TAKE 5 ! With Amos Cheruiyot

Amos Cheruiyot, known by his stage name ‘Guzman’, is an avid, multifaceted, and accomplished self-taught multi-award-winning filmmaker with an insatiable curiosity and a passion for innovation. He is also a Visual Artist, proficient at Graphic Design, Web Design, Conceptual Photography, and Videography. Besides, he is a Statistician by profession, graduated B.Sc. Statistics from JKUAT in 2022.

Q: What do you like most about your job as a producer / director?

A: First, I like the connections that I create with my network. I meet different people from different backgrounds and professions in every project I work on. These connections have also helped me achieve a lot in my life, even matters not related to film.

Second, I love the impact I create on people’s lives. Through my films, some audience have confessed to have transformed for the better after learning one or two new things from the stories I tell through my films.

Last, I like the fulfilment that comes with the success/completion of a film project.

Q: What do you consider your artistic process when it comes to making a film?

A: As a director, I approach performance directing by first connecting with my cast and trying to understand their personal lives so that I know how best to guide them on set. An actor’s background determines a lot in how they portray the character allocated to them. I also listen to my crew and consider their reasoning. I don’t consider my reasoning supreme. I use democratic directing style.

As a producer, I prepare and compile presentable reports at every stage of production. I share these reports with the rest of the team, so that we may be on the same page. I update the reports whenever there’s a change and share the same updates with the rest of the team.

Q: Why did you start making films?

A: I started making films because it felt like a natural calling to me. Nature was calling me to film, and to fulfill my purpose in this world, I didn’t hesitate. I felt like leaving a legacy in this world by positively impacting people’s lives through the stories I tell in my films. This fulfils me, and I feel incomplete without film.

Q: What are you currently watching?

A: I am currently watching classical films from the mid to late 20th century. I am just from watching “The Godfather (1972)” after watching “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial”. I realized that history is important. These films often serve as valuable historical and cultural artifacts. They provide a glimpse into the past, capturing the social, political, and artistic climate of the time in which they were made. It enables me to understand the history and evolution of cinema, as well as the broader historical context in which these films were created. I appreciate and learn from them.

Q: Any advice to those starting out in the film industry ?

A: It’s important to understand the theory part of film before getting into practice. Film theory provides a foundation of knowledge and critical thinking skills that can enhance the quality and depth of your work. It allows you to analyze and interpret films from a theoretical perspective, enabling you to understand the underlying principles, techniques, and concepts that contribute to effective storytelling and visual communication.

By studying film theory, you gain insights into the historical, cultural, and artistic contexts of cinema, which can inform your own creative decisions and help you develop a unique artistic voice. Also, film theory can inspire and guide your creative process.

By studying the works of influential filmmakers and theorists, you can gain insights into their techniques, philosophies, and approaches to storytelling. This knowledge can serve as a source of inspiration and inform your own artistic choices. It can also help you navigate the complexities of the filmmaking process, from pre-production to post-production, by providing you with a theoretical framework to guide your decision-making.