With filming for feature film Cayman Went starting next week, Cayman Brac will be a hive of activity with actors, extras and film crew for two weeks.
Cayman Went is set almost entirely in the Cayman Islands.
The actors in the starring roles have been chosen for the film, which is being completely funded and produced independently by Cayman Went LLC in association with Working Pictures and Chowder, Inc.
Michael Lombardi (of Rescue Me fame) is to play the lead of Josh Anders, a Hollywood underwater action star. Susan Misner will play the role of Darby, an environmentalist who runs a dive shop, and Jeffrey De Munn plays Rodgers Bowman, a native Bracker, explained producer of the film Gil Wadsworth.
The plot unfolds with a developer in Los Angeles who wants to buy property on Cayman Brac and develop the island into a large resort. Many of the older Caymanians have ignored his calls to buy their property in the past.
The character Josh is a TV action hero in a fictitious and extremely popular TV show called Divers Down. With the TV show so popular in Cayman Brac and other islands, the developer decides to buy the show and then sends Josh to Cayman Brac to convince the locals (through his fame and popularity) to sell their property. If he does not succeed, he tells Josh, he will cancel his show.
Josh figures he’ll be there a couple of days, get the deal done and then go back his show. But that’s not how things work out. He meets Rogers who owns most of the property being sought for the development, Rogers needs work done fixing his dock and with other projects and gets Josh to help him. The two end up spending a lot of time together, with Rogers becoming a mentor to Josh.
A twist occurs at the end of the film with Josh having to make an important decision.
‘It’s a coming of age film,’ explained Mr. Wadsworth.
The independent film is also to feature Cayman Islands Brewery’s new beer Caybrew.
Principal photography will start on Cayman Brac on 18 February and move to Grand Cayman (Barkers Beach) before heading to New York for final filming.
Filming will take place all over Cayman Brac in including La Esperanza, the public beach, private homes and docks, the Bluff (rock-climbing scene) and at the airport.
All the background extras will be Brackers with a few in featured extra roles.
Mr. Wadsworth noted that excitement is mounting on Cayman Brac as they near filming.
‘Everyone here has been really supportive of the film and been very helpful and enthusiastic about it. At first there probably was a bit of scepticism but with it getting so near filming now people realise that it’s going to happen.’
Mr. Wadsworth has been on the island now for three months making preparations such as securing lodging for actors and film crew, securing filming locations and getting work permits sorted out.
The independent film is not due for release until December 2008.
‘As it is an independent film the distribution is up for grabs, but we’ve had a ton of interest so far,’ said Mr. Wadsworth.
Along with showcasing the beauty of the Cayman Islands and its people, the film will also showcase local products.
Cayman Went LLC announced last week that it had signed a partnership agreement with The Cayman Islands Brewery to feature its locally brewed beer, Caybrew, in the upcoming film. The partnership includes product placement and joint marketing opportunities.
‘Caybrew was launched just under one year ago and as we approach our first anniversary we are excited to see that Caybrew is fast becoming recognised as the national beer of Cayman,’ said Mr Allen Chu Fook, general manager of The Cayman Islands Brewery. ‘We make and package the beer at the brewery in Prospect, Grand Cayman and distribute across the whole of the Cayman Islands. It is a great boost to be working with the makers of Cayman Went and we look forward to being able to introduce Caybrew to a wider international audience as well as contributing to the local pride that this film is sure to bring Cayman.’
The film includes several scenes in the fictional bar The Sand Bar, where members of the community meet to socialise and discuss local news and events. Caybrew will feature prominently in these scenes where point of sale materials, signage, and the increasingly recognizable green, red and blue-labelled bottles will be on display.
‘Cayman Went depicts Cayman as a special place with the power to impact all those who visit,’ said Mr. Wadsworth. ‘To reflect its unique charm, it is important to portray the destination as authentically as possible. This means featuring locally made products, including, of course, Caybrew.’