Joseph is a independent filmmaker. He is known for his work as a director and cinematographer on Battlefield 2025 and Krampus Origins. Joseph’s latest effort is the action film titled Expo, which is now available on Amazon Prime, which he described as a Love-Letter to the ‘80s action-film genre.
indieactivity: When did your filmmaking career kick off?
Joseph Mbah: My filmmaking career started in 2008, but it was not until 2010 that I had my first paid gig.
indieactivity: And why movies? What was it about movies that had you fixed on building a career around making them?
Joseph Mbah: Before filmmaking I was going to go into the Airforce as a pilot, but when I discovered filmmaking, I could feel that it is what I want to do for the rest of my life even if I never make money from it.
indieactivity: Most cite “Star Wars” as one of the films that spurred them towards a career as a filmmaker. What film was it for you?
Joseph Mbah: The film that did it for me was Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight
indieactivity: What was the first thing you shot?
Joseph Mbah: The very first thing I shot was a short film about a guy who could not control his hand when he became angry, so he ends up slapping people. I got the idea from a Nigerian film I watched as a kid.
indieactivity: And how do you think you’ve improved as a filmmaker?
Joseph Mbah: I would say I have improved drastically since then. My goal each time I make a film short or feature is to take what I have done in the past, learn from it and improve on it.
indieactivity: Is there a sequence in the latest movie that you’re truly? proud of, one you can genuinely step back from and say ‘wow, that looks great’!? Joseph Mbah: I have several, but if I had to pick one I would go with the candy scene in the jail cell. Not for the look, but more about how I tried something different that ended up working so well.
indieactivity: How did you get the cast? All auditions?
Joseph Mbah: There were some auditions, but most of the cast were comprised of people I have worked with before, so I knew exactly what I was getting from them.
indieactivity: Did they have much time to get to know each other before the shoot began?
Joseph Mbah: We had a little bit of a rehearsal time, I believe it was a day or so. But being that I have worked with most of the cast before we were pretty comfortable with each other going into the film.
indieactivity: Where did you shoot the movie? Do you believe the city is as much a star of the movie as the human players?
Joseph Mbah: The entire movie was shot in Arizona, in the city of Phoenix and some in the city of Globe. The city was for sure a character in the film, because it needed to feel like the film was taking place on the ground level.
indieactivity: What do you hope audiences get from the movie?
Joseph Mbah: My intention in writing the film was to show that human trafficking happens on a small scale, right in your own backyard. Above that I just hope that people enjoy the film.
EXPO is now available on Amazon Prime
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Actress, director and writer: behind and in front of the camera inventively
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