Curtis Campbell, Gleaner Writer
American entertainment business consultant Horace Madison, says Jamaica has a wealth of talent but lacks investment and structure. Madison was recently invited to Jamaica by JAMPRO, with the aim of building relationships for investment and export of Jamaica’s creative industry.
The consultant says the island is blessed with a variety of talents, waiting to be nurtured, and also believes the business sector can play a stronger role in the development of the creative industry. “I want people to understand that there is incredible potential here and, while you have some success, there is still so much more talent, and if that talent is supported by the business sector, you will gradually see more phenomenal talent and more aspects of Jamaican culture that come out of this country,” he said.
Madison highlighted sports and music as Jamaica’s strongest talents, but also pointed out that TV and film have the potential to break barriers, provided that the necessary investments are made. He also said he would be visiting Jamaican plays and theatres in order to weigh their potential and marketability.
“I always wonder, how can I help to increase the exposure of entertainment? Because, who doesn’t want to be entertained. So right now, I am already in business mode, I am looking into ways in which I can expose Jamaican entertainment to a wider audience,” Madison said.
The consultant also encourages aspiring film directors and scriptwriters to continue creating low-budget material, while using the Internet as a medium for exposure. He also advises creators to be open to criticism, citing that criticism is not always negative, but can be a catalyst for improvement.
“Short films and short stories on the Internet will give you a chance to get feedback. It doesn’t matter what your friends and immediate family say, because chances are, they won’t be objective. Get it out to the public and get their feedback,” he said.
Madison also has his mind set on setting up a development studio in the island, with local talents as its main priority. As for the lack of sponsorship, which hinders the growth of the creative industry, the consultant says he has business associates who already believe in the potential of Jamaicans.
“I’ve seen the same type of challenge in the US. Talent and finances don’t speak the same language, but we can make them speak the same language. I know business people here who believe in the talent and are willing to put their money into development of talent, because I know that talented people are here,” he said.
JAMPRO’s film commissioner, Carole Beckford, says Madison’s visit is part of JAMPRO’s ongoing global business-connect project, which is aimed at recruiting influential professionals from the international community who can open doors for Jamaica’s creative industry. She also disclosed that Madison is one of five important persons who will be invited to the island over the next few months.
Madison recently resigned as US rapper Lil’ Wayne’s business manager and has worked with several other internationally renowned recording artistes.