Jeremy Whittaker follows his 'Destiny'
Shereita Grizzle, Gleaner Writer
Many are waiting with bated breath for the star-studded film, Destiny to make its Jamaican premiere. There has been a lot of buzz surrounding the film but not many are familiar with the man responsible for making it all possible.
Jeremy Whittaker, the film's director, was born in Kingston, Jamaica but grew up in Toronto, Canada.
Though as a young adult he studied economics at the University of Toronto, film was his passion.
"I always wanted to do film. I studied economics and statistics at the university before changing my major to communication, culture and information technology (CCIT)," he said.
It was at the University of Toronto, in a joint programme with Sheridan College that Whittaker studied film production and had an epiphany.
"That was when I really believed a career would be possible and began actively learning all facets of the industry from the ground up, working in film and television both in Jamaica and Canada." He graduated in 2006.
After graduating, Whittaker returned to Jamaica where he worked as a TV producer. He also had a passion for music and that led him into directing. As a director, he won the People's Choice Award for best video at the 2010 Excellence in Music Entertainment Awards. The video that won him the award came from a Busy Signal and Voicemail single called Dance the Night Away.
His destiny, however, was to produce films.
That year, Whittaker returned to Canada where he joined the Directors Guild of Canada. Not long afterwards, he started work on the script that would later become his first film.
Destiny had its Canadian premiere in front of a sold-out audience last month which included Jamaica's Consul General to Toronto, Seth George Christian Ramocan.
"The premiere was unbelievable. It was a taste of the fruits of my labour. The feedback was extremely positive, the whole experience was a great feeling," he told The Sunday Gleaner.
Riding on the success of Destiny, Whittaker now has his own production company, Grasshopper Productions, located in both Jamaica and Canada.
Whittaker told The Sunday Gleaner the main purpose of the company would be to develop quality content for international platforms.
A subsidiary, Grasshopper Records, is in formation and the first album slated for release by the subsidiary will be the original motion picture soundtrack for Destiny.