THE BLACK MOSES
Did the film turn out the way you envisioned? If yes, in what ways. If no, why not?
Did you use any visual references during preproduction? What was that process like? What did you choose from?
I love chiaroscuro paintings and films. Especially the black an white stuff. Orson Welle’s, Citizen Kane, was and is a huge impact. That probably influenced Moses more than any other film. Citizen Kane is actually my favorite movie.
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?
The best experience was getting a call from Hollywood that Dennis Haysbert was interested in portraying Black Moses in the film. That took our little movie to a more surreal and ambitious level. And even the “bad experiences” became good to be honest, because independent film is a perpetual learning curve. There’s no alogorithm for it. Hopefully we get better at it.
What do you want the audience to take away from this film?
I think in the end the film is a meditation and lamentation on the national journey. Especially for third world countries. A conversation about both individual and collective responsibility is all we could hope for.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became a filmmaker.
I’ve always wanted to be apart of the movies. Ever since I knew myself. That was always my path. As for who I am? I am a Bahamian and these days a citizen of the planet (living out of suitcase).
If you were to pick an aspect of filmmaking – producing, writing, directing, cinematography, editing – which would be your favorite? why is that? – which do you dislike the most? and why is that?
Writing. I’m a writer at heart. And it all comes from the written word. I enjoy the writing process immensely. Writing is the root of the tree, directing is the tree, and everything else are branches on that tree.
I would write a movie to star Dennis Haysbert and Viola Davis. I’ll just begin there.
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? Is there much of a difference between what’s happening in the French Caribbean as opposed to the English and Spanish Caribbean?
It’s very exciting. And I think its Trinidad and Tobago (Film Festival) that has really been leading the charge thus far. The success of Caribbean Film will depend on the Caribbean audience. That’s a relationship: the Caribbean filmmakers (director,writers, actors) and their audience.
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?
It’s a question I’ve posed to some of my Caribbean filmmaking contemporaries as well. The only aesthetic I’ve seen so far is our landscape in Caribbean Films. The Region. Geography. As for genre and themes, I haven’t seen a unified aesthetic.
And then some completely random questions: What is your fav film (or 2 or 3) all time? What did you enjoy about it the most?
I mentioned Citizen Kane earlier. That one remains my favorite film. As for why? Its just the bible of filmmaking for me. The process of getting the movie made and the final product itself is beyond inspiring and genius.
What is your fav Caribbean film? What did you enjoy about it the most?
I think that would Maria Govan’s Rain. Perhaps because I am Bahamian and I know that story, those characters, and that world. But above all because we all began to take Bahamian cinema way more seriously after Rain. Rain defined Bahamian cinema.
Is there a particular director’s work you admire? If so, who is that and what is it about their work you admire?
I go through season’s so it depend on the hour. Right now, I’m going through a Quentin Tarantino phase. He redefined cinema in lots of ways. And that inspirieing right now. I want to be apart of doing something new with movies.