Where Are They Now: Our Past Winner Mlu On Pursuing His Dream Career
What happens after someone wins an MTV Breaks opportunity? We caught up with Mlu Godola, who won our MTV Breaks X MTV Shuga directing opportunity last year, to find out.
Mlu Godola won our MTV Breaks Director opportunity last year, which means he had the chance to direct a whole scene of our award-winning teen drama MTV Shuga in South Africa. He did an amazing job. We caught up with him to find out where he's at with pursuing his dream career, one year later...
Here's what are DJ winner got up to back at Isle of MTV Malta...
How did it feel finding out you'd be directing on the MTV Shuga set?
I spent the first day in a state of disbelief, almost expecting them to call me again to tell me that they’d made a mistake. But as the reality sank in (and that no mistake had been made) I began to get excited. I remember counting the days before I would get to be on the Shuga set.
It is really a big thing to even be a small part of such an acclaimed series – the same one that launched so many careers.
Tell us about your experience on set – how did you find it?
It was a really enriching experience to spend those days on set, watching all those artists at work. Although it wasn’t my first time on a film set, it was certainly my first time on film set this big. Everybody was busy with something and although there were so many people from different departments, they were all working in unison.
The experience was made way better by how they embraced me during my time there as well. I never felt out of place and everyone was willing to answer even my dumbest questions.
How did you get along with your mentor?
Rea Rangaka was a great mentor to have. Not only because he was so great at his craft but also because when it finally became my turn to direct a scene, he let me do my thing. I remember him telling me that the best way I would learn to direct would be through trial and error. I found that really helpful because I had the freedom to make my own decisions while still having him available to offer experienced advice.
What did you learn?
On a practical level, as a guy that’s really only made short films so far, it was a real eye-opener to be on a set like this. I observed the importance of clear communication lines between every department member. I reckoned that was only way they could be able to pull something like this off. To always be organised so that even when something unexpected happens, you’re still prepared. On a creative level, I learned the importance of engaging with every department as director, in order to get the best from everyone and to create a unified piece of work.
What was your favourite part of the experience?
I still maintain that the best part of the experience was actually directing the scene. I’d spent the previous three days watching everyone work, so by the fourth day I was itching to direct. And was it what I expected? Definitely. I mean, I had the chance to direct two of the most talented young actors working right now (Thuso Mbedu & Jezriel Skei) and I was working with filmmakers with years of experience.
I will cherish that moment for a very long time.
What have you been up to since?
I spent the rest of 2017 finishing off my studies at film school. And since then, I have been in development on a number of feature length projects of my own and in pre-production on a short film that I’m really excited about.
How has MTV Breaks helped you achieve your dream of being a director?
It definitely has. It offered me the opportunity to work with some of the best filmmakers and learn from them on a hands-on basis. It has also given me the chance to begin to establish myself in the industry, which is every young filmmakers dream.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I hope to see myself as a more experienced director. A director who is confident in their stories and is able to tell them in the most engaging way possible. I want to collaborate with great artists in different disciplines and create work that resonates with audiences all over the world.
And above all, I want to be happy but never content.