As I sit to write this, I am thinking back on our journey since 2010 and how long it has taken for us to develop products for the screen from scratch. It is a very challenging process in a country like ours where everything has to be privately funded by the company in an industry that has for long been limping. We have created and produced so many products for the stage, we are good at it, and possibly among the top 3 if not the first. What made creating for the stage more accessible is that we understand the audiences for whom we created these works.
But it is time we evolved from the stage and joined the screen
How did I know it was time? Well, for a long time the challenge for the entertainment industry and as talked about by Nkakalukanyi Patrick at the Uganda Film Festival awards night has been not being able to pay teams like professionals. The people who make our performances, films, and shows possible need to be paid like professionals because they are. Without them, many people around the country and beyond would be sad and depressed.
It was my dream, as a first-year University student to create employment, gainful employment for people like me, performers. It is the reason why we had never produced a film, business-wise it had never made sense. I had done research but no one could actually point out the business side of films and movies in Uganda. Long story short, I went back and studied marketing and read and researched but everything pointed to one thing, evolving to screen.
The stage is good, and the theatre will never die but for us to create the gainful employment we desire, we need to create products for the screen, for whichever market makes sense. it could be TikTok, youtube, Pay TV stations, or other streaming services. The people need to be able to access our content on the go and we may not be able to create the platforms for this.
This makes us a B2B business
Because there are things we can not do, like creating platforms, we shall then work with those companies and people that have the platforms until such a time when we can create the platforms ourselves.
We also have to engage other entities that have the skills we do not have or the expertise we do not have. At Dynamo we created teams and among these, we have the product development team which mainly worked with these entities. This marked the 1st stage of our product development.
We engaged services of various professionals to train and work with our people in the art, science, and practice of creating, developing, and producing products for the market we intend to serve. The workshops would go on for at least 3 weeks and I was happy, our team became stronger and very well equipped at their job. Our second stage was development.
This stage was made easy by the workshops because our facilitators stayed on to work with the team through the research process and the first stages of the development. During this phase, two very beautifully crafted works were developed and as we speak, the team is still refining to make sure that when the B2B customers and their customers who are also our intended users finally consume our work, they will know it was created by an ensemble of dedicated individuals. When our last stages are reached, I hope to come and share how they went and tell you how we have achieved our goal of properly paying our teams like the professionals they are.
At Dynamo, We are Performance!
Post by Arthur Kisenyi Artistic Director – Dynamo