Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Trip to Bama

A trip to Borno State, a story  from me, to you.
George en route Maiduguri
It was Friday, the 16th of September 2016 that we left Abuja on a MedView Midday flight to Maiduguri, the state capital of Borno State. Just like every other day, within my professional arena, I was hired by a US based production company to join a team of three USA Citizens and two Nigerians on a Polio success story Documentary. Considering the enormity of Boko Haram violence, I withheld the news from my Mother and prayed to my God for protection from ambush attacks by Boko Haram.
George in IDP Camp in Borno
Arriving Maiduguri, we quickly proceeded to Barwee Luxury Suites, to drop our Luggage, before hitting the State EOC where we had a short meeting with the state Field Coordinator, Rotary International NNPPC, Incident Manager, EOC Maiduguri, Zonal Coordinator Northeast NSTOP, State Manager, eHealth Africa, The UNICEF access adviser, etc, we started shooting from our point of arrival, from the debriefing we had by the incident manager, we discovered that even up till now, Millions of Women and Children are still trapped in communities controlled by Boko Haram insurgents, Thousands has however been rescued by the Nigeria Military. While the rescued children showed high levels of malnutrition, the trapped ones are reported to be in even worst conditions. We established that through a Hit and Run framework, interventions were rarely dropped to the trapped communities on stipulated intervals and with a long convoy of military escorts. We decided to visit a take of point on Saturday morning, 17th of September.
Military convoy waiting for take off

 Judging from the number of troops on standby and the armories that I saw, I was able to quickly adjust my understanding of Boko Haram conflict to a war between two nations.  I must run back unnoticed, leaving our convoys and escort and with a kekenapep back to the EOC where I could use internet and printer to process our Military clearance application to visit Bama.
While riding down, I had fears of people tracing my Kekenapep, I thought of several cases where health workers and journalists had been diverted and slaughtered. I also considered that I can hardly communicate with the kekenapep rider who is a complete stranger to me.
After processing the clearance application, I rode through all the corners of the town through several military barricades to shagari low cost quarters where I had a brief meeting with the UNICEF access adviser. My team was calling from pompomari where they are already covering Polio vaccination exercise. My producer was worried; the security expert from USA started to query our local fixer of my safety. I couldn’t have been kidnapped, shagari estate was far and I had to get an approval from the Executive Director, State primary healthcare development Agency. It was on a Saturday but since we have mounted pressure from the Minister of Health, the Commissioner for Education, I insisted on getting the clearance sorted out to enable us heed to Bama the next day.
Work in Progress at Bama IDP
 Saturday aft noon, my mother called.  Emeka or Aunty odinakachi must have told her where I was so I had to open up to her and also re assured her by explaining how the state is currently safe.
Sunday morning, 18th of September, we still have not got response from the GOC, 7 Division, Baga Road. We had limited time to shoot as my team’s return ticket was for 21st of September. We had to as film makers we are, visit Dalori IDP for a shoot.  
Our Team on the move

 According to information, Dalori IDP has been attacked twice because enormous populations of displaced people there were recovered from Bama military operations and seem to be wives and children of the Boko Haram. The military intelligence in this IDP is however strong. We managed to access the camp and shoot footage of mobile health care services going on in the Camp. I also observed that the camp is made up of mostly pregnant women and children. The insurgents must undoubtedly have slaughter all the young men before the rescue operation. I think with them, as a man, you are either a member or dead and thrown into mass shallow graves.
Dalori IDP Camp

While driving out of the camp, a military Hilux arrived with two Boko Haram fighters chained at the back of the Hilux. According to information the fighters source of food supply has been compromised by Nigeria Military so the fighters are starving and some fleeing to renounce their membership. I pitied them.
On discovering that we did not have any formal approval from the GOC, THE Dalori IDP forces detained us, asked us to delete all the footage we shot and escorted us to Barwee where the CO Lodged. The Commanding Officer in addition, sized our Cannon C300 and full frame lenses. One hour into this sad development, we put calls across to Minister of Health, Commissioner of Health and the UNICEF Access adviser also used his military influence to get approval from the GOC and also an order to release our camera to us.
George in Konduga Military Base

