“Be cheerful. Keep things in good repair. Keep your spirits up. Think in harmony. Be agreeable. Do all that and the God of love and peace will be with you for sure”

2 Corinthians 13:11.

As a management consultant, a strategy consultant, a change-engine consultant, one is indeed an advisor to business about efficient management practices. It can be a very repetitive process, like many professions, but there are some redeeming features as exemplified by the variety of experience encountered in the type of client (public or private enterprise), economic sector, country of the assignment and the people involved.

The making of the film “Hit for Six” has been no exemption to this rule. The back story production, the meticulousness of business planning, the creativity in script writing, the detail of the preproduction phase, the challenge of investment and sponsorship funding, the frustrations of production and the precision in the ongoing editing phase have all been very exciting experiences. The upcoming final product preparation, launch and distribution phases will undoubtedly not be without their own stimulating moments.

This full length Caribbean feature film is produced by the local firm BlueWaters Productions Inc. which is owned by Alison Saunders-Franklyn, who is also Executive Producer, Script writer and Director of the film. I have “walked the walk” with Alison since she shared her film idea with me. Now that “we have a film”, as one of the team exclaimed recently when the first rough cut of the sequence of shots was assembled to reflect the order of the script, I can truly say that the success of this project is due to Alison’s superb leadership, preparation for the assignment, attention to detail, her way with people, fairplay and recognition of the dichotomy between the creative & technical and business elements of the project. She has been cheerful; kept things in good repair; kept spirits up; encouraged harmonious thinking; was agreeable; recognising always that the God of love and peace was and will be with her team for sure.

While the story is fictional it has drawn on the illustrious cricket history of the West Indies and includes cameo appearances by past and present West Indies cricketers. Famous cricket commentators also play a cameo in the film. There is a leading Indian character in the film which will enhance the appeal to the Indian market. This film will also celebrate the exciting music of the Caribbean and the score has been written by Grammy award nominee Nicholas Brancker. Undoubtedly an impressive cast comprising the cream of Caribbean talent features in “Hit for Six” inclusive of Canadian based Barbadian born actress Alison Sealy-Smith. Her impressive filmography includes “Naturally, Sadie”, “Take the lead” (2006); “This is Wonderland” (2004); “Mind me
Good Now”, “Haunting Sarah”, “Dark Water” (2005) and “Kevin Hill”.

British based Trinidadian actor Rudolph Walker OBE whose filmography includes “East Enders” (Current); “The Crouches” (2003); “Love Thy Neighbour” and “Ali G in Da
House”(2002); and numerous stage and television appearances.

Andrew Pilgrim and Varia Williams are leading Barbadian actors with international experience. Jeanille Bonterre is popular host of MTV ‘Tempo’. Lenford Salmon is a popular Jamaican screen and television actor. Alwin Bully is a highly regarded Dominican actor/director. Alison Hinds is internationally renowned soca performer. Arnold Goindhan is popular Trinidadian actor and soap opera star. They are all involved.

The world première of this film will be in Barbados on Wednesday April 18 2007.

“Hit for Six” is a captivating story of the aspirations of a young cricketer who seeks to overcome challenges related to his professional development, personal relationships and lifestyle. This emotional drama is punctuated with excitement, intrigue and love and involves experienced and highly skilled Caribbean production personnel with global experience and actors from different countries in the region and the Diaspora. It tells the story of Alex, a talented but inconsistent ‘bad boy’ of West Indies cricket, who is sidelined from the West Indies team for scuffling with his coach. Now, out of the team for three years, he pursues an unlikely quest for a last chance to play in the Global Cricket Series. Fuelled by a burning desire to regain the respect of his estranged and critical father, also a former great West Indies player, who was unfairly denied a chance to play in the first Global Cricket Series, Alex battles demons of past vices and as he encounters valuable lessons in love and forgiveness. This includes facing a charge for match-fixing and falling in love with the female reporter who breaks this story that, more than anything else, can put an end to the pursuit of his dream.

Although, I was only present on the production set for very few scenes, one thing that lingers with me is the number of hours it takes to satisfactorily shoot a few minutes of final product. Another thing was the diversity of the cast representing global, regional and international nationality and experience.

This project is an example of how to mobilise Caribbean and other creative talent to produce a film of global appeal. Arrangements are being made for its distribution worldwide. The estimated gross receipts have been conservatively estimated, but even then the return on investment for investors over a three year period is projected to be very attractive after the repayment of the capital investment.

(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is Change-Engine Consultant, Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust Inc.)

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