Papel – The Symbol of Photography

                                                                          Papel
Papel is a man that could be referred to as
“The Centre of Photography”. He owns movie production equipment from start to finish. I have been with him on some movie sets and I was overwhelmed at his expertise. He is a Director, A Director of Photography, an Editor, a Movie Producer. He is a friend to all Artists who are willing to learn and an interesting crew member on set. He is an inspiration to many including yours truly, Emilia Emeka-Nwamadi. We had a chat recently and I learnt a lot from him. Read excerpts;   


Papel     
What is your name?
My name is
Paul Apel Papel but I like to be called Papel  because Papel is a brand.
Please tell me more about yourself?
I am from Benue
state. I am married to Stephanie Apel and we have two boys.  I attended a Technical School. I have done a
few other courses in my field of work. I attended a Film school in Colorado USA and
I studied film production there. I have gone through Self Development. I have
grown on the business of production.  I
have done a lot of movies. My very first production was “The Bond”, Second is “99th
Day” and then “Blue Flames”, Mimi Doo “Benue College”, “Love Circle”, Conscripted
which  I Directed, “The Caller” which I
also Directed, Why Not, The Little Devil, Presently “Fantastic Four”  which is a working title, I acted in “Mr and
Mrs Abar” and edited the film, , they used my equipment for the shoot in Abuja  , in “Mr and Mrs 2” I was the DOP and Teko
Benson Directed.  

                                                         Papel and Emilia Emeka-Nwamadi
They used my equipment and I shot for them in Lagos.  I worked on “Husbands of Lagos” Season 2 where
I was the Assistant Director and DOP 1. I worked with RokStudio Production. I was
the DOP on the Production of MFC(Music Fashion and Conflict) by Koga Studio. I
worked on Single Ladies in a RokStudio Production I have worked with Desmond
Elliot a couple of times; , on about 5 films where I was the  Assistant Director DOP 1, I Directed and
edited Pappu. Directed and Edited Red-Lline movie, Thorny movie.  Those are Sir Uzee Productions. I have also
done  countless number of Documentaries
and Music videos,  Commercials as I was
growing up in the business. 
 

                                                          Papel and his Team
I have won
several awards. One came with a cash prize of N1m for “99th Day”
which is a HomeVida Award, Best of Nollywood on “Mr and Mrs” for  Best Editing. I have won two awards  at the Abuja international Films Awards;  Viewers Choice Awards for Blue Flames and
Conscripted.
Nominations
Africa Magic Viewers Award  for Best
Sound  and Zafa Awards- Best Production
by the British Film Institute. 
I can say I
am a Multi-Award Winner. I do almost everything production. I write, I edit,
direct, I shoot, I act because of my technical background, I know what is in
the computer and what makes it work.  I
fix it myself.  I know how the camera works
from inside out, These are also the advantages I have. 

                                                Papel on set
How did you start your career in
Photography?
I started in
1996. I left Benue for Lagos because I lost my father when I was 17years old
and my mother was a Primary School Teacher and we were too many for her to
cater for so I left home for Lagos and one day I walked in to NTA(Nigeria
Television Authority) in Victoria Island and told them I wanted to act. I met a
lady; Mrs Iheanacho  I told her I have
been acting on stage, and that my father was a Thespian that I think I have it
in-born. She gave me an opportunity and I acted so well and because of my
technical background in Electrical Electronics, 
when I get on set I will helped them connect their cameras, then the
cameras had a recorder different from the ones we have now.  You have to put a battery and I could do it
so easily because I am good with my hands. I started following them as
Production Assistant and Actor and gradually I started assisting in setting up
the cameras, sometimes they allow me to record and I started learning editing in
NTA, the editors who were permanent staff. I load the tape and cue it for them
and it all started there.
 
Papel Image
Tech was registered in 1998 as a Business Name and it all went down like that.
What brought me to Abuja was to come and work in the studio and I opened up my
own business and I started doing productions, editing and shooting events and
all that but my love for film production has always been there. I used to watch
a lot of Hollywood onset a TV programme dstv when I was living in Lagos. Ever
since then I have been into production and God has been faithful and helping me
grow tremendously in the field. Today, I am a director, Editor, Writer, Actor, and
Producer. God is wonderful. 
 

What are the challenges you face in
this career?
Life has its
own Challenges. To thrive in life is never easy. You have to surmount
them.  Talent is everywhere but finances
are the biggest challenge in film production. It is capital intensive and no
one is going to entrust funds in to your hands when you are up and coming until
you can prove yourself and grow and once given the opportunity you prove
yourself again and ultimately, you want to be somebody so you work hard, you
train yourself, you improve on yourself. Don’t stay stagnant. Gradually, some
of the challenges might start fading away and you’ll not face such challenges
anymore. You are overcoming and growing but in life when you get over a huddle,
you meet another one.  Certain things are
not my challenge anymore. I won’t say I don’t have a camera, I don’t have
light. I have all those things now. As you keep living you keep aspiring for
better things, better condition, better service. So challenges will never go
away.

Current project?
“Why not” is
not released yet. The Little Devil is not released, “The Caller” is released I
Think it is online, “Conscripted” is also online and it also Premiered, Thorny
has also been released online.
The current
one is “Fantastic Numbers” or “Glitters of Gold”.
I also
worked with Paulgold on the set of the “Preachers Boy”.
Advice to those who want to be in
your shoes?
Consistency
and honesty. You are a Service Provider and you want them(your customers) to be satisfied. I
think about how that production will serve you  and I get paid to satisfy that urge. If I do a
music video I want you to spend your money and be glad that you spent your
money. First, think about the service before you think about yourself. If you
satisfy anyone, there is no way you will not get satisfied. Develop yourself,
be consistent. Let people trust you for what you say you do and have that
confidence. Be creative. It is never easy. Some people might discourage you but
don’t give up. Keep improving. The higher you go the more difficult it gets. It
is easier to go down than to go up. Keep moving up.
                                                                             
Message to Fans 
I appreciate
and thank them so much.

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