Ani James, the brain behind Aje Filmworks, is one of the leading music video directors in Nigeria. Though, you don’t see his signature on screen as often as you see ‘Clarence Shot it’, ‘Unlimited LA’, ‘Adasa Cookey film’ and ‘film factory’, his imaginative power is super. He has demonstrated his story-telling skills in several ways from ‘Komole’ to ‘Make Am’, ‘Good Time’ to ‘Mama’ which is his latest work.
In ‘Komole’, Aje Filmworks told a story of how Sean Tizzle and his Highlife band started from the bottom as hustling artistes to becoming stars. The vintage costume worked too. With ‘Make Am’, he told the story of a band who struggled to the top. A friend of the band leader abandoned Patoranking because of the former’s change of financial status. Patoranking’s band later got a huge endorsement deal. The video portrays exactly the message of the song: ‘Nobody wey no fit make am’ which means ‘never look down on anyone’. It could also mean ‘nobody knows tomorrow’. A story well told by the brilliant director.
With Kiss Daniel’s ‘Good Time’ he shocked everyone with a one-location, cost-efficient video at a time most artistes shoot very expensive videos to push their not-too-meaningful songs. He has worked with Kiss Daniel and his team more than three times. The visual for Kiss Daniel’s latest song, ‘Mama’ would convince you Aje Filmworks is a good story-teller and one of the best directors in Nigeria. With Mama, he told a story of true love. Kiss Daniel got the news his wife just had an accident. He rushed to the hospital to see her. He misses her so much. Ani captured scenes where he flashbacks to their times together before the accident and could barely live in the house alone. He was so elated to see she had regained consciousness. This is the exact visual presentation of what Kiss Daniel sang about. Great story. The video will definitely make the song more acceptable.
He is one of the best story tellers in Nigeria. And I still marvel at his skills when I remember ‘Mama’ and his other works.