‘Country’ production house working for corporate attention
Your Day Is Tomorrow is the latest production to be adding to the continuously growing library of locally made short films. Written and produced by Sosiessia Nixon, the film is also produced by iKon Media, a busy production house that has flown under the radar. Because busy as they and the local film industry have been recently, most of the action is concentrated in the Corporate Area.
“We’re ‘country people’. We never really get much exposure. A lot of the town folks are the ones who are more connected, and there’s a lot happening around them. We’ve been trying to break in,” Horane Henry, co-founder of iKon Media, told The Gleaner. As projects come up, Henry works between Jamaica and New York. The rest of his team works between Mandeville and Kingston.
Founded in partnership with Wentworth Kelly, iKon Media has been operating in the creative space since 2014. Earlier than that, Henry and Kelly’s journey had its true start in 2011, with a laptop, a Canon 7D camera and one lens. “We were shooting weddings, and it’s something we said we wanted to build, because there are a lot of creatives in Jamaica – especially the country folks; they don’t get the exposure,” Henry said.
Over the past nine years, the visualists transitioned from wedding documentarians into commercial cinematographers. They also produce music videos. iKon Media’s clients include Jamaica Environment Trust, Jamnesia, the Jamaica Tourist Board, ATL and Northern Caribbean University. Last year, they worked with ESPN on a Reggae Girlz feature. “We were able to bring people on that project who would have never gotten the chance otherwise. We’re passionate about what we do, but we also want to give others the opportunity to break-in,” Henry reiterated.
In addition to the commercial work, iKon Media also has interest in telling real stories. They are still trying to ‘break-in’ themselves, to produce and release more short films and attract the same attention as their Corporate Area counterparts. But the issue of funding recurs. Henry said: “We have already done a short film with Kevin Swaby (Kevin2wokrayzee) in 2015 called Motive. We’re actually trying to make that into a series. I don’t know if we have a time frame because we haven’t locked in the funding. Funding is the problem.
“We’ve done quite a few things, but these things take time, and a lot of money. We’ve been having to fund any film projects from out of our pockets. That’s why they’re so sparse,” he explained.