Welcome to another edition of Pulse People, where we talk to Pulse team members in all our markets, highlighting their career journey to Pulse, their growth within the company, and other interesting bits about them, when they’re not on the clock.
Today, we’re speaking to Nana, Head of Commercial Video at Pulse Ghana. From fine art in secondary school to graphic design, motion graphics design, and a full career in video production and cinematography, Nana’s journey paints the picture of a creative person whose curiosity has brought him closer and closer to the camera.
I’ve always been a creative person. I started my media career as a graphic designer actually. But I often got frustrated when I would hand off designs and the animators would translate my designs and mockups differently from how I had envisioned it. I would do a mockup or a storyboard for a project and by the time it was presented, it would be different from what I originally had in mind. So I got curious about the process, and I moved from still graphic design into motion design. And then in motion design, I ran into the same frustrations with cinematographers and directors. So my journey has really been fuelled by my curiosity, and with each step I was looking for more control of the final result, eventually coming closer and closer to the capturing of content in video.
I did fine art (or what you would call graphic art) in secondary school and won a scholarship to study a diploma in design, and from this diploma, I went on to film school.
Yes. I joined Pulse in early 2014 when it was actually not yet Pulse. It was AllSports at the time. We had AllSports and then we also had Tissu.com.gh, an eCommerce brand, both businesses under Ringier at the time. So that was when I joined. And then in 2015, we transitioned into Pulse. I was actually part of the core setup team for Pulse. I actually came in as a camera person for AllSports, and by the time I was leaving, I was Head of Pulse TV. I was responsible for everything video (at this time social video and commercial video were not yet separated). I left in November 2016.
Honestly, I like to think that not a lot has changed. To put it plainly, I am still producing videos. That’s still my core task at Pulse. The business’s structure has changed a little, and there is more specialization now. We’re producing our own video content now, and also serving clients with their video needs.
I’m also looking forward to doing a lot of partnerships. Because of my diverse experience with different industries, I kind of have ideas around some of the problems these industries have, and how Pulse can come in to solve these problems. I would not have been able to approach some of the companies and businesses with these solutions as a freelancer for instance, but we can have these conversations now, and it is much easier for these partnerships to be signed.
An advantage of having worked here before is that the conversations I need to have internally are much more fluid since I’m already quite familiar with most of the leaders.
Typically, as you would expect, a lot of us creatives find it difficult to conform to norms and so forth. I missed a lot of meetings in my first few days, and I had to figure out a way to stay ahead of that. I now have an NFC sticker on my table such that as soon as I get in, and drop my mobile on it, my calendar for the day pops up. This is typically how the day begins for me, a way to ensure I do not miss any other meetings. I use this to plan my to-do and schedule my activities around those meeting times. I do a lot of ideating, of course, and shooting happens almost every day. I came in as we were about to sign a big client, and immediately got to work on that. Initially, I had to also be the project manager for most of the work the video team was doing, but now we have a Project Manager, and because of her, I have some free time now.
I also keep an open-door policy.
I’ll say it’s a lot of sweet-talking from Katharina (MD Pulse Ghana). What the structure is right now, is actually something I had pushed for before. Now, we have social video separate from commercial video and handled by separate teams. I was attracted by the clarity and separation of work. It’s exactly how I’ve always wanted the structure to be. I was excited about coming back to the video team that I helped build. It’s a great feeling. I was also motivated by the new direction I’ve seen, and the new business focus. I’m hoping it stays like that.
Pulse has helped me build a strong portfolio in this one medium (video). Pulse has helped me focus on that and build it. Now I have a solid career path in video. If I did not work at Pulse, I may not have focused exclusively on it for the length of time that I have.
It’s just the idea of creating something. It sounds cliche, but it actually is the truth. I love creating something that is tangible and can be appreciated by others. I take that client’s idea, and then make it tangible, and offer it back to the client. If I was not doing video, I would be creating something else. It’s just the idea of creating, regardless of the medium. And of course, the need to make a living. 🙂
Omo, I still create anyway. 😀
I like to help people, to fix things. Any problem I can solve creatively, I would do that. I’m also very very handy, working with wood, making furniture and so on. It could be me using my power tools or sketching an app idea or something. I also have a hydroponic farm. I’ll just always be found building and making things.