'Flying Razor' set to soarThursday, September 23, 2021
BY RICHARD JOHNSON
IF things go according to plan, there could be a new Jamaican feature film on screens in early 2022.
The film, Rising Lion Flying Razor, is the brainchild of writer, producer, director Carlo “Gabre Amlak” Less.
He told the Jamaica Observer that the project is currently in pre-production with the final rounds of auditions as well as readings and rehearsals set for the next two weeks. Shooting is scheduled to commence in early October.
Rising Lion Flying Razor is being described as a coming-of-age story about a young Jamaican boy who loves kite flying. He organises a competition in his community and this reveals a whole set of sinister plot twists and obstacles.
“I really wanted to tell a story... put something out on-screen. I have been working in the industry for years, doing a number of things from organising film festivals to working on movie and music video sets, and I feel it is now my time to share my passion for film with my own story. I have learned from some of the best both locally and internationally, sat in masterclasses and I now feel I am ready to lead a project such as this,” Less shared.
The current global health crisis and its protocols, limitations and specifications have not gone unnoticed as Less and his team make preparations to start shooting. In fact, Government's measures to curb the spread of the virus, which includes lockdowns and curfews, have sent the producers back to the drawing board to work out shoot schedules.
“It is difficult as you're not sure how to plan, given the uncertainty. I had planned for late-night and early-morning shoots, but given the restrictions, we will have to be looking to shooting during the day and see how best we can work it out. I am coming from the world of music videos where we are forced to tell the whole story from a one-day shoot. So we will just have to make it work,” he said.
Less is proud of the fact that this is an all-Jamaican project, from the cast and crew to funding.
“I was able to convince a local backer, Steven Hudson, to fund this project, which is just great. For someone to see your vision and believe in your product. This is such a great example of supporting the Jamaican creative. We need a lot more of these venture to make our productions 100 per cent local. I am also being assisted by the School of Drama at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. Teamwork really makes the dream work.”
He also had high praise from the local film commission and its commissioner, Renee Robinson, and the Jamaica Film and Television Association (JAFTA) for their Propella incubator which assists local film-makers get the start they need. This, he said, has resulted in a blossoming of the number of local film projects at this time.
“The truth is locals are watching what's happening on social media and the various streaming platforms and are recognising that there is a market for Jamaican content on the international market and can provide it. The success of Storm Saulter's Sprinter on Netflix has opened up the appetite of Jamaicans in the diaspora, so it is an interesting time. We have so many stories to tell and we have the licence to tell them over and over in various ways. Add to that the fact that technology has come such a far way. Jamaicans in film no longer have to wait for Hollywood to come to us and we stare in awe at their top-class equipment. We have it all here... high-quality cameras and drones are available to give that first-class production and that's exactly what you'll get from Rising Lion Flying Razor,” said Less.