After Hollywood came Bollywood, and with it the dream of many developing countries to benefit from the big film business and its many dollars rolling into the country. One of those regions is the Caribbean, which has all those beautiful different Islands with diverse scenery and with the advantage of being closely located in a very small territory. Apart from that it is in close range to international airports in the US, Canada and Europe. Those Caribbean islands that used to be former English, Dutch, and Spanish colonies are mostly independent countries nowadays and they have fantastic scenery and naturally beautiful landscapes. Those may very well serve as the location background for movies and television shoots. This can turn into a good second income, generated out of the country’s natural resources along with the tourism industry.
Jamaica, Cuba, and Barbados were among the first ones to make efforts to attract international film and television producers to the Caribbean Islands for their movie productions and TV commercial shoots. That is apart from the French Islands St. Martin, St. Barts, Guadeloupe and Martinique which are still part of France and had always been used for French television and film productions. For the other islands, it started on a smaller scheme – the beautiful beaches, tropical gardens, romantic fishing villages and plantation houses along with luxury mansions were first accepted as backdrop by the fashion magazines and catalogers for their fashion photo shoots as a photographic production needs a less developed infra structure than a film shoot.
Even though the Caribbean region is geographically closer to the United States, but it was mostly Europeans who believed in the possibility to turn the Caribbean region into a mayor playground for international film locations. Along with many government agencies, they were the first ones to put money and efforts into the development of this industry.
Today one of the most successful companies providing locations and film, video and photo production service in the Caribbean region is “The Caribbean Production Service Company”, who had started in Barbados in 1998.
After having visited several Caribbean Islands, they had decided that Barbados offers the best possibilities for the start of this kind of support service for the film industry in the region. The main subject was to get Barbadians to open their doors to those foreign film teams and to convince government agencies to be supportive to the new venture. Now in order to save foreign production companies money in bringing in all crew, the company had to train local people to be professional crew and this worked best through learning by doing. The government also supported by paying talented students film schools in the US and the UK.
Today the company can offer a whole list of local film crew. For the production side there are: Location Scouts, Casting Directors, Line Producers, Production Managers, Location Managers, Production Coordinators, Set Coordinators, 1st and 2ND Assistant Directors, Script Continuity, Production Assistants, Set Runners, Hair Stylists, Make up Artists and Assistants, Manicurists, Wardrobe Stylists and Assistants, Pressers, Tailors, Caterers, Drivers, Security, Couriers,.
In the ART DEPARTMENT there are now available Art Directors, Props Masters, Props Builders, Buyers, Set Constructors, Set Dresser, Music Composers, and Musicians. And in d the technical Department: Cameraman/woman video, 2ND Assistant Cameraman/Clapper/Loader (35 mm), Sound Operator, Playback Operator, Gaffer, Spark, Best Boy Gaffer, Key Grip, Best Boy Grip, Generator Operator, Video Casting Operator. So the international clients only have to bring in the minimum from their creative department as well as the movie director, DOP and 1Ac.
As the company has expanded to productions also on other islands, and where there is not enough local crew available crew from Barbados and other, mainly the French islands are joining in.
There is a 2nd office now in St. Martin to better serve the Northern part of the Caribbean. One of the most successful companies providing locations and film, video and photo production service in the Caribbean region is “The Caribbean Production Service Company”, based in Barbados since 1998 and now operating in the entire Caribbean region. They trained numerous young local people in the nature of film making and are now benefiting in having the best choice in Caribbean crews in the region.