5 Questions with Delano Forbes
AS ONE who grew up in the family business, it was sort of inevitable that Richard Delano Forbes Jr would take over from his father, and, in fact, he was groomed for it. The CEO and creative director of Phase 3 Productions, Forbes holds a BFA from the prestigious NYU Film School and an MBA from Florida International University. He admits, however, that there was a point when he naturally rebelled against his destiny, simply because he didn’t feel that he should follow in his father’s footsteps. But, in reality, he loves his job.
In an interview with The Gleaner, the 2002 recipient of the Prime Minister’s Youth Award shared that upon graduating from NYU he had offers for jobs overseas, but by that time there was no question in his mind that he had to go back home and play his role in making Phase 3 the company what he had envisioned it to be. Phase 3, which was started by his parents – his late father Richard ‘Pardy’ Forbes and his mother Marcia – is a full-service television and multimedia production company that specialises in the coverage of sports and entertainment events for live broadcast via television and/or the Internet.
Forbes believes that he has added immense value to the company, and fondly recalls his initiation during his formative years, when he would take trips with his father as a child to look at camera equipment from suppliers.
According to his bio on the company’s website, Forbes has worked across the Caribbean, producing live multi-camera sports and entertainment events, among other TV-related projects. A few of these include: Bob Marley’s 70th Anniversary Concert 2015, live-streamed worldwide; Caribbean Arthur Guinness Day with live broadcast simulcast around the world; Boys and Girls’ Champs; World Cup Qualifiers (Jamaica); and Concacaf Men’s U-20 in 2015 and Women’s U-17 in 2013, with signal sent live via satellite to several countries, including the USA, Canada, throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2013, he was identified as one of 50 Jamaicans under the age of 50 years seen as instrumental in taking the country forward. Phase 3 is this year celebrating its 35th anniversary.
With the ever-evolving technology which production has seen, how does one keep on top of things, knowing clients are also finding ways to do some of the work themselves as a means to cut back on cost?
Phase 3 has always been a company of innovation through the use of new video technology. We try our best to keep on top of the trends and evolve based on the needs of our clients. It’s not always easy, and at times it even means disrupting your own business model. Even right now as most businesses face challenging times, given the global pandemic, we are putting a digital studio in place to allow clients to stream virtual events at an affordable cost.
Did you ever imagine taking over from your father, or were you working towards going into a different field.
There was a time when I tried everything NOT to go into the family business. In high school, I took subjects geared towards architecture. The reason I didn’t want to join the family business, even though I had a natural passion for video, was that no matter what you do, persons would feel it was an easy path. After 20 years being in Phase 3, and all the ups and down in business, losing everything in a fire in 1999, I feel confident in saying that I’ve made my own mark in moving the business forward.
We know work takes up a lot of your time, but when you’re trying to be spontaneous for your wife, what are your go-tos for a date or to spend quality time with her?
Truth is, we are foodies! It’s anything from a planned dinner at a nice restaurant to having friends and family over for drinks and throwing a couple burgers on the grill. Even when we are travelling, we always try to find the good bites!
What’s the greatest lesson your father taught you, and how has he impacted you in the way you raise your son/child/children?
“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.” If you knew my father, this was a quote he always repeated, and lived by.
Have you ever had any desire to be in front of the camera?
Nah, I’ll leave that to the actors and presenters. While I have been forced in front of the camera a few times for TV commercials and other things, I’m definitely more comfortable behind the scenes.
What was the last book you read or movie you watched?
I’m going to go with a miniseries for this one. I was recently watching Netflix and watched a series called Self Made. Great, inspiring content based on the true story of the first female self-made millionaire. However, what I found most inspiring was in the credits, as two of the producers included Maverick Carter and LeBron James, young entrepreneurs who I find very motivating. Next in my reading list is Shoedog by Phil Knight.