Clarence Peters: I never wanted to be a celebrity
Acclaimed video director and cinematographer, Clarence Peters, has revealed that his initial blueprint for his career did not include becoming popular. Rather, the plan was to only popularise his company moniker, Capital Pictures.
“I never wanted anyone to know my name. One of my guys, Banjo, was the one, who edited the video (which I shot) with my nametag, I think this was 2007 or 2006, and I didn’t know. I just saw the video on TV.
“When he was making the copies, he just put Capital there. It was just a ‘we need to put something there; it was a business move at that time. I didn’t want to be known,” Clarence said in a recent interview with Afrobeats Intelligence.
The award-winning director, who also doubles as a music label boss for Capital Hills Records, explained that he preferred his anonymity, because the fame came at an ego-disrupting prize.
“You start getting used to being known; there’s no way your ego is not going to be stroked at some point. And I did a lot to make sure that I don’t see myself as the best because if it (fame) gets your head, that is when you fail.” The 36-year-old singer also acknowledged that his dislike for self-popularity created a kind of fame-paranoia in him.
“I took it a bit too far; I never even acknowledged that I was good. I always used to tell myself that it was luck. It is this year that I even started to realise that the years of experience (25 years) have given me a couple of skills that are not readily accessible to everyone else.”
The visual storytelling don, who is renowned for beautifully expressing Nigerian culture through his videos, notes that his music video directing legacy has wrongfully stereotyped him as being unable to handle filmmaking projects.
He said, “I consult for films; I shoot short films. I do these other things, but they still tag you as a music video director. Anything past three minutes or four minutes, they do not think you can do better than that.”
Clarence Peters was born to celebrity parents – Afro-juju singer, Sir. Shina Peters and Nollywood Veteran, Clarion Chukwura. After his graduation from secondary school, he worked with the production outfit, Alpha Vision, for three years, before venturing on to Cape Town where he studied Cinematography.
He returned to Nigeria and partnered with some filmmakers to establish the Alliance Film Company. After a year, he quit the company and kick-started his own production outfit, Capital Dreams Pictures.