With this progress, Monday morning, the 19th of September, we heeded to Bama.  On arriving Konduga with our police escorts, we reported to the military base where the police escorts will wait while we are handed over to Military convoy that will further lead us through the most dangerous part to Bama. At the military base, we got information of Boko Haram armbush and attack within the axis. Instantly, the same military convoy assigned to us had been mobilized ahead of time to push back the insurgents then on rushing back to the base, they led us straight to Bama.
Street of Bama
The streets of Bama are deserted with every good thing destroyed. At every meter, we pass throough military check points and all along the streets are expended bullet cans and burned heavy military artilleries.
Compound of the Shehu of Bama

Our first stopping was at the compound of shehu of Bama also Bama 21 Brigade where we had a brief meeting with the Military commander who commended our bravery to come by road and took us straight into the Bama IDP
Inside Bama IDP, we took shots of all we wanted, we saw children and women being thought to count numbers with soldiers as teachers, we saw happy children, we saw sad and heartbroken women, we saw families that watched Boko Haram slaughter their loved ones. The camp made me see the true efforts of Nigeria Military. As a Nation, I realized how outstanding, our Military has been.
Bama IDP camp

Tuesday 20th September we had to leave Borno state. Our flight from Maiduguri to Abuja was for past 1pm so we left early morning to shoot at Pompomari health center, Custom Market and Muna IDP camp. I made friends amongst the children, I gave them my precious smile and I encouraged them to work with the government as rebuilding of the town is ongoing and with time, they will reconcile with their lost families and go home to leave their normal everyday life.
Cross section of displaced children in Bama IDP

For organizations and individual that want to make a humanitarian or production trip to Nigeria, I am willing to do this again.  Ugwuja George Odinakachi

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Training Camera Operators and Church Production teams

Operating video and photo cameras is like cooking. You may know how to light up the gas but not know details of ingredients and quantities needed. The results will be different. However, just like georgeostories do with cameras, your experience will distinguish you
While the practical training is about following the rules, artistic training is really about knowing when and why to break them.
Ugwuja George volunteering in a church media team-Abuja-Nigeria
In Nigeria, Camera work for churches, schools and corporate organizations must be localized to serve the everyday needs. For churches, live streaming has suddenly become a necessity. The gospel must be expanded remotely.  It is a perfect marriage of technology and artistry, which is why I think it’s one of my favorite things to teach volunteers.
Training camera work can really be broken down in three sections technical, functional, and artistic. The first thing I always tell potential new camera operators is to watch what happens on TV and in movies and try and copy that. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel. Look at what the professionals are doing and copy it. I am a huge fan of finding videos to send to volunteers so they can watch them on their own time before training, I find this better prepares them to come to training with questions, which allows me to figure out what they need to focus on. If something is confusing, then that is where I am going to spend more time.
The first thing we train on is the technical side. We spend time going over the parts of the camera. It’s really introduction to Camera 101. This section focuses on the important switches and buttons, and the switches and buttons that aren’t important but will mess things up
I will train my students to a point where they can ask for direction on how to fix the problem because they understand what it is.  From there, we hit the field.
In a church for instance, shooting with different cameras from different angles and perhaps a central camera on a crane sounds very complicated. During my training, I build the capacity of the participants to learn how to shoot, mix shots, broadcast in the church and as well stream online without compromising picture quality and sound.
To discuss your training, call George @ +234-803-884-3041

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Video and Photo Production services in Abuja-Nigeria

Considering the rising relevance of Videos and Photos as the only undisputed evidence of individual and corporate organization’s services, georgeostories has come up with services to bridge the gap of communication of different organizations that couldn’t use their event videos to communicate and advance their client reach.

Video is taking over the world, with more than 4 billion hours of video viewed each month. In fact, YouTube is now the second most used search engine, right behind Google
Unfortunately, integrating video into your marketing campaign isn’t as easy as simply creating a video and putting it up on YouTube. Creating a video that is effective, relevant, and successful can offer big rewards, but how do you integrate it successfully?
Our services are to create and utilize your corporate event videos as a media type, we know how Video contents work, and we can run your YouTube channel and make sure that your businesses reach increases greatly.
To hire us for your Video or Photo content development, contact George +2348038843041

Benue Valley

Benue Valley is an Evidence Based Advocacy Documentary on the crises between Benue TIV Farmers and Normadic Fulani Herdsmen in Benue State Nigeria. An underreported conflict that erupted early 2011 killing over 1000 people and destroyed properties worth billions of Naira.

