Ain’t love crazy?
A few inches off the heels of the 2009 film”Fresh”comes”Crazy Love”, director Clarence Rolle’s latest film shot in conjunction with Vision Media.
Although the film’s screening this weekend slips nicely into the groove of Valentine’s Day, Crazy Love has a two-year history. The script materialized for Rolle after a conversation with friends. The topic had been what he calls the”silly season.”
“We were talking about romance, love, Valentine’s Day and all these different things,”he remembered.”We were talking’bout how women look forward to getting their baskets on February 14. After that conversation I was convinced. I said’You know what?I need to do something about this.'”
Two years later the”something”includes a successful premiere at the 2010 Bahamas International Film Festival, and this weekend’s encore. The film will be screened throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday at the National Center for the Performing Arts on Shirley Street, before closing on Monday. Feb 14. Tickets are available at the Center’s box office.
The romantic comedy rests on how three couples navigate the pleasures and perils of Valentine’s Day. It features a local cast and a familiar twist to which the director believes Bahamians can relate.
“I think this is something that Bahamians especially could relate to and they will see themselves in it. Sometimes you’ll see loved ones, sometimes you’ll see co-workers because you know how the office gets around Valentine’s Day,”said Rolle.
“You have some characters that take on a materialistic view of Valentine’s Day and are very commercial in their thinking. And then you have some that are more simplistic and realistic,”said actress Leslie Ellis Tynes, who plays a wife in need of more romance in her relationship.
Tynes, a stage actress making her film debut in Crazy Love, said that she enjoyed the production experience.
“I’ve had an amazing time working with the cast and the crew. It was a lot of fun working on the project together with everyone, and Clarence, I must say, is an absolute genius when it comes to the screenplay. Overall we had a few challenges, naturally as any project would, but we got through it and it was just a great time,”said Ellis Tynes.
Actress Dana J. Ferguson relished the addition to her film experience. A classically trained theater actress, Ferguson recently returned home to The Bahamas after 10 years abroad and worked on stages in England. She plays”Kimmy”, a possessive and controlling girlfriend.
“I really enjoyed myself,”said Ferguson.”In addition to meeting a lot of really, really talented Bahamian artists, it was also a great opportunity to get some on-set, on-location film exposure. I had an awesome time.”
The film’s other main actors include Christine Wilson, Gene Cage, Matthew Wildgoose, Brentwood Thompson, Shireen Hanna and Neil Cleare. Its original soundtrack features music by Chris Justilien and Wilson, a singer and spoken word artist who performs under the stage name, C.R.A.B.
The small market challenge
With film Number Two in the midst of its second screening, Rolle seems to have found a production formula that works in a small market. The director, who wrote and produced plays for many years before making films, partnered with Colina General and Vision Media for the production of his first film”Fresh”in 2009.
“Filmmaking is a very difficult process anywhere. In The Bahamas it’s also very difficult. It’s probably more difficult here because we have a small population so you don’t have the mass markets that you would have in some other countries, and so partnerships are critical,”said Rolle, who teamed up with Vision Media’s creative director Craig Linehan for both Fresh and Crazy Love. Linehan worked as director of photography on both films.
“Fresh”was screened only once in The Bahamas, but received international exposure at the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival in 2010. The inspirational film was among 50 accepted to the festival out of 200 submissions.
“We made good contacts there and it really inspired me to go on,”said Rolle.
“Someone saw value in what we’re doing right here in The Bahamas[with]the little budgets that we’re making films. So people around the world are supporting us so we’re looking for Bahamians to support us as well.”
Rolle encouraged more corporate partnerships for the continued growth of the local film industry. He suggested that product placement in movies could go a long way for both the sponsor and the film.
“Whenever someone sees that film, even if it’s 10 years from now, your product or your brand or your establishment will still be advertised, and so that’s very effective, and I think that’s something that is very underutilized here.”
He, like many others in the industry who moonlight as filmmakers and actors, envisions a day when more artists can pursue their crafts as full-time careers.
“We’re hoping that we get to a point where they can,”he said.”Support really is with the public, if we have audiences that’s all we need.”
IF YOU GO
When: Saturday, Feb. 12 and Sunday, Feb. 13 at 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Monday, February 14 at 8 p.m.
Where: National Center for the Performing Arts, Shirley Street
Box Office opens at 10 a.m. on Saturday