular for his ‘magic editing’. His work is amazing; a combination of magic and wit – brilliant. Next is Edem Victor, a Nigerian cinematographer. He edits majority of the short skits we see by popular Instagram comedians. What is inspiring to me is how he combines sound and cinematography to tell really compelling short stories. Lastly, I really admire Lasisi Elenu’s simple yet creative editing. He is a Nigerian comedian whose stories are relatable, witty and creative. He is a genius
How did you prepare for the bop daddy challenge?
Participating in the BOP Daddy challenge wasn’t part of my plans going into the lockdown. I was minding my business when my friend sent me one of the BOP Daddy videos and it got my attention. I thought it was really creative and I was inspired to create mine. One Saturday morning after my morning workout routine, I went into my wardrobe, pulled out some clothes and went to work. 3 hours later, the magic was ready, and I shared it on my Instagram page – handle is @iamitom
How did you take the news of emerging as one of the winners?
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to be announced as one of the winners. Frankly, I had no idea that the challenge had a monetary value attached to it. Here I was taking a nap on a hot Saturday afternoon, with some acoustic covers playing in the background when I woke up to tons of messages and tags. I saw DM (direct message) from Falz the Bahd Guy stating that I had emerged as one of the winners of the challenge and I was in complete disbelief. I was both shocked and excited at the same time.
What message do you think the challenge passes on at this time?
The BOP Daddy challenge really inspired a lot of creativity. It witnessed such a huge influx of creative approaches and editing skills. Personally, I think the challenge fostered unity especially during this season of isolation and lockdown. People had to call up their friends and loved ones to come up with really cool ideas on how to make interesting transition videos for the challenge. Various groups participated in the challenge, from friends, to family members, health workers, law enforcement agents etc.
You recently started live workout sessions on Instagram. what’s inspired this?
Fitness has been a major part of my life for the longest time. I used to be a professional dancer and inadvertently had exercising built into my being. At Sahara Group, where I work, the physical wellbeing of employees is given top priority. I am part of a team responsible for ensuring that our colleagues are encouraged to use the office gym, to keep fit. We came up with several ideas which includes fitness classes and workout sessions. I facilitate some of the classes and during the lockdown, we continued to have weekly sessions via online video conferencing.
After the BOP Daddy challenge, I had posted some dance videos and I had people asking me to have a dance workout session on Instagram. I conducted a survey with my followers and decided to have the first class on Saturday, the 26th of May. We had over 200 people participate.
How do you source your clothes, as you must need a gat wardrobe for what you do?
I get my clothes from various sources, mostly locally for custom-made suits and native attires and then, when I go shopping abroad or if I have a friend coming from “the abroad”.
How do you combine your online activities with your role as visual content manager at Sahara Group?
Working as a visual content manager at Sahara Group has provided me with the platform to continually learn, evolve and perfect the craft of editing and visual story telling. Sahara encourages and promotes the lifestyle of its employees outside of the working environment and this is really encouraging; knowing that the organization encourages me to be the best at my job and everywhere else. During my past time, it becomes easy for me to come up with ideas and then edit.
Sahara’s colours are quite dynamic and expressive. What informs the strategy deployed in the brand’s audio-visual outlook?
The vibrancy of Sahara’s brand colours evoke a feeling of youthful, warm and energetic. The audio-visual contents produced by the brand covey the same message – bringing energy to life. We are conscious of the fact that we are telling an African success story to a multitude of audience globally.
How has being part of Sahara contributed to your experience?
The culture of Sahara Group is one that encourages the productivity of its employees outside of the office. Working with such an amazing organization has pushed me to learn, grow and thrive beyond my comfort zone. One amazing thing is that I work with young and dynamic professionals who aren’t just the best at what they do but also skilled in the art of “living free”.
How can what you do be used as a vehicle for promoting sustainable development in Africa?
Story-telling and content creation is powerful tool in shaping mindsets, altering moods and communicating effectively. I strongly believe that with compelling, creative and innovative content, the sustainable development goals can be effectively communicated, understood and imbibed.
How do you intend to give back to society considering your growing status as a social media influencer?
Currently, I am curating specific contents that help will help individuals and businesses learn basic editing skills that will help improve the quality of their personal and business brand image. This is available for free on my channel Youtube channel (Frank iTom). In the future, I hope to be able to teach many young people, especially those who can’t afford it, skills on editing and content creation to galvanize them into becoming successful filmmakers.