kyle-chinKyle Chin
Filmmaker
Jamaica
Studio Anansi Profile
Watch “Sunday

SUNDAY,” a short film by Jamaican filmmaker, Kyle Chin, was made as a part of the first production in the New Caribbean Cinema Series, “Ring di Alarm.”  The New Caribbean Cinema Series,  is a fresh, pioneering approach to film-making in the Caribbean.  A mixture of ‘First World’ technical skill and business savvy flavored with a distinctly Caribbean world-view, the New Caribbean Cinema Series proposes to present the world with a showcase of creative artistry from the region’s up and coming filmmakers. The series is a Caribbean co-production, jointly produced by Storm Saulter of Jamaica and the St Lucian born Michelle Serieux. The productions relied heavily on the creative and technical support of Joel Burke and Nile Saulter and were sustained by the commitment and effort of the production crew, who worked at greatly reduced costs to help create a body of work representative of the capabilities of Caribbean filmmakers.

The complete film, “Ring di Alarm,” premiered at the BFI in 2012, and has since been screened at the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival, and at several film festivals across the world. We asked Kyle  to share with us some of his experiences making the film and his thoughts on filmmaking in the Caribbean.

CineCaribés:
In your own words, tell us what this film is about and why you chose to tell this story.

KC:
Sunday is really about redemption. An important message I wanted to communicate as well, is that redemption comes at a price.

sunday base pic ccScreenshot from Sunday


CineCaribés:
Did the film turn out the way you envisioned?  If yes, in what ways.  If no, why not?

KC:
It did. The only thing not planned, was the sun coming up.  But it worked out perfectly with the story.


CineCaribés:
What was the most challenging aspect of making the film and why was that so?

KC:
Beyond shooting in one night and clearing guns for official use, the biggest challenge was the sound. The generator was so loud, and we were on a hillside where sound travels quite a bit. We had to ADR the entire film – we brought back the actors to re-dub the entire movie. Good thing it was a short.

CineCaribés:
If you were to pick an aspect of filmmaking – writing, producing, directing, cinematography, editing – which would be your favorite?  Why is that? Which do you dislike the most? Why is that?

KC:
My favorite is definitely Directing. I find great enjoyment in bringing all the aspects of film together and also love the team input it takes. I like trusting my DP or my production designer to give me what I want and to be sometimes surprised when they give me what I didn’t know I wanted. That’s what it’s about. My vision is improved by the collaboration that takes place. Not a big fan of Producing.  Its much more about the logistics and I really am all about the story, the art.


CineCaribés:
If you did not have to think about a budget, what film would you make and who would you cast as the lead actors? (“ideal world” question)

KC:
The story of a Chinese-Jamaican family whose business is extorted and routinely vandalized by neighborhood thug,s under the orders of the Don. They fly in their cousin from China, who unexpectedly, battles the Don’s forces before eventually unseating him.  Along the way, he mentors a young boy who is sought after by the gang and falls in love with his big sister, who was one of the Don’s sexual targets. Would cast myself, Michael Jai White as the silent lead henchman, and Busta Rhymes as the Don. The rest would be local cast.

IMG_4397.CR2
Michael Jai White [imgkid.com]

CineCaribés:
What do you want the audience to take away from this film?

KC:
There is strength in kindness and wickedness will pay the price.

sunday base pic cc 2Screenshot from Sunday


CineCaribés:
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became a filmmaker.
KC:
I am a Martial Artist with a theater background, who also played squash for Jamaica for many years.  I love sports and fitness and all kinds of art.  The hypnotic power of movies became apparent to me at a young age and the older I became is the more I wanted to wield that power for myself. I have always enjoyed the way art moves the emotions and stirs thought. Film is the ultimate artform as it incorporates all.
kyle chin
 Kyle Chin

CineCaribés:
Did you use any visual references during pre-production? What was that process like? What did you choose from?
KC:
I did floor plans and some story boarding, but I didnt use any other visual references.  I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted and, quite honestly, had not thought about searching for references.

CineCaribés:
Describe some your best experiences while making the film and some of your worst. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything?
KC:
The best was definitely shoot day. I always love shoot day. With all the things that could go wrong, there is nothing better than problem solving with the pressure on and getting it done. Hard to describe in detail the ups and the downs but I would definitely do it again.  Ready right now.

CineCaribés:
Currently, there is a sort of awakening in the Caribbean to filmmaking as a form of artistic expression … you are a part of this “new wave”… can you share with us your thoughts on what is currently happening and where you see this energy leading filmmakers?
KC:
I think Caribbean people are natural storytellers. We tend to enjoy telling stories and following stories. I think we also want to be seen. We want to see ourselves and for others to see the richness of our cultures. This ‘new wave’ is really about showing how much of our culture already influences pop culture and increasing that influence.

CineCaribés:
Do you think there is a “Caribbean film aesthetic” being created as more and more films are being made? If so, can you describe what you’re seeing as that aesthetic?
KC:
I am not sure. The short films take on more of a specific aesthetic in the way they are shot, ‘indy style,’ but the feature films still tend to emulate the Hollywood aesthetic. Films are being made more and more with DSLRs and natural lighting due to lack of funds.  This lends to a particular look and may appear more and more until investment in the film industry increases.  But then, it may change again. I think the Caribbean aesthetic is constantly evolving.
sunday base pic cc 3
 Screenshot from Sunday

CineCaribés:
And now, some completely random questions: What is your fav film (or 2 or 3) all time? What did you enjoy about it/them the most?

KC:
Braveheart, Last of the Mohicans, Fight Club are the first three that popped to mind many more flooding in now … lol.  The way the stories are told – linear, non linear, it doesn’t matter. I appreciate the way they trap the audience and eventually release you completely satisfied.

fight-clubFight Club [diginomica.com]

CineCaribés:
What is your fav Caribbean film? What did you enjoy about it the most?

KC:
The Harder They Come is my favorite by a margin. I loved seeing Jamaica in the 70s, I loved the story and the soundtrack is amazing. I thought Jimmy Cliff was extremely charismatic and true to form. The tragic hero, like an actual star, must eventually burn out and perish after burning his brightest.

the harder they comeScreenshot from The Harder they Come [thtc.vhx.tv]


CineCaribés:
Is there a particular director’s work you admire? If so, who is that and what is it about their work you admire?

KC:
Many, but I think Steven Spielberg is the one I admire the most – for his diversity. His film vocabulary is the most extensive and he has mastered most genres, from drama to comedy to the epic action films and horror.

Thank you, Kyle for taking the time out to share with us.

One Love!!