We just returned from Barbuda. We spent two days shooting scenes, which will become a video montage of happy times for the couple. The most treacherous part of the trip was the hike up the jagged rocks at Two Foot Bay into a cave. This scene ends with the couple in a passionate embrace inside the cave with the ocean in the background creating a very provocative silhouette. The cinematography in Barbuda will be exceptional.
The re-shoot at the new villa at Galley Bay was a success. Everyone thought the new venue was even more spectacular with its modern furniture, infinity pool and the ocean view for the patio. Even the bus driver Devon who took us to the first villa exclaimed “Every disappointment is a blessing”. Ellen, one of our day players, joked about the fact that the new setting expanded her role as a waitress since she now had to walk across the room and open the door for Jeff’s character “Felix”. From a cinematic point of view there was more to see and the blocking was changed to take advantage of that fact. Jeff Stewart and Edward Mansoor repeated their fine performances. Jeff wrapped his scenes and left the island two days later but not before receiving a gift from Edward who showed up at the airport to present Jeff with the book “A Little Bit of Paradise.” Jeff was surprised and touched. Edward I know had a blast.
The highlight of this past week was the arrival of actor Carl Bradshaw. He brought with him a new energy to the set. His arrival didn’t go unnoticed at the airport, he was greeted by fans who recognized him right away. He also had a chance meeting with the Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda Baldwin Spencer who was leaving the island and the Minister of Finance Harold Lovell. Lovell walked right up to Carl with the biggest schoolboy grin and said “I’ve seen all your movies”. Nice photo op for us as Laura didn’t miss a beat snapping away.
I’m getting a kick out of watching these professional actors at work. Bradshaw isolates himself to get into character. The laughter and chatter comes AFTER he has done his role not before. He brought with him an outfit made specifically for his character along with a cane and other props. This is following several months of phone calls and extensive dialogue with the Director Howard Allen about his character “Vision.” What was also nice to note was despite all his years of experience in the industry (more than 40) he was very respectful of Howard’s role as Director. He said privately to Howard “I may have suggestions but they are only that suggestions. It’s you. You have to make me look good”. Rehearsals for his scene with Brent and Aisha were held the day before at the museum. After Bradshaw met all the main cast members in the production he gave Howard the thumbs up. He said, “I love this cast”. I think the one that blew him away was Promise who plays his son in the movie. Hard to miss the resemblance and Promise is a natural. Carl also visited the house before the shoot and met our hostess Barbara. He loves the house and complimented her on the décor…when we went upstairs and he saw the size of the bedroom the exclaimed “This is a proper house”.
The day of the shoot was intense…just as expected Carl’s presence turned the storyline into the mystical journey Howard intended. Carl was so much into the scene and his part that at the end he was physically drained. He brought so much to the role that was written especially for him. At one point Howard had this silly grin on his face like he had hit the jackpot.
In between the production I had a series of meetings with the police and the Minister of Tourism. I firmed up the police participation in assisting with the road scenes and I brought the Minister of Tourism up to date on what was happening.
We also completed some street scenes, which are a part of a high action sequence with Brent on a motorcycle. No stunt double needed here Brent does ride and he is a bit of a risk taker. I got real angry when the crew attempted a shot with the van driving beside Brent on the motorcycle with traffic coming in both directions. This was not discussed with the traffic cop who was there to assist. What were they THINKING! My anger was directed at Howard who claimed he tried to tell me on the walkie-talkie what they were doing. Seconds later he smiled saying “it’s looks real good. Berry got the shot”. We also created an accident scene at a busy intersection. We had three police officers to assist. It looked real. It snarled traffic and we had real rubber-neckers but the shoot did not get on the way before some major glitches were sorted out. The first was the bike that we were suppose to use in the scene did not show up. The owner at the last minute backed out of letting us use the bike. The replacement bike was put out of commission when the back brake failed on a test ride. We waited about a half an hour for a third bike, a replacement bike. While visually I know all this motorcycle stuff will add a new dimension to the story…I held my breath every time Brent revved up the motorcycle and sped away. Insurance can’t replace him.