What Equipment Do I Need To Shoot A Music Video Location, Location, Location (Jamaica)

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Location, Location, Location (Jamaica)

As with real estate, the three most important words in photography are…location, location, location. Ever since Christopher Columbus first described Jamaica as “the most beautiful island I ever saw,” the word Jamaica has been synonymous with romance, tropical passion, and beautiful scenery. So it’s no surprise that fashion shoots, commercials, documentaries, music videos, feature films and, more recently, reality shows have flocked to the islands in recent years, making them a hot spot for film and press photography.

Thirty years ago, the Jamaican government recognized the merits of supporting the country’s burgeoning film industry. The math was simple. Film productions have the potential to make a significant contribution to the economic prosperity of a small country. They provide jobs for skilled workers, provide training and experience for the less skilled, and generate significant income from housing and feeding large numbers of support workers to transportation services for equipment and personnel. In addition to this direct income, their work products, such as major movie scenes, video shoots or fashion shoots, help promote Jamaica as a vacation destination. The Jamaica Film Commission was established in the 1980s as part of Jampro (Jamaica’s promotional body) to provide a one-stop shop to address the requirements of film producers, simplify the process and increase the attractiveness of Jamaica as a location.

The process is straightforward. For commercial films, the script must be submitted to the Film Commissioner, Ms. Dell Crooks, for approval before shooting begins- Jamaica is naturally very protective of its brands. Local communications are then recommended and approved by the film commission. The Commission then helps eliminate any red tape related to work permits, licenses, tax exemptions, access to public buildings and support systems such as Jamaica Defense Force helicopters. The success of this partnership, where Jampro has played a direct role in promoting the “Jamaican location” to Hollywood studios and international productions, is evident in the number of foreign productions using Jamaica as their primary location.

From white sandy beaches to jungles, waterfalls and mountain peaks, Jamaica offers a wide variety of destinations. This allows geographically disparate scenes to be captured in one location, saving time and money. The Jamaican area was shot for major countries in Africa, Southeast Asia, the United States, England, and of course the Caribbean. Jamaica has been the main location for several Hollywood films over the years: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Doctor No, They’re Harder, Papillon, Live and Die, Return to the Treasure Island, Cocktail, The Mighty Quinn, The Incredible Runs and How Stella Got Worn did you get it back? Taxi drivers and other guides are generally willing to point out past movie shooting locations, so just ask. Many major fashion houses and magazines use Jamaica in their travel and summer catalogs and editorials such as Brooks Brothers, Teen Vogue, Ann Taylor, Self Magazine, Glamor UK and Madame. Recent commercial shoots in Jamaica include uma, Slimfast, Carnival Cruise Lines, Clairol and Herbal Essences.

In recent years, competition has intensified in the Caribbean, especially for Hollywood projects, with several islands willing to pay cash bonuses for the privilege of hosting big-budget productions. Last summer, Jampro announced it would shift its efforts to attract more television and advertising business beyond feature films. These smaller productions have the potential to generate a steady stream of business for the local film industry, and the strategy has already brought some recent success.

Maxine Walters is a producer promoting Jamaica as a US base location. Contact: maxinew@cwjamaica.com. The Jamaica Film Commission website is located at http://www.filmjamaica.com. Contact: (876) 978-7755 or email dcrooks@cwjamaica.com Location, Location, Location

**For more information, visit http://www.jam-boree.com, Jamaica’s complete travel and tourism information source featuring great deals on vacation packages, hotels, villas, flights and rental cars**

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