A UK-based film producer believes there is much promise for the development of a film industry in Barbados.
Frank Layne, director of Upstream Films and Television, said he believes Barbados has what it takes to become a powerhouse in the industry.
Speaking exclusively to Bajan Vibes last month, Layne who is the producer of Bajan Heat, a film project in the works, said they were looking to press ahead with the project on which work started in 2008 but had to be put on hold after the global recession emerged.
“We went off and we did the pilot and we took all the details for it. Just for that time, the world became even worse and everything went on hold. So, as it started to get better, we got busy doing other things but we believe now is the time to get back at it,” Layne said.
He said the pilot, Bajan Heat, was shot in Barbados and features many local actors. He said they are ready to get things going again to produce a full film or a series.
“We will start with the pilot and see how it goes. The local people are excellent. We premiered it at the University of the West Indies and used a lot of people from there. We would like to continue in that vain,” Layne said.
He explained: “Bajan Heat is based on an ex-lieutenant-colonel from the British army. He’s a true character. . . . He gets divorced and moves to Barbados and sees a need in the market to look for high net worth individuals who have come to live in Barbados. They want him to keep the look out for them and act as their security.. So the story is all the antics he gets up to, meeting people and so on.”
Layne said the producers are looking for local investors in order to properly produce the film.
“We have got some investors already. We have got an expression of interest from BBC and ITV in the UK but we need to do a little bit more work on it. So the objective is to get some local investors to come on board, sit alongside us and to promote it,” he said.
Layne said he was sure the film would do well in Barbados because Barbados has what it takes to produce quality work. “I think this country has all the ingredients. All we really need is the will. I think you’ve got the political will already. All you need is some local entrepreneurial spirit to support a well-structured film industry.” he said.
Layne said he believes a local film industry would be of great benefit to the country. “I think you would see a big influx in tourists and it would secure 200 or 300 jobs for locals. I think it would be an enormous benefit to the country. You can’t buy that type of marketing,” he said.