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Authentic Short Film Discovers Jamaica's Secret Music Hideaway Used by Famous Artists

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Third Channel director Marcus Mcsweeney captures the essence of the song-writing retreat in the heart of Jamaica, featuring famous artists such as Jorja Smith, Dre Skull and Bella Blair
Authentic Short Film Discovers Jamaica's Secret Music Hideaway Used by Famous Artists
Commissioned by the Jamaican Tourist Board and The Face Magazine, director Marcus McSweeney discovers a secret music hideaway in Jamaica;
an inspirational and creative holiday home for the world’s biggest artists.

Port Antonio, Jamaica, has a melody of its own; the clang of auntie Joyce’s spoon against a cooking pot, the rhythms of its dance floors and the collective chorus of the Jamaican parakeets. The country’s rich history is deeply linked to music and nestled deep in the jungle area of Jamaica’s northeast coast. Its residential recording studio, Geejam, is the conception place of seminal tracks by some of the most well-loved artists in the world including Drake, Rhianna and Kendrick Lamar.

Third Channel director Marcus McSweeney was commissioned by The Face magazine and the Jamaican Tourist Board to capture a songwriting retreat at a musical pilgrimage to Geejam, organised by the producer Cadenza (Oliver Rodigan). In the exquisite film 'Voices of Jamaica', McSweeney captures what happens when producers and artists are brought to a secret music hideaway and left to their own creative devices.


McSweeney’s background in human-led observational documentaries is clear as these well-known artists and their creative process are sensitively portrayed. McSweeney commented: “We wanted to look deeper than just your average music documentary, this is more about human connection than just the music itself. We discovered that the process of making music is not a simple algorithm, it is as much about feeling as it is about sound.”

Interwoven within the film are exclusive clips from new unreleased songs from artists Jorja Smith and Aminé. With a soundscape from artist interviews, ambient natural sounds and moments of inspirational narration from Port Antonio locals, the importance of music to both visiting artists and Jamaican residents is evident. The film highlights the centrality of Pan African musical culture, invoking deep cultural and creative connections across the oceans. Songwriting is no doubt a delicate and personal process. Artists and producers work tirelessly together, obsessing over details, feeling and tone. When home becomes stifling, the space that Geejam has created allows artists to get away from the noise and gifts them the unique ability to create in a musically rich environment.

Marcus McSweeney continues: “You just cannot define the creative spirit of the place, it was such a privilege to be there and see other creatives create. You couldn’t help but feel inspired yourself”. By centring on these artist-visitors to Jamaica, who come to be inspired and to create, McSweeney has made a film for the Jamaican tourist board that will inspire the calibre of traveller that we all want to be - a part of the creative local culture, not just an outside observer.
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PRODUCTION

Director and Cinematography: Marcus McSweeney, Third Channel

Exec Producer: Oliver Rodigan and Jennifer Byrne

Producer: Rosanna Gouldman

Sound and Camera Assistant: Joe Harris

Editors: Marcus McSweeney, Ben Melbourne and James Heaphy

Edit Assistant: Timi Akindele-Ajani, Third Channel

Production Assistants: Dubheasa Lanipekun and Colette Slater Barrass, Third Channel

Grade: Myles Bevan, Colour at Time Based Arts

Artists: Jorja Smith, Aminé, Protoge, Agent Sasco, Dre Skull, Marlon Roudette, Cadenza, Miraa May, Guilty Beatz, P2J, Kelvin Krash, Kasien, Sevana, Stalk Ashley and Bella Blair

With thanks to: The Face Magazine, Geejam Studios

Categories: Short films, Short Films and Music Videos

Third Channel, Fri, 01 May 2020 12:47:18 GMT