Log In

Reset Password

Bermudian-produced film opens Sarasota Film Festival

First Prev 1 2 3 Next Last
Bull Street talent: Wendy Tucker Tannock, left, Loretta Devine, Malynda Hale and Lynn Dow (Photograph supplied)

Wendy Tucker Tannock and Lynn Dow met on the bleachers during a basketball game at a boarding school in Florida.

Ms Tucker Tannock’s son went to school with Ms Dow’s godson.

She was from Bermuda and Ms Dow from New York.

“We got to talking,” Ms Tucker Tannock said. “Lynn and I both worked in very busy areas that required organisation, writing and communications skills. We were surprised when we found we had that in common.”

Ms Tucker Tannock had worked at the Bank of Bermuda, now HSBC, for several years in various departments, including corporate communications and telecommunications, and had been an editor on special projects and voiceover recordings.

They shared a passion for writing.

Loretta Devine in Bull Street, produced by Bermudian Wendy Tucker Tannock (Photograph supplied)

“Lynn worked on Wall Street and gave that up to follow her passion for film-making,” Ms Tucker Tannock said.

She was flattered when Ms Dow asked if she wanted to read a script she had written.

“I was flattered, because that is a very private thing,” she said. “I said sure.”

Years later, the pair are best of friends and have produced several short films together. Their latest project is a full-length feature film Bull Street, now doing the rounds on the film festival circuit.

“I was the producer and executive producer,” Ms Tucker Tannock said. “She wrote the script and directed the film. We are buddies and we made it work very well.”

The film, set in Summerton, South Carolina, is about a granddaughter and grandmother fighting an eviction in a small town in South Carolina.

“It is a wonderful film, full of layers,” Ms Tucker Tannock said. “It is a very warm film that transcends culture, race, creed and colour.”

The cast includes Emmy award winner Loretta Devine from Crash (2004), and television shows such as Gray’s Anatomy; Golden Globe winner Amy Madigan of Antlers (2021) and Roe v. Wade (2020); and Malynda Hale of Lust, Lies and Polygamy (2023).

Bull Street made its world premier at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, California in February.

“That was great, because it was so well received,” Ms Tucker Tannock said. “It was so popular we had to do an encore showing.”

Malynda Hale in the film Bull Street, produced and funded by Bermudian Wendy Tucker Tannock (Photograph supplied)

Bull Street was also the opening film at the Sarasota Film Festival in Florida earlier this month.

“We sold out in three theatres,” she said. “That was fantastic. The actors all turned out and we had a question-and-answer session with the audience.”

The pair started working on Bull Street in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ms Tucker Tannock was so passionate about getting the film off the ground, she funded it herself.

“I really merged with this movie,” she said.

Producing a film was a demanding job.

“I would not have wanted to do this when I was younger,” she said. “It is 24/7. For example, last night I was winding down around 10.30pm when I got a phone call.”

It was the film’s director saying she needed to contact someone in Los Angeles, right away.

“I had to speak with this person to make sure they were the right one to do something for us,” Ms Tucker Tannock said. “Then I had to go ahead and facilitate whatever documentation needed to be done.”

It was after midnight by the time she finished.

Working in Bermuda was challenging, because a lot of the film work had to be done in California, several hours behind the island.

Another obstacle was travelling.

“People in the United States can just hop on a flight when they need to get somewhere,” Ms Tucker Tannock said. “There are flights that go all the time. That is not the case in Bermuda.”

When Ms Tucker Tannock was younger, she loved photography.

“I was always the one with the camera,” she said. “I have always loved to videotape things. I love being able to freeze a moment in time.”

Her father, Wendell Tucker, worked at the Bermuda Broadcasting Company in its early days.

“He was one of the first senior cameramen of colour there,” she said.

When she was growing up he would often give her advice around filming and photography.

“He would often say the camera does not take the photo,” she said. “Your vision takes it. He would say it is really important that you use the right lens and the right lighting and that sort of thing.”

Meanwhile, her grandmother, Olive Hart, worked at the old Rosebank Theatre on Bermudiana Road in Hamilton, for many years.

“When we were children, my mom would take us there in the morning to watch Disney films,” Ms Tucker Tannock said. “My grandmother was wonderful. She used to sell tickets and snacks for the show and then would come in and sit with us during the film.”

One day, Ms Tucker Tannock came out of the film to find her grandmother with a broom in her hand, sweeping up.

When she asked why her grandmother was doing this when it was not her job, her grandmother explained that when you are part of a team you do what you can to help.

Now, as the executive producer of a film, Ms Tucker Tannock has often found herself doing different tasks.

“As a producer I looked more into the business side of things,” Ms Tucker Tannock said. “I locked in the department heads, the crew and the cast.”

She did some of the filming and also helped with location scouting.

Her advice to young Bermudians who want to get into film-making is to take it seriously.

“You really have to put your all into it,” she said. “Whatever part of it that you want to focus on, learn as much as you can about it, and then proceed forward. Networking is also very important.”

In the meantime, she is writing her own scripts.

“I would love to write a film set in Bermuda, one day,” she said.

Ms Tucker Tannock hopes to show Bull Street in Bermuda this summer, after it is shown in South Carolina.

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published April 30, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated May 01, 2024 at 8:09 am)

Bermudian-produced film opens Sarasota Film Festival

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon