How to become a photographer or filmmaker? The story of a young Guinean director, Jul Overdose

1- Who is Jules Overdose?

My name is Julien Zézé Onivogui, I am 21 years old, I was born in Guinea, in Conakry. I am a film director, editor, cameraman, photographer, and painter. I started all this 4 years ago.

2- Where does the nickname Overdose come from?

My nickname Overdose came from the actual word “overdose” and is due to comments from those close to me on my work. The comments are always beyond my knowledge. However, this is not what drove me to become an artist. I always tell myself that I am the master of my destiny. Therefore, it is up to me to make my choice and I know who I want to become.

3- Tell us about your career path before you became a director?

I first started drawing, painting, and hip-hop dance – which I couldn’t continue. I also Rapped after that and it was my last activity before I started to make video clips. I learned and discovered many things. I grew up in an orphanage where I lived with more than 100 people in a yard and the orphanage had more than 800 children.

4- How did you become a director?

It all started at the orphanage Foyer Saint Joseph. Throughout the year we would receive visits from people from foreign countries, and they would bring digital cameras to leave with a few souvenir shots. I began to fall in love with photography by watching these visitors. I was not yet ready to embark on a digital profession on my own. But a few years later, everything went wrong and the orphanage closed its doors. I met a friend who encouraged and supported me. With him, we collected 1,000,000 Guinean francs (GNF) to buy my first camera. I started to take street pictures with it and was able to get a 80,000 GNF pipe-based stabilizer to start making videos. I did tutorials and online training before shooting my first video with my friend who was also a rapper: (YUNG SLAVE).

5- Can you sum up the job of filmmaking?

I sum of the job of director, as a job of courage and passion. You have to be passionate to do it.

6- Does the job of filmmaking work well in Guinea and how does it work?

For the moment, I wouldn’t say that the profession of filmmaking works well in Guinea, because in most cases our artists/actors prefer working with foreign filmmakers. This is often due to the equipment. As digital is a little advanced, our suppliers have difficulty importing the latest generation of equipment. So, to be better equipped, you have to spend a lot of money (if you want to purchase equipment from abroad for example) and most artists don’t have producers. So, we are often confronted with low-budget projects. But I hope that everything will be fine one day.

7- How do you become a director nowadays?

Nowadays to become a director you need to have some knowledge and some film equipment.

8- What would you advise a young Guinean who wants to be a director in Guinea?

My advice for any young Guinean who would like to embark on a filmmaking career is to first and foremost use your know-how, to make the right choice and above all to be passionate and to entrust everything to God.