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Marcia’s reel talk

Natanga Smith

Marcia’s reel talk

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BARBADOS’ movie industry will have two more films to add to its library as producer Marcia Weekes is busy with production at one and pre-production of the other.
The name behind the HUSH series and the recently released movie on DVD – Chrissy – is now filming Vigilante, The Crossing.
Starring entertainer Kirk Brown as lead actor and singer Malissa Alanna, with Levi King, Adrian Greene, Peter Boyce and a cameo from Red Plastic Bag, the movie is being shot locally.
“This script was actually done two years before Chrissy. But we started shooting it in November,” said an excited Marcia last week during an interview.
With a team of over 30 people, Marcia said it was all about learning and developing and improving the quality movie after movie to compete on the world stage.
As passionate as she is about Vigilante, she is particularly excited about the other film – on National Hero Errol Barrow.
“It is in research stage. The purpose is to inspire young Barbadians through his life and to introduce him to the world. I want to tell his story, mixing it with calypso.”
Marcia said the film will be a full narrative and the script should be finished by the end of the year.
Valerie Scoon, a Hollywood producer and professor at Florida State University film school, who worked on The Great Debaters, is on board the project and is giving “valuable help”, using some of her students as crew for the movie. She was here in Barbados last week to meet with players in the industry.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to learn,” said Marcia. “I am soaking up the information. I don’t have this wealth of information on the island.”
Marcia is still seeking funding for the film, for which she says she has taken out personal loans to finance.
“It is a not a political film. It is to celebrate the father of Independence. A National Hero . . . emphasis on national,” Marcia explained.
“It is still unfortunate that companies haven’t realised how much a film and product placement works for them.”
On the issue of funding, Marcia referred to the Chrissy DVD, which she asked that people buy and not pirate.
“Movies are expensive and funds are hard to come by. Our Barbadian films have great potential, not only in creating avenues of expression but employment opportunities for the population and increased exposure for our tourism product overseas. I am imploring the relevant authorities to do their utmost to clean up piracy from our streets.
“It is through Chrissy DVDs that we pay our actors and will use to pay the Vigilante crew. It is through the sale of the DVDs that we can travel through the United States, Canada and England to promote the movies.”