Ghana taps Encore for TV - By David Wren THE SUN NEWS

Rik Dickinson in Ghana
Encore Video Productions of Myrtle Beach is partnering with an African prince to lure American businesses overseas and bring wireless cable television to the nation of Ghana.

Encore president Rik Dickinson said he will broker deals between Ghana's fledgling Videomart cable system and American television networks, such as The Family Channel and CNN, that are interested in broadcasting in Africa.

Encore will also develop and produce entertainment and documentary programs for the system, which is owned by Ghana's Prince Kwame Kludjeson. Ghana is a country of about 15.5 million people that borders the Atlantic Ocean in northwest Africa.

Kludjeson said the cable system should be ready to broadcast nationwide by the end of this year.

"Much of what you see on African television is pretty dull," said Dickinson, who spent a month this spring training Videomart's television crews.

"Prince Kwame was looking for the kind of creative punch and style that Americans bring to their film production," he added, "and that's why he chose us to help train their crews and teach them different techniques."

Most of Ghana's original television programming will be produced by Encore in Myrtle Beach. Ghana television crews will shoot the video and then ship it to Myrtle Beach for voice-overs, musical scoring and rough-cut editing. The video will then be returned to Ghana for final editing and broadcast.

An example of the type of work Encore and Videomart will coproduce is a film for the United Nations that documents Ghana's problem with an influx of refugees from other parts of Africa.

Another offshoot of the cable deal between Videomart and Encore is a series of recruitment videos designed to lure American businesses to Ghana. Dickinson said he will also produce public relations videos for American businesses already in Ghana or plan to locate there.

Encore's client list already includes international clients DuPont, Anheuser-Busch and IBM.


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