There are more movies made in Belize, than you probably know of. They don’t make to the big screen, and the actors are usually not the big names. But location and low costs make Belize an ideal place for B-movies. Dragon Wasp, is one of the latest movies by Sci-Fi that has been produced locally. News Five’s Jose Sanchez caught up the crew as they departed the PGIA.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

Belize may have only one cinema that occasionally shows a Hollywood movie; but one production team of the Sci-Fi genre has cranked out several movies made in Belize. Corin Nemec is the lead actor in Dragon Wasp.

Corin Nemec, Actor

Corin Nemec

“The movie is about a young scientist looking for his missing father and the missing father happens to be working in genetic mutations, DNA research and he’s been modifying insects that have become really large—wasp-like insects. I play a soldier helping to find her father and we run into a narco rebel group up in the mountains that we’ve had run ins with before and that’s sort of the premise of the story.”

Jose Sanchez

“I know you are a seasoned veteran on Sci-Fi, of course from Stargate. What is it like working with locals some of whom have never had an experience acting before?”

Corin Nemec

“It’s been great actually. My whole experience down here in Belize has been very eye opening, I’ve had an incredible time working down here and I look forward to coming back to do more films in Belize. That’s what we are hoping to be able to do in the near future.”

Jose Sanchez

“So you see Belize having all that is needed to carry more movies—the different scenes that we have?”

Corin Nemec

“Yeah. I think Belize has a lot to offer in terms of filmmaking for sure.”

Benjamin Easterday, Actor

“Movie experience; I’ve been in film for about twenty years. Last thing I did was actually working with Corin Nemec on a show called Nuclear Family. I was also in Fast and Furious 5, recently and prior to that, Advice, Stargate Season 8 that of course you and I were talking about season 8. Mobius 1 and 2.”

Jose Sanchez

Benjamin Easterday

“I have to ask you, working in Belize, do you see that there is a potential for more movies being done here?”

Benjamin Easterday

“You know what this is a country that is full of honor and integrity. And I think it is an area that is willing to see that change. If we can bring films here, people will work and have fun. Let’s put Belize on the film frontline.”

Pulu Lightburn

Pulu Lightburn made the connection between local talent and the production company since he has collaborated with them on previous projects.

Pulu Lightburn, Actor

“I work with Anthony who is the Line Producer for all these movies. He’s usually the first guy that comes to Belize whenever they are going to make a movie. He works with Asylum and he brought us Mega Piranha, 7 Adventures of Sinbad and now he’s bringing us Dragon Wasp.”

Jose Sanchez

“You have a role in this movie also?”

Pulu Lightburn

“I play the hit man for the bad guy who is Jaguar—I am Malo—which means bad in Spanish.”

Jose Sanchez

“So you get to shoot up the machine gun?”

Pulu Lightburn

“Yup. It was kind of fun too.”

Several locals have been employed not to be hands but actors. Gildon Rowland caught the eye of the director while he was passing by. Now he’s a bonafide villain in the movie.

Gildon Rowland

Gildon Rowland, Actor

“I da Jaguar in this movie. What I do actually is just create a chaotic situation for some people that are trying to rescue a missing man. You had this professor weh goen missing weh mi deh pan wah special assignment ina di bushes and I dah di bad man ina di bush. I dah di senior bad man that rule my village.”

Jose Sanchez

“If you can give me wah lee scenery how you scare up the crowd ina di movie.”

Gildon Rowland

“Well my favorite part in the movie dah which part when we had this encounter the first time, this man shot me so much time in my chest and I was presumed dead and when they come back and see me, all dehn find was just the lone skin off of my shoulder. And when I meet this man again I face and look at ahn like this: “welcome back beast man, have you finally come to face your demons?” Give ahn wah deep voice and make ih really get di sense of it because basically what I do ina this movie dah bring wah character ina the dialogue.”

Jose Sanchez

“Now working with our local actors with limited experience, what was that like?”

Benjamin Easterday

“It’s just funny you said that. We had the guy playing Jaguar here, Gildon—watching his innocence of acting because normally we are taught and trained in studio how you do this and how to do that. But when you take somebody that hasn’t had that experience and you put them with us, they have to show genuine integrity. They’d actually wanted me to read the Jaguar and I’m like you know what, this film demands that it’s someone that needs to show Belize. A Belizean; this is where we are. So I can’t portray that true grounded ethnicity from here. I could always act it out, but it’s not the real thing. But I think Gildon brought it and made it really worth it in the movie. He did real well. I want him to continue; there’s bunch of them that I want to continue. It’s the innocence of acting that rules. Thank you Belize. Thank you all.”

Jose Sanchez

“Dominica, tell me what the experience in Belize was like making this movie?

Dominica Wolski, Actress

“Challenging, amazing, incredible, revealing action adventure.”

Jose Sanchez

“You lost your voice. What did you do in Belize to make you lose your voice and what was this movie like for you?”

Dominica Wolski

Dominica Wolski

“I really wanted it to be like Laura Croft, but I got to handle a gun at the end, so there was a lot of like running through jungle—from the jungle to a cave. It was amazing; an amazing small cast, but like action pack. That’s how I lost my voice.”

Jose Sanchez

“And you plan to come back again?”

Dominica Wolski

“Of course. It’s amazing. The people were incredible, hospitable, this beautiful country. It’s very, very amazing. I like the music.”

Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

Channel 5


Director calls Belize a Hollywood Gem

Joe Knee

Most of the actors including lead actor Corin Nemec have been acting all their lives and have a wide network of contacts in Hollywood. The experience of the actors in Belize is one that they all genuinely want to repeat. Perhaps that is why the production company has consistently returned to Belize to make movies to be shown on the SCI-FI Channel. One of the movie makers told News Five that the government should do more to expose the wealth Belize has to offer to Hollywood because he is constantly looking for ways to incorporate our landscape into his projects.

Joe Knee, President, The Autumn Film Company

“Belize is an unknown gem. The locations that Belize offers are unbelievable—practical locations that in Los Angeles or anywhere else, you would pay so much more money for. When you come down here, there’s everything you could ever imagine; from the open plains to the mountains to the caves, to the Mayan temples. There is so much here and it’s unfortunate that it is not explored. I think your government should really spend a lot more money in marketing what you guys have here for the American film market. There is just too much here that nobody utilizes because nobody knows about it.”

Jose Sanchez

“What was it like working with our local people—I notice you use them regularly in your films?”

Joe Knee

“From landing here three weeks ago—first of all I didn’t know what to expect, but from when we landed until now, everybody is amazing, so nice—so wonderful and welcoming to have that. For strangers to come into somebody’s town, we don’t know what the reaction’s gonna be, but to have them react and welcome us so openly; it not only made us feel welcomed, but it aided our film to become something better than it could have been.”

Jose Sanchez

“Is it safe then to say that we will see you and your crew come down to do more and to help expose what we have to offer?”

Joe Knee

“It is a guarantee. While we’ve been shooting this movie, four or five of us, we have other scripts. Like I have four movie scripts at home, other people have other project ideas. We are like how can we utilize Belize to help bring these projects to fruition. And Belize is the perfect answer. So coming down here, we’ve already figured out three or four other projects we can come down here, film and bring money into this economy.”

The behind the scenes photos and videos were provided courtesy of Pulu Lightburn.

Channel 5