With a little help from friends
In 1998 Lana Young felt she had to leave Bermuda if she wanted a full-time acting career. These days she doesn’t think it’s necessary.
“Things have changed in terms of the accessibility of screen services and film festivals and YouTube and all of these different ways to get your content out,” said the actress, who currently lives in New York, and has a recurring role on Ambitions, a drama series on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
“The sky is the limit for Bermudians. They shouldn’t feel confined by the size of the island. There are so many ways to get their content out. It is just a matter of getting it made.”
Too often, scripts aren’t produced because it costs money to make creative content, she said.
It’s with that in mind that she created Bermuda Filmmakers Collaborative. Its aim is to bring the island’s would-be film-makers together on projects where they share their skills for free.
“It has always been my passion to find ways to support Bermudians in their creative endeavours, so I have created a group, where passion projects in Bermuda can get made, through collaboration and no budget,” she said.
“This is a chance for Bermudian film-makers to get their passion projects made, through collaboration and the exchange of skills. The goal is to start with a script, anyone’s script, and build from there.
“Actors, gaffers, grips, camera operators, editors, anyone who wants to practise their skills and make ‘movie magic’ can offer their time and talent.
“You may even have your own script you’d like to make, or an idea that you need help with.”
There are many streaming platforms looking for content and there’s nothing stopping Bermudians from submitting to them, she added.
“It takes money, but if everyone was willing to exchange their skills to get a project made, then they might have a professional credit and something they could use to distribute.
“There is no reason why a great script can’t come out of Bermuda. It doesn’t have to be about Bermuda, it can be about life.”
Twenty-eight people have joined Bermuda Filmmakers Collaborative since she launched the group on Facebook this month.
“I think the fact that there are almost 30 members after only a few days shows there is definitely interest in the concept,” Ms Young said. “Right now we just need one person to get it going.”
Kevin Minors, the director of the web series Bermudian at University, has shown interest in guiding the group.
“I met him two Bermuda International Film Festivals ago, where his webisode was showing,” she said. “He wanted to meet, and pick my brain about my journey and my experience. I told him about this and he was very eager to do it. I finally put the group together.”
In 2010, she was part of a similar group in Charlottesville, Virginia called the Filmmakers Republik.
The group started with 12 members, and today has 580. Together, they made a feature film, Danger. Zombies. Run., in 2010.
“I think people are probably shy about anything creative because it is such a vulnerable position to be in,” Ms Young explained. “But, I think you get it started and the ball will keep rolling.
“Not only did we get a feature film made in a few days with the collaboration of other people, but we were also able to start the Danger! Zombies! 5K run, to raise money for charity in Charlottesville.
“They had runners dressed as zombies. People had to take ribbons off the runners to get them out. It became this big thing.
“Who knows what the beginnings of something could end up being? You only need around five people to make a film project happen.”
The group works better for people in need of a creative outlet rather than those looking for fame, she added.
“It could be an opportunity for them to take [their work] a step further. It doesn’t have to be a big end goal, it could just be to practise their skills — as a cameraman or lighting person, or actor. Or it could be, ‘Hey I really need to get this in a festival and I need your help’.”
•Look for Bermuda Filmmakers Collaborative on Facebook or follow Ms Young on Facebook and Instagram @actorlanayoung
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