In this Documentary, we strived to leverage forward-looking efforts in community leaders through targeted interactions in conflict stricken areas of Benue state in order to build their capacity to resolve conflicts using dialogue and to address human rights issues, while simultaneously drawing relevant regional actors into actions
Our objective is to introduce to Nigeria, dialogue procedure as the only sustainable approach towards conflict resolution and hope that the conflicts between Farmers and Cattle Herders in Nigeria will be approached in the same manner using standard frameworks such as this. we hope to produce 13 episodes of Documentaries such as this and air in different local and international TV stations.
to collaborate or partner with us, contact Ugwuja George on +2348038843041
Benue Valley is Written and Directed by Ugwuja George Odinakachi.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Satelite News Gathering(SNG) Consulting in Africa

Satellite news gathering (SNG) is the use of mobile communications equipment for the purpose of worldwide news casting. Mobile units are usually vans equipped with advanced, two-way audio and video transmitters and receivers, using dish antennas that can be aimed at geostationary satellites.

A modern DSNG van is a sophisticated affair, capable of deployment practically anywhere in the civilized world. Signals are beamed between a geostationary satellite and the van, and between the satellite and a control room run by a broadcast station or network. In the most advanced systems, Internet Protocol (IP) is used

Due to the need for breaking news coverage and the continuous presence of international media agencies in Africa, i have established good business relationships with companies that render SNG Hiring services, in addition to that, i also handpicked best operators, camera and editing crews that makes a good team.
Recently, my international clients that have enjoyed my services during the last world economic summit and Nigeria Presidential handover has commended my effort and are advising that establishing an Africa best practice in this field lies with me.

I wish to assure my existing clients and those that may need my services in the near future that hiring and using an SNG in Nigeria and other countries in Africa is completely possible
Send me an equiry email and i will arrange what you want
Thank You
Ugwuja George

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Event Photography and Video Coverage

Ugwuja George executing a Photo/Video Job for Bayelsa State Government
The dimension of Event Photo and Video Production has dynamically changed with the emergence of High Definition DSLR Cameras.
Starting from events such as Wedding Photography and Video production, i have been able to conquer the challenges associated with outdoor photography with very good full frame Telephoto lenses that i don't have to be walking around the stage or distracting the audience.
After the shoot of my client's Photo and Video Job, it takes me less than 24 hours to design and print the photo books which comes in different sizes depending on what my clients want.
One page of the Photobook design of Enugu PDP Rally

Considering my level of exposure in Event Photography and Video Production, i have also trained Wedding Photographers in Abuja, Photojournalists and Cinematographers.

To hire me or any of my crew for your upcoming event kindly call +2348038843041 or send an enquiry email to

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Use of Digital Media for Advocacy in Nigera

Bomb Explosion Scene, Emabs Plaza, Wuse 2, Abuja-Nigeria. 25th June 2014
As a Cinematographer in a developing Nation like Nigeria, I have had great fun as a working professional. last time i wrote how i enjoyed roasted snail delicacies and the fisherman soup.
But today, due to my quest to deliver high definition footage to media agencies and to also insist in best practice with respect to the strength and integrity of Nigeria, i moved hastily to a Bomb explosion scene at Emabs Plaza, Wuse 2 Abuja with my 5D Mark. It was not just the goose pimples that made me want to shed tears, yes, phone calls from my family also touched me. but the worst of it all was when i imagined what harm ignorance can cause the world. As a Media Consultant, i want to sincerely recommend the use of Digital Media and Mobile Technology for Advocacy and Campaigns.
The Educational sector has done much to include Social relationships and culture as part of Educational Curriculum. That is commendable. The religious Institutions have either preached or instigated social crises. what more can we do but pray?. yet, i insist, when it comes to the strength of everyone. the Uuuuuuus! and the Iiiiii! . we need to put more effort as Nigerians, to improve our knowledge of the good and the Bad. to also use our profession to educate and encourage one another. With this, maybe i can take footage easily without shading tears, those tears mean a lot to every man. here they come again.  goodbye while i go back to my scripts, cameras, lenses, cranes my world of visuals and sounds of history. Comerade.  Ugwuja George Odinakachi