Content Producer Diana Ringtho: “I love to create visual experiences that move my audience”
We are in a time of a content revolution where content is king. With the emergence of content platforms like Netflix, Amazon and YouTube, creatives now find it much easier to get their work out to the world. However in Uganda, the notion of paying for content is still not fully accepted but we are learning. Especially during the pandemic, we now see creators that make content, be it written blogs or visual content in the form of videos that offer us something valuable and relatable. In this Design Hustle edition, we speak to a lady who is deep in content creation. We could say she is the ‘Queen of Content’.
Diana, please introduce yourself
My name is Diana Ringtho. I am a video creator, passionate about storytelling through video and photography. I am also the founder and creative director of my company Creative Compound. My dream is to create visual experiences that move my audience. I remember the first time I was moved by a film; I was about five of six year old, watching The Lion King, that scene where Simba’s father died. That was my first experience with loss and I could feel his pain. My dream is to create films or shows that touch the very soul of the people watching it. I want people to experience it not just see it.
What lead you to where you are now – this moment?
In 2017, after a year of doing practically nothing, I decided to freelance as a videographer for weddings. That’s how we all start. In fact, my very first gig was to cover the 40th wedding anniversary of the Retired Chief Justice Bart Katurebe and his wife Bernadett. It was soo exciting! But I quickly realised that events gigs suck. I was tired all the time, my clients paid little but wanted me to deliver the moon. It was exhausting.
At the same time though, I was doing short videos for my church and that gave me so much joy and creative control over the content. To make it even better, they allowed me to explore. That is when I started asking myself how I can make money from short videos.
The concept of Creative Compound was birthed out of this and the fact that I loved working with people who get my vision. I’m blessed to be surrounded by some really special people. It’s strange how the people I least expected to cheer me on do so. I used to be obsessed with the kind of radical work that Bush Baby did, I wanted to work for him some day. I can spot his handiwork from miles away. Every time I look up, two particular creators also inspire me Insecure’s Issa Rae and producer Machaela Cole from the series I May Destroy You. These women are killing it. Oh.. and Eva DuVernay (Goals Just).
How has it been in building your company and career?
Wow, it has been tough and interesting. The places where I was rejected kind of freed me up and opened doors to things that I only dreamt of doing. I realised there’s actually a market for what I love to do and that is not traditional advertising. People actually started to pay me to create short videos for really anything, be it meeting reviews, updates, social media promos or school projects. You name it, I’ve done it. I haven’t been perfect all the way. There are times I have failed miserably, or there have been seasons where I’d go for months without work, which means no money. From time to time, I did (or do) some small jobs to meet my needs. But I’m very optimistic about my dream.
The journey has been hard filled with obstacles. For example, I don’t have my own filming equipment so I have to hire it. That is very expensive. But if each time, I didn’t take a gig because of equipment, then I wouldn’t have been in the game at all. So I have accepted that for now, I need to hire equipment. When I do have work from clients, I will hire my friend’s equipment so that when I have a personal project, I can call in a favor.
Another thing is the fact that I’m a woman. I have noticed that I’ll be offered way less than my male counterparts for a similar gig but I’ve learned not to sweat it. It doesn’t bother me anymore because that is a strong indicator that I shouldn’t be doing that job.
What are those moments, or products / services, or clients that you are proud of?
I am the producer of the popular Youtube Channel “iAm Uncle Mo, Makanika from Kireka“. The success of that channel has superseded my initial expectations. We are in an era where people follow the thing or person or trend that is working. I, however, love to look for the gems in places, things or people that the world has ignored. When I choose the people I want to do a job with, it is because I can trust who they are when no one is looking, not when the spotlight is on. And also because I do my best work when no one is looking. I love to empower people who have been shut down. I like to direct them and encourage them to do better the next time. My team is small, but we make magic together. This excites me every single time.
Oh, and I also don’t take every client, as much as they choose me, I have the choice to choose them or not.
All this pushed me to work hard in my craft. When I was on campus in my first year, I decided I wanted to be a creative director because I found out that was a role that didn’t have a set path of education or experience. Creative Directors create their own paths and experiences. The dream hasn’t changed. My hope is that in the future, I will be a creative director, telling stories of everyday people doing extraordinary things despite the odds.