Perfecting the business of film

The Namibian film industry has been steadily growing in quality and numbers over the last few years. Katutura, which garnered some international attention and popular series The Third Will attest to this. Carving out your own creative space within the local film industry has become necessarily inevitable. One such space has seen Inna Goroh rise to be one of Namibia’s leading directors. Besides working on some short films, some of the most popular music videos for artists like Sally, Jericho, Dice and Famaz Attack, Goroh has directed video adverts for Standard Bank Namibia, Bank Windhoek, Air Namibia, MTC and TN Mobile under his production house Inchiology Studios, which he founded in 2008.

“I directed Standard Bank Namibia’s largest Ad to date – Q2 Loans, which I did when I was 26. It’s probably still the project I am most proud of. The advert aged decently. Once of the more recent larger scale projects we’ve worked on was Polana in the House, a show that air last year,” he tells TF.

Polana in the House was a 2017 cooking show hosted by chef Jona Levi and Hermien Elago that set out to showcase creating succulent meals using Pasta Polana products and whatever ingredients they could find in the kitchens of whoever’s home they happened to be shooting in that episode. The result was a great show, some Pasta Polana promotion and instigating ravening appetites for viewers. A successful business in Inchiology Studios is the by-product of a passion for excellence in film that Goroh has fostered since he was a teenager. Son of local pastor of Jesus Center, Haruna Goroh, he got a head start fidgeting with church cameras and equipment to help perfect his art.

He completed his studies in Computer Generated Imagery for Commercials and Film at Savannah College of Art and Design in the U.S.A. His earliest work was a Visual effects (VFX) artist before he moved on to directing. But the beginning was not all rosy. “I started on a less than suitable laptop, putting in long hours. Over time you make the necessary purchases. You gauge the company’s financial standing and take the leap to employ under the supposition that the growth in number will increase amount of work we are able to take on as well as increase quality. Same with equipment – The equipment should be able to pay itself off from the additional work it is able to generate.”

But if you asked him, he’d much rather be up at 5am shooting a short film or storyboarding an advert than sitting in an office trying to balance the books.

“Switching sides of the brain isn’t always easy to do. So, I try to leave the numbers side to the qualified. When a creative is in the heat of creating, it can be difficult to be objective when it comes to the number so it helps to have someone objective at all times. This doesn’t mean I disregard the numbers, I just prefer to have someone who is completely focused on that aspect.”

Inchiology Studios employs seven in various roles and each project is tackled according to its own unique needs. There isn’t exactly a how-to-do manuscript and Goroh had to learn with each project. Generally, they start with a brief (what the client wants) before Inchiology can determining whether it is a project they are able or want to execute. Next, they provide a costing which might be accompanied by a Director’s treatment (depending on the project). The client approves or disapproves. If they approve, production commences, involving the client at every phase; this helps to ensure they are satisfied with the direction the project is taking as well as to keep them updated on progress made. Once the project is completed to the satisfaction of the client, a final file/ video/executable is provided on the medium of their choice.

A devout Christian, evident by his adherence to his father’s teachings, Goroh sees each project as his contribution to Christian excellence. In fact, he starts each day with a prayer before dawn, followed by a trip to the gym. A fairly recent hobby, fitness has become a means to maintaining discipline and growth. Fitness allows Goroh to see the results of applied determination and consistency. He is able to experience muscles do what they could not a week prior. He has applied this philosophy to his art and uses it as a measure for growth. “Are you always learning something new? Are you consistently building on skill and disciplines acquired? Are you surrounded by people better than you? If yes, then it’s highly likely you are growing. I measure my growth by the goals I have set for myself. I have listed the key areas I would like to grow in, having long term and short-term targets. I check in with these regularly to see how far I have come and how far I still have to go,” he says.

Inspired by Blur Studio and 2016’s Deapool director, Tim Miller and Andrew Kramer (founder of Video Co-Pilot), Goroh’s ability to produce music, play drums and photographic skills atop his talent as a director are perhaps an indication of his eclectic upbringing. “I was born in Nigeria, raised in Namibia, attended tertiary in America, married to a South African, Irish Goroh. My wife is a clinical researcher/ film producer/model and mother to my son. My family is my bedrock.”

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