By Arthia Nixon, The Ambassador Agencyfor Bahamas Consul General’s Office of Atlanta
(Atlanta, Georgia)… When the movie Ride Along 2 rides into theaters, a member of the Bahamas Actors and Filmmakers Association will be able to boast behind the scene experience, after being allowed on set thanks to an initiative by Consul General Randy E. Rolle, the Ministry of Tourism and moviemaker Will Packer.
Rolle, who is the Consul General for The Commonwealth of The Bahamas to Atlanta and surrounding States invited Bahamians in the film industry to submit their credentials.
“Moya Thompson is the first Bahamian to be given the opportunity to work on Will Packer production,” the Consul General stated. “The second person will be selected through The Bahamas’ Ministry of Tourism and that individual will be announced at a later date.”
“It’s an opportunity of a lifetime for a Bahamian and I am happy that [Packer] decided to give us that opportunity,” added Rolle. “Doing some research, I realized he went above and beyond for us. This is something that has never been done and as you know there is a lot of red tape. So the fact that he did all of this for us, speaks to the level of confidence he has in us and of course the friendship and for that I am very appreciative even if it was just two hours, but he so graciously allowed her on set for over a week. The fact is we are here, among some very good people and forging a very good relationship.”
Chosen for the opportunity was Moya Thompson. She has had film roles in Rain and Windjammers but has her own production company that has shelled out projects such as It Takes A Village for Bahamian television. Additionally, Thompson’s month long film, arts and drama camp collaborated with well known Bahamian industry insiders to provide youngsters hands on experience. She also serves on the board of the Bahamas Actors and Filmmakers Association.
She said of her experience: “It was interesting for me as someone in the BAFA because we are discussing things such as legislation which we don’t have. And so we want to see how we can implement those kinds of things that they have over here which are regulated. We (BAFA) do want to move and take it to the next level.”
Packer who is also known for other hits such as Think Like A Man, was delighted to work with the Consul General. He noted that it’s one thing to go to film school, read books, go online but it’s something else to be right in the middle of it.
“We’re here on the set of a major Hollywood production because of my tremendous relationship with Consul General Rolle, my tremendous relationship with the entire government of The Bahamas, especially the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Tourism,” said Packer.
“When they bought up Moya who is an excellent example of what it means to be up and coming interested in this, wanting to be a part of this, wanting to learn,” he added. “When I had the opportunity to bring her on my set to bring her to be involved with it, I didn’t think twice. I said let’s do it. It was Randy’s idea and I said I absolutely wanted to present these kinds of chances to be on a real movie set, getting real world experience and that is invaluable. I could tell you as a producer, you can’t buy that.”
As for his interest in filming in the location where he spent his star studded 40th birthday this year, Packer said he is already thinking about it.
“I would definitely consider filming in the Bahamas!” said Packer. “It is something Randy and I have talked about specifically. I’ve done over 20 movies and all of them have been in the United States but the first time I go outside the United States, I’d love for it to be The Bahamas. It’s just a matter of finding the right film but with this partnership the sky is the limit.”