“Ceo Masterpiece” Onyedikachi Iyeh Covers I Must Talk Magazine’s Latest Edition.



1. May we know you?

I am Onyedikachi Iyeh , from Imo state, a BSc. holder in Computer science from the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO). I am also a professional dance artiste and a Visual Illusionist.

2. When did you start dancing and how long have you been into it professionally.

I was not always into dancing at first, when I was much younger I first had a flare for gymnastics and martial arts, as I loved watching many Chinese movies. I found dance in 2005, after I watched the popular dance film “you got served”, and since it had a lot of similarities with gymnastics and martial arts it wasn’t so difficult for me to get used to dance. I went for a lot of competitions and performances ever since; Maltina dance all, Malta Guinness street dance, Amstel Malta, Dance 234, etc. I never went to a dance a school, as I have always been a self-taught person in every way, however, I have had the privilege of working with a lot of dance academies and performed alongside top artists in the entertainment industry.

3. We see you are also a VFX artist. Tell us about your journey into VFX and how long have you being a Visual effect professional?

Just like my love for martial arts and gymnastics led me to dance, so also my love to merging dance with more martial arts and stunts led me to vfx. I started adding some little effects to the videos I made for dance and shortly after that, I started having a flare for vfx and visual illusion. I’ve been into visual illusion for quite a long time, but I became really efficient in it during 2020 lock down. Then I had all the time to learn and self-teach myself everything I know now.

4. Unlike regular dance videos we see everywhere, you infused a lot of VFX into your own dance videos. How did you discover the idea, and why did you decide to use such a style and be consistent with it?

Well, I’ve always been a lover of “merging” all forms of arts and expression in order to tell my stories, hence the name “masterpiece” is about bringing different parts of skills, individual, uniqueness, into one umbrella.  More like different pieces coming together to form a MASTERPIECE, which was how the name was birthed.

5. When exactly and how did the name Masterpiece come to light?

It started first in secondary school when I was able to form a dance team of 5 guys that do 5 different styles of dance, and at that time “masterpiece” was the best name to give us, then I went to university and formed a team along with a friend Purpose Antonio, and named the team “masterpiece” as we were about merging dance and other creative skills together. Long story short, I had to carry on that dream and keep the name and lead the team as we took over Owerri as the best dance crew multiple times.

6. You radiate so much energy as a dancer, how do you ensure you stay strong and fit enough for performance?

EXERCISE! I cannot emphasize this enough as a performing artiste especially a dancer. Dancing for dancers is not really a form of exercise, as our bodies have been already used to dancing, so it is important that dancers take time to actually do proper exercises in order to stay fit and deliver always.

7. What are the most important traits a dancer should have?

Willingness to learn and evolve, discipline to stay consistent and knowing your self-worth as a dancer.

8. Your videos are indeed a masterpiece, how do you come up with such creative and unique ideas?

It’s easy, coming from the type of background I have and what brought me this far, I just keep finding ways to merge all the arts in my own way.

9. As a choreographer, before you develop a dance routine what do you determine/put into consideration?

The theme; what the performance is about, the song choice, and how you want to interpret it.

10. In making your videos you direct, perform and edit the videos all by yourself, how do you multitask and yet still produce amazing results?

At some point in my life, I’ve had the opportunity to be each of these, and during the pandemic, for me it was a time to bring all my skills into a Channel.

11. How long does it take you to make your videos?

It takes me an average of 5-7 days to create my type of videos.

12. Who is your mentor in the world of VFX and in dance respectively?

I’ve never really had a mentor. I’ve just been a good thief, I gather Information, both in and out of the dance and VFX world and I merge them in my way. I guess it’s safe to say I am my own mentor.

13. Do you hope to work /collaborate with international video/film makers sometime in future?

That’s not really my goal for now, as I might as well fall in love with another form of art. The video editing part for me is not to be a filmmaker, it is just to keep telling my stories in my own way. I believe collaborations would find me in the process.

14. What influences most of the creative illusion videos you make?

My life story, my history, the word “masterpiece”.

15. What is the hardest artistic part in making your videos?

They are all individually tasking. However, the most tasking would be the editing process due to the amount to time it takes to edit all the things I have scripted and shot.

16. Do dancers get enough credit? In addition, are they well paid here in Nigeria?

I used to be of the notion that they do not get enough credit, but then, I believe if dancers were to take responsibility of how they are being portrayed, there would probably be a give more credit.

17. How would you describe the advancement of technology having an impact in movie/video production?

A lot have changed, is changing, and will keep changing as long as there’s advancement in technology. The question would be how open to change will the video production in this part of the world be? I can tell you, some of the people in various media field are still very much stuck in their old ways. Only a few are warming up to the advancement of technology.

18. What do you do to stay up to date with industry technologies and software?

Keep researching, learning, unlearning and relearning. Stay hungry for knowledge and enlightenment.

19. Describe your favourite visual effect from a movie and why do you like it?

Hmm, I can’t really pick one, but I’ll say Matrix, they did a very good job at the time the movie was created. They really maximized their technology and went all out to improvise where necessary.

20. So far, what has been your most challenging visual effect design?

So far, I believe my most challenging in yet to come.

21. You pull up risky stunts at times in your routine, what's the secret, or how do you make sure you don't hurt yourself in the process?

There’s no guarantee to safety in my works, although I am cautious, and I mostly do things that I have practiced enough on. I guess it stems from the love of action scenario , martial arts, gymnastics etc.

To me it’s all fun, but I understand not everyone would be willing to go that far, I guess that’s why I get to do them Myself.

22. If you get the chance to work in project in Nollywood, what would you do differently?

Hmm, well, as I said, Nollywood is not really the goal for me; I am trying to build my own industry. If I am to work on a Nollywood project, I guess I would first give a long seminar to our directors and producers on how far technology has advanced and how they should really be more open minded… the story is long.

23. What would you love to tell or say to young or upcoming creatives in your field?

Keep showing up! Don’t do it for the Gram! Try to have fun along the way!

Nobody really cares about you, so don’t let other people’s opinions of you or your work stop you from creating what you love.

24. Is there anything we don't know about you that you'd love to tell us?

Hmm, I guess there are a few things; I draw and sing, but not professionally, maybe sometimes in the future I would find a way to merge that too.

25. Any word(s) for us at imusttalk?

Don’t stop showing up!!! Great work on your journey so far, I can’t wait to see you at the very top.

Thanks for your time.

.

Credits

Cover star: @ceo_masterpiece

EIC: @anthonynnamdi

Editor: @brella_artistry

Photography: @monography.x

Designer: @anthonynnamdio

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