On Wednesday the STAR dropped by the International School in Rodney Heights to speak with Colin Weekes and students of the Blue Frames Initiative. As demonstrated by the producers of the Pirates of the Caribbean series and other box office smashes, the potential of the region is undeniable. A veteran film producer, Weekes welcomed this reporter. “I produce a youth film festival,” he said. “This will be our fourth year of production. We are about encouraging young people to join our industry at the earliest age.” He said it was at his suggestion that the International School take on the after-school programme that was launched in January.
Weekes advised, “I’ve been interested in the world of television and film from childhood. On leaving St. Mary’s College I went to work with HTS which was, at the time, the only avenue available to me.”
He later moved to the States to study TV production, computer graphics and advertising. On his return home he founded Dove Productions. His efforts paid off. He has received public recognition, including M&C Fine Arts Awards, for his work.
In 2008 he went back to school in the UK to study digital film-making. “I had reached the point where I wanted to get a move on. So, here I am, pushing the whole film industry. I have been doing a lot of background work with the government and other entities.”
Weekes has been connected with the RISE Film Festival, soon to be the Caribbean Youth Film Festival, for almost four years. He was especially pleased that one of his films will feature as part of this year’s Jazz & Arts Festival, in the Arts Village.
“It’s something we have lobbied for for over three years,” Weekes revealed. It hasn’t been easy. People still see the Arts as a not economically viable industry. There will be hurdles but they can be overcome with hard work. Others have done so, and so can we.”
And how have things been going? “Its been pretty awesome,” Weekes responded. “We have had the opportunity to go to DBS,” one of his students offered. “It was something new and interesting.” Another student added: “I now have a better appreciation for films. When I go to the movies I catch myself every now and then exclaiming, “Wow!” I can now recognize good dialogue and great writing. Sometimes I dare to say to myself that this and that could have been better done this way or that way,” he mused, “or that I would have taken a particular shot from a different angle.”
The two-days-a-week course continues into June. “It is called Blue Frames because that’s the colour of the school’s uniform,” Weekes joked. “The students produce a programme called Youth Perspectives, the slogan being ‘Your news, Our Views’. They have done three reports for DBS News so far and will do another next week.”
The Blue Frames programme, as part of its curriculum, seeks to introduce camera angle, camera composition and, of course, lighting and how one ‘tells a story through the lens of a camera’. Information can be accessed via the Facebook page ‘Youth Perspective – Blue Frames’, where the public can acquire a behind the scenes or inside look at the initiative.