Filmmakers should use resources to produce bodies of work

by Latoya Burnham

Filmmakers who are provided with national resources to help push the local industry should need to prove they are producing a body of work.

filmakerIn this way, says a group of local filmmakers from Let’s Do This Filmz, it could pave the way for others who are producing and having difficulties getting financing.

Three of the four core members of Let’s Do This Filmz, Selwyne Get Bizzy Browne, Ricky Redman and Shakirah Bourne told Barbados TODAY in an interview late this evening following the unexpected success of their new film PAYDAY, that they are already planning another release for later this year. That film will be a psychological thriller called Two Smart, the name which was revealed for the first time this evening.

Bourne noted that PAYDAY was done strictly from the pockets of the principals in Let’s Do This Filmz, with support from MOV Enterprises, while Browne noted that it was difficult when a relatively new company did not have a list of success behind it to attract funding.

He argued that with producers like Marcia Weekes and her numerous films over the years, and other productions like Keeping Up With the Joneses, and now PAYDAY, it was clear that the industry was moving but all of the producers he had spoken too complained about the same thing – support through funding.

Redman added: “There is no way a film industry is going to emerge out of Barbados unless many of us move; all of us… Marcia is out there already blazing a trail, Keeping Up With the Joneses and this is an exciting time when Keeping Up With The Joneses is out there, and we just came on the scene for a week and look what we are doing.

“You can see an industry emerging and we want to look at it in that way. I hear a lot about people getting funding for films and getting funding in the industry and we are not seeing a lot happening. There are things happening like Marcia and Keeping Up With The Joneses, and we haven’t asked for anything [funding-wise] yet but we are now here and ready to move.

“I think you have three proven companies moving. I think it is time that when our national resources get put behind products that they are either proven or well-researched to know that they would get the sort of reach, and that they [the resources] are also placed in the hands of people who work hard and will push and get things out there,” he said.

While there were claims that Barbados does not have a film industry, Redman said it was clear that it was starting to take shape, with local films making more and more “noise” on the local, regional and even the international scene.

Since PAYDAY opened last week, with a then planned schedule to run for two weeks, the crew said the film was now being extended to the end of the month because of the “phenomenal response”, with a full house on opening night and large audiences since.

“A few months ago Chrissy was making noise and is still making noise worldwide because she [Marcia Weekes] is still touring. So I am saying we want to do that and take Barbados out there… My thing is as long as we can sustain ourselves and sustain films we will produce,” said Redman.

“People are given ‘millions’ to do movies and we’re not seeing them and they have been out there for years – people with the equipment and means to make movies,” said Bourne.

The crew said they made PAYDAY to show what the company was capable of, but if they were to do what they really wanted to in terms of producing more local films, at least three per year, they would need financial backing and Barbados behind them.

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