With an increasing number of filmmakers expressing interest in Jamaica’s film industry – whether as a shooting location or talent hub – now is a good time as any to examine the many spin-offs that can arise out of it.
Actors, directors and make-up artists are not the only ones in demand when it comes on to the film industry. Believe it or not there are a lot of other positions and opportunities available behind the scenes. One only has to step outside of the box to capitalize on the many ways to enjoy spin-offs that can become possible whenever the island takes centre stage for a production.
Tradesmen rarely equate their skills in the film industry as they focus their energies seeking employment on construction sites however, film sets sometimes have elaborate props and will need the skills of carpenters, electricians among others.
Film Commissioner at Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Renée Robinson, in an interview with the Jamaica Information Service cited steady increases in jobs and earnings.
She informed that for the 2016/17 financial year, some 2,571 jobs were created by the film industry, compared to 1,406 in the previous year.
“A film production can hire anywhere from 30 people all the way up to 800, so it really makes a significant difference when we have large productions that are coming into the island and hiring Jamaicans,” Robinson said.
Whether it is comedy, action, drama – the opportunities that are there for the taking extends the gamut. Commenting on the multiplier effect that can arise from the film industry, Robinson pointed out that it is more than the hiring of a production manager or camera personnel.
“If there is a scene at a pool, they hire a lifeguard…ambulances are needed on set to ensure that medical attention is available, so there is a lot of spin-offs in jobs for the productions that are happening on the island,” Robinson stated.
With Jamaica reaping benefits from the local film industry, the time is right to start exploring professional opportunities.