Interview with cinematographer Paul Kabungo


        PAUL Kabungo


        Paul Kabungo is an upcoming film maker who specializes in cinematography. He entered into the media world 3 years ago in South Africa , working at Mnet/Supersport. He started his in house training there and was part of the  crew on a number of projects including: big brother Africa 3 (Endemol for Mnet), survivor S.A, S.A idols 3 (Fremantle media for Mnet), Carte blanche (Active blue for Mnet), deal or no deal , super diski (super sport 4), nedbank golf challenge (super sport 1), and some concerts for international artists like ; Keri Hilson, John Legend, Bow wow, the killers,and many more.

Last year he got a scholarship to study film in Europe , that’s where he started to specialize in cinematography. He also took a few photography lessons both on film and DSLRs.

He is currently working at Meanwood communications as head of productions/resident photographer.


KAPA187: What first interested you in film making and cinematography?

PAUL Kabungo: I think it started when I was about 10years old. I was always fascinated with cameras. When I went to South Africa to study IT, I decided to explore this career more seriously.


KAPA187: How was the experience of being on the crew for a number of of shows for Mnet, such as Survivor SA, Big brother 3? How did you get the opportunity?


PAUL Kabungo: The experience was great, especially on Big Brother because they usually get students and interns as crew. It’s a very good platform to practice what you learn either at school or as an intern at work. The opportunity came about because I was an intern at Mnet and a company owned by Mnet. The people who assemble the crew for these shows give priority to in house staff then freelancers.


KAPA187: What are the pros and cons of being a cinematographer? Please be specific.

PAUL Kabungo: Cinematography is the art or technique of using a motion-picture or digital camera. This art includes camera type and support equipment choices e.g. dollies, cranes, steadycams, lens choices, filters etc. Basically a Cinematographer executes what the Director sees aesthetically. While the Director is artistic, the Cinematographer is technical.

Some of the pros are that you get to dictate and bully all departments on the film set, hahahaha. Seriously all departments on the film set must confirm with the Cinematographer also known as the Director of Photography (DoP) before an idea is locked and executed.

The con of this job in Africa is we don’t have all the equipment needed to execute what the scripts of the films we shoot require. This can be very frustrating and if one is not flexible and is not good with improvising, the whole movie project can be a sham!

KAPA187: If you weren’t a cinematographer, what would you want to be? Why?

PAUL Kabungo: In the filming industry if I wasn’t a cinematographer then I’d have been an editor. Because editing is the closest and second most technical department *BIG SMILE* Otherwise away from the film world I’d have been a Computer Programmer.

KAPA187: What type of training have you had?

PAUL Kabungo: I have a Diploma in Legal Studies from University of London, an Advanced Diploma in Computer Science ABMA and a Diploma in Media and Film Studies from Finland.


KAPA187: Describe your typical day on the job

PAUL Kabungo : Am currently the Head of Video Productions/Photographer at Meanwood Communications. My typical day requires me to plan, schedule and carry out shoots, both photo and video.


KAPA187: Would you recommend this career to someone else? And what traits do you feel are necessary for the job.

PAUL Kabungo: Yeah, most definitely I would. It’s a very interesting career. Most productions done in Zambia luck a cinematographer’s touch, we need more of us *smiles*

To be a good cinematographer one has to be very focused, ready to listen and flexible, must know how to communicate without offending others, and must have a heart to endure (some shoots can be very frustrating). Having a good understanding on Lighting and Photos is a very big plus because there is a very thin line between Photography and Cinematography.


Kapa187: What has been the highlight of your career?


PAUL Kabungo: Too many to single out, but maybe when I was given to operate the crane (jimmy job) camera at a concert for American artists.

KAPA187: Do you feel you have a signature visual style to your work?

PAUL Kabungo: Yeah very much! In-as-much-as we listen and execute Director’s visions, we always leave footprints of our style on films. Am a fan of high contrasts and dynamics. Am also a fan of Low key lighting because DRAMA is my preference genre.

KAPA187:  What projects are you currently working on

PAUL Kabungo: Am working on 3 documentaries; Cardiac Trust of Zambia, Electro Commission of Zambia and one on Zambian DJs.

Am doing adverts for ECZ, Engen Filling Station, Uniturtle, Portico and ZESCO.

Am working on a music video for Slim Tim (hip hop artist). Am also scheduled to shoot music videos for Macky II, Karasa, Alpha Romeo, Damian AKA Nameless and Nick Pro.

Am doing a Black n White photo series to be exhibited at Alliance Fransaise. Am left with 3 female models 🙂

KAPA187:  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

PAUL Kabungo: In five years time I would have bought most of the necessary equipment needed to shoot decent productions, and I’d be running my media company fulltime… The sky is the Limit.



 BLACK N WHITE:  these Photos are of models as well as photos from music video shoots. These photos and more can be seen at Aliance Francaise.


COLOUR : these pictures are in natural light













  1. I do most of my work with the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, with EF 17 to 105mm IS USM, EF 15mm IS USM, and EF 35mm IS USM lenses.

  2. Paul i wnt u to tk sm photos of me wat do i do dude u ar good yo yo yo keep it upPaul i wnt u to tk sm photos of me wat do i do dude u ar good yo yo yo keep it up

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