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So You Want To Make A Movie In The Bahamas?
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Page 1 of 1Total of 1 messages
Posted by:Mar 29th 2005, 07:26:41 pm
Fig Tree News TeamSo you want to make a movie?

By Thea Rutherford, Nassau Guardian Staff Reporter

After four years of rough drafts and silver screen dreams, Garlon Percentie is getting his big break. At 25, he is about to witness his words take on a life of their own. He is about to make his first movie.

He brought the script, says president of the Bahamas Professional Filmmakers Association (BPFA) Kevin Kemp of Mr Percentie, and he just needed to tighten it up. And as founder of the BPFA, helping young aspirants achieve their goals in filmmaking is what Mr Kemp, a Bahamian cinematographer and film commission member, and Vice President, Kent Minnis, have set out to do.

Through the association, Mr Kemp wants to create an environment for artists like Mr Percentie to "get the ball rolling."

Mr Percentie's Ya Drunk Again feature film length script looks like a winner.

"The story was excellent," says Mr Kemp. Hearing about the BPFA, Mr Percentie took his original draft to Mr Kemp. The young writer put Mr Kemp's advice to adjust the script to the one-and-a-half-hour feature film length into action and returned with a sharper version of his Bahamian-based comedy, which echoes the popular Geno D song.

The association blossomed from a discovery and a realisation, Mr Kemp says. After completing a report on the state of the filmmaking in the country two years ago, Mr Kemp recognised the formation of an association was necessary to have the tools and personnel to foster the industry's growth. "You can't have the film industry without the talent," he declares.

The next step for him would actually be to establish the association that could supply the necessary building blocks for the burgeoning industry in the country.

With BPFA now in full throttle and signing up members, Bahamians and non-Bahamians, the unincorporated association is ready to take off. It will hold training programmes and seminars and conduct field trips and networking. It will host industry experts along with Mr Kemp to train Bahamians - for TV shows and music videos, but primarily movies.

BPFA's goals include the setting of international industry standards in filmmaking for the local artist. This goes hand in hand with one of the association's long term goals to expose Bahamian film makers to international opportunities. "The BPFA is like a network of aspiring Bahamian filmmakers," says Mr Kemp.

"The BPFA wants Bahamian filmmakers in international [film] festivals like Cannes, TriBeCa and Sundance. We already know the talent is here, it just needs to be under one collective umbrella."

The association has already begun helping would-be screen-writers like Mr Percentie who have the raw talent and the ideas but just need some professional guidance, though guidance extends to people interested in every aspect of filmmaking.

Mr Percentie accepts the reality of his forthcoming movie with cool enthusiasm. "It's a blessing. A real blessing," he says with a calm smile. "Ya Drunk Again is in the pre-production stages. We're making final plans to go into shooting."

A graduate of R N Gomez in Great Harbour Cay, Berry Islands, Mr Percentie can remember picking up a pen during his final years in high school and emptying out his thoughts onto paper. A few more drafts and a growing computer literacy produced Freezing Process, a science fiction script.

Now, after less than a week of composition, Mr Percentie has Ya Drunk Again. "It only took you a week?" Mr Kemp asks him as he recalls the creation process for the script. "You're fast!"

The film will be a Bahamian-rooted one that features a group of friends who gather in a bar to talk about old times and life humorously. It will be the first Bahamian film shot in digital cinematography, heralds Mr Kemp. The cinematographer recently completed training in the use of a specialised digital camera, the Panasonic AJ-HDC27 Varicam, in Chicago, Illinois.

We want Bahamians to understand, says Mr Kemp, that we can create our own Law and Orders and CSIs.

BPFA contact: bpfa_film@yahoo.com

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