Author, film-maker bursting with ambition
Published: Sunday | October 25, 2009
Earl Thompson is one of many upcoming film-makers yearning for an improvement in the local film and television industry. With great ideas, passion and determination, Thompson is embolden with the belief that he can be that catalyst for change.
"I want to revolutionise the way they do movies in Jamaica. I wanna do movies that are comparable to Hollywood-style movies," the 47-year-old Thompson told The Sunday Gleaner.
"Anybody can go to film festivals. What I wanna see is Jamaican movies that can go in Hollywood theatres, not just in Jamaica, all over the world."
Very often, he said, Jamaicans are depicted as unintelligent people who only smoke marijuana, drink liquor and cause violence. In addition, he said his screenplays are written in standard English, which makes them more accessible to various audiences.
"I think we can act like anybody else. All of my writings are in standard English. It doesn't have to have a lot of swearing," said Thompson who was born in Jamaica but now lives in Florida.
Although his last visit to Jamaica was in 2005, he hopes to visit the island more regularly to make his revolutionary dream a reality.
"Eventually coming to Jamaica and doing movies is one of my aims, with my own stuff, 'cause nobody is gonna have the things I have," he declared.
Comparing Jamaica's film industry to Africa's, he said the local industry can be just as good and get as much recognition worldwide. He also noted that most times the Africans speak standard English, which most people can understand.
"Like the African movies, I wanna see Jamaican movies distributed all over. I want to see movies that make a lot of sense," he said.
Thompson said though he has written more than 30 feature-length screenplays, including Billie, which was optioned by Haitian movie company Kreyol Production Company, he is a novelist at heart. He has written four novels that are being sold on amazon.com. They are Jimmy's New Life, The Relocators, The Last Of The Con-men and Devil's Agents. All the books, with the exception of The Relocators, were published by him.
"I have been writing since I was 12 years old. I loved reading and writing as a kid. My first novel, Jimmy's New Life, took me some time to put my thoughts together," Thompson said, noting that he wrote the book from 1998 to 2000. It was published in 2001.
With a writer's touch and a film-maker's vision, Thompson said he is patiently waiting to exploit the right opportunity.