Local Stars Shine in After the Storm

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 10, No. 14            April 6, 2000

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San Pedro stars pose with Charles Woods and Choreographer Sistie Fairweather (sixth from left)
Local actors with Sylvana and Charles Woods before scene
Mini-village houses equipment needed for crew
Pirate's Cove is re-created at Mosquito Coast's Lions Park

The staff of the San Pedro Sun was on site during a recent segment of the filming for the movie After the Storm. This shoot, featuring local people of San Pedro, was re-created at the Mosquito Coast Lions Park area. The scene called for an evening beach party at "Pirate's Cove" with actors and extras depicting Irish immigrants to the Bahamas. The more than twenty-five extras needed for this specific shoot started to arrive on the scene around 4:00 p.m. A long evening awaited the group, so after a short orientation by the producers,  the group proceeded to have a quick bite to eat provided by the film company. Then it was off to wardrobe for fitting, hair and make-up.

    Wardrobe supervisor Pashelle and her technicians had their hands full with all the men, women and children to outfit. Then it was off to make-up, aided by islander Charmaine and then to be styled or "wigged" by hair stylists Lori and Deb. In less time than you can imagine, the group of extras were transformed into ladies and gentlemen of society in the 1930s. All dolled up and ready to go, the lucky extras awaited the leading stars of the movie to appear and then it was show time.

    With the typical shout of "quiet on the set!" by Sound Man Reggie Bryant, filming commenced at 9:00 p.m. and lasted until approximately 1:30 a.m., a lengthy amount of time for those not accustomed to this type of work. Commenting on their first movie filming, most extras agreed it was quite interesting and they had a better understanding of how much work it took and how certain things are created. What many of them found odd was that dancers did not dance to music but had to just pretend to hear it. Musicians only pretended to play instruments and people mingling only pretended to talk. All their sounds will be "dubbed" into the movie at a later date. The actors also graciously took time to chat and pose for pictures with some of the extras during breaks.

    The San Pedro Sun caught up with dance choreographer Sistie Fairweather-Harmes who was in charge of working with the extras specifically for their "dance party" scene. Sistie is a born Belizean who from a young age had a passion for dancing which motivated her to study at prestigious schools in New York and England. Upon completion of her studies she started a dance company in Belize. In 1977, she emigrated to Florida, USA where she worked as a dance teacher and choreographer. Sistie recently retired and returned to Belize in 1996 with her husband. They now reside in Vista Del Mar in Ladyville where she owns Vista Dance Studio. Sistie got involved with this part of the movie after responding to an advertisement for a dance choreographer and being accepted. She explained that the extras would do an old fashion set dance traditional to the Bahamas and Belize in the 1930s. Other side lines of the party that were filmed included dances such as the rumba, foxtrot and swing. Sistie commented, "This is a very exciting and fun opportunity for myself and the participants." Sistie will also choreograph additional dancing the movie calls for which will be shot in Belize City.

    Special thanks to Sylvana and Charles Woods of Kriol Gyal Prodokshans Ltd. and the backstage crew for providing information for this article: Sondra Gallagher, Mani Duran and Alex King just to name a few.   

     Taking well-deserved time off from work, the stars and the film crew were all seen at disco this weekend having a wonderful time. Joining the growing list of stars on this island in the last week, besides Jimmy Buffet, is Lou Ferrigno from the popular TV show of the 70s, "The Incredible Hulk".  Must be something in the air San Pedro!!

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