Cliff talks about movies – Jamaica Observer
REGGAE legend Jimmy Cliff says the Jamaican film industry is not where it should be in the world. He thinks investors don’t see the medium as lucrative.
“In my opinion, the film industry is not encouraged. People who have money in Jamaica don’t see it as a way to make money. There were films that were made locally that didn’t make any money…investors became cautious. Funding is a big thing,” he told the Jamaica Observer.
Cliff, star of the 1972 cult classic The more they comesuffered the effects of insufficient funding.
“When we were doing The more they come we ran out of money. I was residing in England and had to return to England. When they got the money, they said, “Come back now. We collect a little more money. The break was sometimes six weeks to two months,” he said.
Cliff, 76, starred as Ivanhoe “Ivan” Martin in The more they come, which was directed and co-written by Perry Henzell and Trevor Rhone. Its plot follows Martin who came to Kingston from the country to gain fame in the music industry.
Considered Jamaica’s most influential film, The more they come – through its soundtrack – helped introduce reggae to the world. It includes Cliff’s enduring songs You can get it (if you really want it) and Wonderful world, beautiful people.
He believes that one way to overcome the lack of funding is to present attractive scenarios.
“You need creativity. Creativity in terms of scriptwriting, just like artists need to write songs with an overall vision. There’s a saying in the film industry: “To make a movie, you need a script, a script and a script.” Once you have a good script, you get the director, you get the money, all of that,” he said.
Since last year, Cliff has gone off the road as the novel coronavirus outbreak shut down the entertainment industry. But in addition to writing material for his upcoming 11-song album, he’s getting into screenwriting.
“I’m writing a film, but I’m not saying it’s a sequel to The more they come. But it’s a script and I’m convinced of it. I have agents in Hollywood that I will send it to,” he said.
“What I have is a synopsis, but it’s quite long. To get it into a script, I have to get the writers to sit down with me and do it. To get dialogue and stuff like that. It’s a great synopsis. I’ll call it after one of my song titles. Journey could be a title; then there is Many rivers to cross,” He continued.
Cliff also appeared in the action movie Marked for Death (1990), which starred Steven Seagal, and comedy Club paradise (1986), which stars Robin Williams.
Originally from Somerton in St James, Jimmy Cliff, whose first name is James Chambers, started making music in the early 1960s. He won two Grammy Awards for Best Reggae Album and was awarded the Order of Merit in 2003 by the Jamaican government.