Bring Back the Big Movies to Jamaica. Everything from James Bond to the Mighty Quinn was once filmed in Jamaica. I’m working with Jamaican filmmakers, including some in the video, to bring the big productions back to the island.
BRING BACK THE BIG MOVIES TO JAMAICA
I played no role in the production of the video, but am working with some filmmakers on the island (including some connected to this video) to shoot the Jamaica Series using mostly Jamaicans for both the actors and the production staff. We’re also trying to bring Hollywood and the rest of the big time international film community back to Jamaica.
The local talent is extraordinary. . .
Watch the video and you’ll quickly notice the Jamaican actors and filmmakers’ enormous talent, impressive diversity, and spontaneous wit.
Kurt Wright wrote and directed the video titled “Beyond the Lens.” Over sixty Jamaican filmmakers participated and obviously put their hearts and soul into the project, but Kurt conceived and directed it to the polished production you see in the video.
Where I fit in. . .
While I would’ve loved to of played even a small part in the production of Beyond the Lens, I only discovered it after the fact when a couple of Jamaican filmmaker friends introduced it to me. Beyond the Lens was written, shot, directed, produced, and acted entirely by Jamaicans.
Already working on screenplays set in Jamaica, I was thrilled to run across the video. I have communicated with several of the filmmakers and actors in this video, as well as others on the island, and hope to work with them on my movies.
I wrote the Jamaica Series…
I wrote the Jamaica Series to appeal to offer more diverse Jamaican characters, but wrote the books for an international audience. I also write screenplays, and am working on screenplays for the entire series.
While it’s still early pre-production, we’re targeting a 2018 release date for the first movie in the Jamaica Series.
I want to use a mostly-Jamaican cast and production department. . .
Jamaica has great scenery, but I don’t want to be part of another big production that shoots in Jamaica, but has foreigners playing Jamaicans. In my movies set in Jamaica, I want extraordinary international casts and crews, with Jamaicans playing the roles of Jamaicans. We definitely want some international actors and filmmakers to join the project, but they can play Americans, English, Japanese, Canadian, German, but not play Jamaicans. There’s lots of Jamaican talent to choose from for my projects, or for any other that international filmmakers might be interested in shooting on location in Jamaica.
Jamaican filmmakers have stayed busy. . .
When the big productions disappeared, Jamaican filmmakers kept going. They used their training to make Jamaican films. Some of these Jamaican productions are great pieces of art. While the films are written mostly for a local audience, the older filmmakers who studied under the great filmmakers who once came to the island, have groomed an entire generation of new Jamaican filmmakers. I want to link up with as many as possible to shoot at least eight movies in the Jamaica Series.
Jamaicans know comedy. . .
Watch the video and you’ll see the Jamaican humor at work. I particularly love the segment where the dread says “We’ve tried to work with what you’ve given us.” The water dripping through the JAMPRO wicker basket is priceless. I laugh at several parts of the video.
I also enjoyed the way the Jamaicans in the video poked some fun at Stella Got Her Groove, even half-jokingly blaming the movie for destroying the once-thriving Jamaican film industry. It is hilarious stuff, but the Jamaican actors I know are livid that Hollywood has generally cast Americans to play Jamaicans, even for the movies shot in Jamaica. With all the talent, that seem ludicrous. Of course, we’re talking about America, where surrounded by “Indians”, most the Hollywood movies of past eras cast white men to play the native roles.
Jamaican Filmmakers need the government to play their role. . .
As the actors and filmmakers discuss in the video, the Jamaican government needs to do more than they are to help bring back the big movies to Jamaica.
Be it the Jamaica Series or other productions…
The Jamaican government must clear some bureaucratic obstacles and otherwise provide some structural support for any big time film project to shoot again in Jamaica. All the Jamaican filmmakers in the video, and foreigners such as myself, are asking is that the Jamaican government clear some of the roadblocks that we’ve discussed in phone calls, emails, etc.
The Jamaican government and Jamaicans with money should also invest in the large pool of Jamaican filmmakers and actors. Like too many other island resources, they are currently under-utilized. Jamaicans are natural born actors. Support them!
Why do I care?
I was born American, but have been a Jamerican for over twenty-five years. My wife is Jamaica. Our children, one born in Jamaica and other in the U.S. are Jamericans. I care about Jamaica. One of the ways to help get the economy going is through big films. I know both cultures, and can assist with any American or European filmmakers interested in shooting in Jamaica. I can work with the filmmakers, actors, hotels, locations in Jamaica to accommodate any scale of production. While I want to shoot the Jamaica Series, first and foremost I want to help bring big films back to Jamaica.
Hollywood & International Filmmakers
Please take a look at the talented Jamaican filmmakers in the BEYOND THE LENS video by Kurt Wright. That is just a sampling of the talent on the island.
Any film company interested in shooting a movie in Jamaica can feel free to contact me for assistance. I know all parts of Jamaica and the culture, so I would be happy to assist in negotiating with the government, hotels, casting, pre-production, production, etc.
Be it for my project or any big project, I am eager to assist any major international filmmakers interested in Jamaica as a location.
BRING BACK THE BIG MOVIES TO JAMAICA by Jerry Beller
***I wrote everything above. Credit for the video and the information below goes to the mentioned responsible parties.
VIDEO INFORMATION & CREDITS – BEYOND THE LENSE
A historic gathering of 60+ members, including some of the best and brightest in Jamaica’s film industry.
“Beyond The Lens” is the voice of an increasingly frustrated Jamaican film making community who, despite an almost complete lack of support from their government, continue to create day after day, month after month, year after year.
“Out of many, One people.”
Filmed over the course of 4 days in Kingston, Jamaica.
*This video is not for profit and all music is the property of its respective owners.
Cast (In Order of Appearance)
Kurt Wright – Writer/Director
Lisa Williams – Actor
Sheldon “Sheppy” Shepherd – Actor
Leonie Forbes – Actor
David Crossgill – Actor
Kadeem Wilson – Actor
Grace Mcghie – Actor
Franklyn St. Juste – Director/Cinematographer
Munair Zacca – Actor
Richard Lannaman – Director/Cinematographer
Ruth Hoshing – Actor
Bob Kerr – Actor
Barbara Mcalla – Actor
Cecile Burrowes – Casting Director
Marguerite Newland – Actor
Sarah Manley – Producer/Line Producer
Natalie Thompson – Producer/Line Producer
Chris “Birdie” Gordon – Actor/Musician
Maurice Bryan – Actor
Carey “Macka” Campbell – Actor
Everaldo “Evie” Creary – Actor/Musician
Kyle Chin – Director/Cinematographer
Sakina Deer – Actor
Nadean Rawlins – Actor
Kevoy Burton – Actor
Noelle Kerr – Actor
Jean-Paul Menou – Actor/Director/Producer
Camille Davis – Actor
Chris Macfarlane – Actor
Makeda Solomon – Actor
Shanique Brown – Actor
Nomaddz – Musicians
Fabian Thomas – Actor/Writer/Director
Richard Lannaman (Top Left)
Chris Browne (Top Right)
Gareth Cobran (Lower Left)
Travis Anomie (Lower Right)
Chris Browne (Top Left)
Franklyn St. Juste (Top Middle)
Richard Lannaman (Top Right)
Ian Simpson (Lower Left)
Jeremy McMillan (Lower Middle)
Gareth Cobran (Lower Right)
Andre “Views” Bennett
Everaldo “Evie” Creary
Sheldon “Sheppy” Shepherd
Chris “Birdie” Gordon
Darin “Twiggy” Tennent – Production Coordinator
Phillisa Fearon – Production Manager
Earl Brown – Gaffer
Charl Baker & Noelle Kerr (Talent Factory)
Michelle Haynes – Costume Designer
Hugh Wright – Photographer
Emily Newland – Makeup Artist/Special FX Makeup
Rachelle Williams – Art Department
Cathy Stephenson – Makeup Artist/Special FX Makeup
Serchen Morris – Independent Media Production Professional
Kritik – Post Production (@iamthekritik / @kaoarts)
Susie Braham – Actor
Hillary Nicholson – Actor/Director
Kevon Archer – Art Department
Gareth Cobran – Director/Cinematographer
Alix Khouri – Wardrobe Stylist
Courtney Sutherland – Camera Operator
Andre “Views” Bennett – Actor/Aspiring Filmmaker
Dean “Squidly” Sutherland – Camera/Jib Operator
O’Neil Peart – Actor/Musician
Ian Simpson – Director/Cinematographer
Neil Colley – Editor
Chris Browne – Director/Writer/Cinematographer
Chris Hutchinson – Actor
Jeremy McMillan – Director/Cinematographer