Royal Gazette – Realise your screen dreams – 21/12/16

Local police officers — or anyone who looks like one — could be in for 15 minutes of fame when the new thriller Babymoon is shot in Bermuda.

But, according to director Lucinda Spurling, the memories could last a lifetime for those Bermudians who land roles in the movie to be shot next year.

Ms Spurling, who will be directing her first feature film on the island, is also excited about the opportunities it will bring by showcasing Bermuda’s beauty to an international audience.

She is hoping a wide variety of local talent turns up to next week’s casting call.

“We want to see Bermudians, adults, of all kinds,” she told The Royal Gazette. “We need a lot of police officers, so anyone who could fit or who is a police officer, would be great. As the film is a thriller we have a lot of twists and turns and plenty of small speaking roles.

“I think this is a great opportunity for an actor. It is a relatively small amount of time commitment-wise but will be an experience they can remember for many years to come.

“Although it is not a huge amount of time, we need the actors to be flexible with their schedules as we cannot cater the filming around our minor actors’ work schedule. They need to be able to drop everything and film their scenes for a few hours.”

Ms Spurling described the film “a new frontier” for Bermuda.

“I don’t believe there have been many films made here since the 70s except for a few TV series episodes and reality TV,” she said.

“We wanted to do something for Bermuda that would be a visual calling card for the island.

“We engineered the story to play to Bermuda’s strengths as the main characters are tourists and all of our locations are hotels and tourist spots. We aren’t filming a movie in Bermuda that is anonymously set here.

“In many ways the film is about Bermuda.

“We are taking all of Bermuda’s strengths, telling an entertaining story and then releasing our Bermuda film on international media platforms, which are avenues that have not been tapped in terms of putting Bermuda as a tourist destination into a wider consciousness.

“It is a thriller, but it has a happy ending, I promise. We also hope to prove that this is possible in Bermuda! Maybe one day it will be a reality that we have films shooting here all the time, that walking by a film set will be as commonplace as it is on a street in NY. Most of all, we can never forget, film is a business, and it might be a good business for Bermuda down the road.”

As well as local actors, the thriller will employ a number of Bermudian crew and caterers, helping to spread the economic impact further.

In addition to Bermudian actors, the film will star Kelly McGillis — the star of films including Top Gun — and Kate Mansi of Days of our Lives in leading roles.

“As we all know stars make the movie,” Ms Spurling said. “Kelly is an incredible actress, and has done many thrillers including one of my favourites, Witness. Kate is an up-and-coming actress with a huge following and lots of potential.

“The combination of the two actresses will give the film two very key things — name recognition and an older audience who will never forget Kelly in Top Gun, and Kate will bring in that younger audience. They are both beautiful and talented; what director could ask for more?”

Asked what she wanted to accomplish with the film, she said: “Make a profit for our investors, and make a great film that people are still watching 20 years from now. Make a film that will afford the entire crew the opportunity to work on another one. Make a film that will intrigue people about our tiny island in the Atlantic.”

The casting call will take place on Wednesday and Thursday next week, between 4pm and 8pm, at the Into Bermuda office at Somers Building, 2nd Floor, 15 Front Street.