Movie producer John Andrews looks to Jamaica
Writer producer John A. Andrews of ALI Pictures LLC based in New York, and his team, recently made the trek to Jamaica to meet with Film Commissioner Renee Robinson about shooting movies in Jamaica.
Andrews is now singing her praises as he said she is "total professionalism".
"It was a great relationship. They (JAMPRO) brought us in. I was shocked, I couldn't believe the kind of treatment we were offered," he told The Gleaner.
During the three days he was in the island, Andrews visited several locations in Portland, Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, Kingston, among other places, for ideal spots to film his two upcoming movies - Who Shot The Sheriff and Rude Buay: The Unstoppable.
"I made a commitment to JAMPRO to produce one movie for the next five years in Jamaica, as well as other incentives," said Andrews.
Still singing Robinson's praises, he described Jamaica Promotions (JAMPRO) as a "first-class operation", recommending that the rest of the government function the way they do. "That would be great, I was really impressed," he said.
Andrews who is at present finishing up the rewrite for, Who Shot The Sheriff, said he is almost done, after which he will be getting ready to talk with directors, and when that is in place, the next step will be seeking the cast for the projects.
The producer also shared some impressive plans he has for the island and includes the possibility of constructing a film studio in Jamaica.
"We are looking at a 100- acre land so that we can make that happen. The intention would be to make Jamaica a mighty draw. Right now, there is strong competition from the Dominican Republic. Jamaica has no studio and no tax incentives. That is one of the strong things Jamaica don't have going," he said.
Summer 2017 shooting
Regarding the films, Andrews shared that he is looking at a spring or summer 2017 shoot, and already he is in negotiations with a top hotelier to host the film crew in exchange for promotional consideration.
The cast is still a work in progress, but the producer says he has a wish list and has engaged the services of one of top agencies to source them.
"As soon as we are ready to go, they are ready to package.
They have most of the talent that we had on our wish list," he said adding that the two films Who Shot The Sheriff and Rude Buay: The Unstoppable will be shot back to back.
"Where we wrap the first one, we will be starting the second," he quipped.
Andrews pointed out that additional funding is still being sought to complete the two projects but he is anticipating that everything should be in place before the end of the year.
Steven Istock, CEO of California Pictures, will be co-producing with Andrews. California Pictures has also produced and distributed A Warrior's Heart and Scavengers plus distributed, and sold many motion pictures worldwide, including, The Harder They Come.