Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 5th 2014 Contents A34
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Jeffrey Alleyne is a contentious
man. I suspect even his best
friends will tell him that.
He s aired very public beefs with
a lot of people as video rants on
Facebook, most of them in the for-
mal film industry in T&T, and
that s how he first popped up on
I d been drawn to one of his
many videos of vociferous dissent
with the status quo and his spirited
defence of the Government s Cre-
ative Industries initiative, which
he d described as a dismantling of
the crony system he believes exists
in the T&T Film Company (TTFC).
He s a self-confessed bad boy.
"At 13 I left school to learn a
trade," he said, "I went to learn
tailoring at Samaroo s and by 14,
I was working. But I was also a
hustler in town, hanging out with
the boys I met in Boys Industrial
in the plannings on Nelson and
He spent only a short time at
the correctional institution, but he
became part of a baker s dozen of
boys who would hit the streets
together. Jeffrey Alleyne served
eight and a half years in the
Remand Yard for robbery and
shooting cases, before being
released in 1996.
After knocking around from one
unsatisfying job to another, he
decided to try to work on a rig and
began putting money together to
do the safety training.
Then his daughter, Sunshyne
Da Silva began to do poetry mono-
logues and he wanted to capture
her performances. He took the
money for the safety course and
did a videography course with
Jason Riley instead.
In October 2013 he began work-
ing on the project that s put him
on the hot list of every DVD pirate
in T&T, Welcome to Warlock, with
a small core cast of seven.
By late December, split between
working on Warlock and a pilot
for a television series on Dole
Chadee, he decided to post a trailer
edited from the early footage on
Old Year s Night to Facebook.
According to Alleyne, hundreds of
people wanted to participate in the
project and he chose 74 of them
of a first come, first served basis.
He d begun with a gambling
scene that ends with the principals
of the film falling out first badly,
"We looked at it and liked it and
decided how we would shoot
around it," he explained.
His first step was to create a
backstory for Machine (Raphael
Joseph), the charming roughneck
anti-hero of the film. Alleyne put
the film together on the strength
of his grasp of story structure,
which he describes as "more
important than story."
"I don t try to reinvent the
wheel, I created a circle, the hero s
journey, from imperfection to per-
Perfection might be stretching
it, but in the deeply flawed, emo-
tionally brittle and quick-on-the-
trigger world of Warlock, any level
of forgiveness and redemption is
a cool and unexpected balm.
After creating the backstory and
working his way to the gambling
scene, he shot most of the rest of
the film in sequence.
"Sometimes the situation would
change, but the plot points largely
remained the same."
At times, Alleyne s film feels
more like a particularly sordid doc-
umentary than a street gangster
drama, so immersed and comfort-
able is his cast in their roles.
The film was formally released
on May 26 after a first screening
at the Diamond Vale Community
"All in all," Alleyne said, "I can
make a movie in six weeks time.
Warlock is a hybrid between Hol-
lywood and Nollywood. People can
identify with the characters and
That they did and illegal DVD
duplicators were quick to notice.
The stories came back to Alleyne
quickly. One man put down three
boxes of DVDs in the market and
sold them out in hours. Another
man told him he was making
$22,000 a day selling the film.
Angry, Alleyne sent a press release
out to the media calling on the
authorities to do something about
the flagrant piracy of his film
Nothing happened, though
Alleyne would find a new target
for his ire in the media handling
of his protest. Even now, despite
his more sanguine response to an
act of piracy he believes cost him
$10 million in lost sales, he
describes it as "the greatest assault
on a movie I ever see."
Welcome to hard luck Jeffrey Alleyne in the
room in Petit Valley.
PHOTO: MARK LYNDERSAY
He also uses
Continues on Page A35
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