Team Mussah: A Trailblazers in Tawi-Tawi’s Media Productions

By Johnny R. Lee

What started as a bunch of rag-tag photo hobbyists, the Mussah Productions is now a full-blown media entity that is now the toss of the town in terms of photo and video productions for various occasions like birthdays, graduation, weddings and festival events.

Mussah, which means pearl or gem in local dialect, was initiated by two young men named Ali Mouktar Mohammad Tilka and Bhas  Abdulsamad both homegrown Tawi-Tawians. They started from scratch with only their personal low-end DSLR Nikon cameras and lowly desktop computer as tools. The former is a Computer student drop-out and the latter is just a fresh graduate of B.S. Statistics from MSU Tawi-Tawi. 

Capitalizing on the scarcity of media producers (photos & videos) in the locality, the tandem of Moh. Tilka and Abdulsamad thought it wise that they could at least earn to support their daily subsistence as both of them were unemployed and had no steady source of income. The partnership had to rely and explore the internet and other platforms like YouTube and other sources to hone their skills in media production. 

It was a long and tedious process yet rewarding when finally they mastered the art of photography and video making by using applications like Photoshop, Lightroom, and other Adobe products available. 

From a mere pair of digital cameras, they started catching attention by posting their photos and videos products on Facebook. A number of clients started to come and hire their services to cover small weddings and birthdays celebrations. 

The big break came when they were commissioned to cover the biggest provincial festival called ‘Kamahardikaan Tawi-Tawi’ (2016 Tawi-Tawi Anniversary). Out of their modest earnings from services they rendered, they  segregated some amounts or savings with the intention of acquiring high-end gadgets and paraphernalias to enhance the quality of their craft.

 At this juncture, the Mussah Productions who now call themselves Team Mussah began to recruit and train young boys and girls to augment the much needed manpower and assistants that could handle the multiple equipment required of a media production. In their ‘shooting arsenal’ could be found a camera drone, modern high-end digital cameras, recording system, gimbals, powerful editing computer system, and zoom lenses – both micros and macros. 

Their capacity as media outfit and ‘talents’ extended to film or cinema making. In 2018, their entry, ‘Manis Ma Pikilan’ (Beautiful Thoughts), to the First Moro Short Film Festival held and screened at Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex in Cotabato City bagged the four major awards ( Best Film, Best Actor, Best Cinematography and Best Editing). 

Just recently they inaugurated their modest Production Studio and has partnered with Halcy’s Wedding Events Planner outfit which is owned by a young and talented decor artist named Halun Mussamad. The partnership according to keen observers is said to be a ‘perfect combination’ as far as the visual arts is concerned. 

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