Of course, I always knew Jamaican businesswoman and media strategist Marcia Forbes had an eye firmly fixed on the future.
Dr. Forbes has once again demonstrated her concern for young people – those who will frame our future. This summer, through her Kingston-based multi-media firm Phase Three Productions, Dr. Forbes is offering intensive six-day training workshops in videography to thirty young Jamaicans – free. The first workshop kicks off on August 11 at Phase Three’s Studio 45, The Trade Centre, 32 Red Hills Road, Kingston 10. Training includes lectures and hands-on sessions covering features of digital cameras, proper camera use and care, shot composition and angles, lighting and sound for TV, and more. Well-known local professionals will share their expertise with the trainees. “I screen them myself,” says Marcia. “Some very bright and talented youths have already been selected. I’m particularly excited about this project, which is set to widen the pool of practitioners within the creative industries.”
I have written about our Governor General Sir Patrick Allen’s excellent youth-oriented “I Believe” Initiative before. Hearing of this training, Sir Patrick has brought Phase Three on board; he will invite all the graduating trainees to King’s House for a motivational talk with him.
Marcia is part owner and Executive Chair of Phase Three, which she founded with her husband Richard over thirty years ago (their son Delano is CEO). During a six-year period as General Manager of Television Jamaica (TVJ) she turned the company around from a loss-maker to a leader in local television. She is a Jamaican Fulbright Scholar and high-powered academic (First Class bachelor’s degree, straight A’s in her Masters at Emerson College, Boston, and a doctorate focusing on television, music videos and their impact on adolescents). She did a short stint in government, as Permanent Secretary in two ministries, but started her working career as a Registered General Nurse. Oh, and she has written two books. Perhaps this incredibly varied background of achievement accounts for her open-mindedness, a much-needed quality in the somewhat insular Jamaican environment. A deeply-rooted curiosity propels her further. No resting on laurels here.
Football fans like me are happy to know that Phase Three has been supporting CVM Television, which has exclusive rights to broadcast the World Cup in Jamaica. It has provided two creative technicians to run the replay machine, and supplied the machine itself – a Dyno Replay Machine that costs about US$100,000. It has also provided a switcher that is able to display picture in picture. Before the start of the World Cup an expert was brought in from overseas to train the Directors on how to use this switcher. Phase Three also provided a Jimmy Jib – a camera crane that hoists the camera and allows more creative and interesting shots, for use in the World Cup studio; and has come on board with cameras and other general support equipment and guidance, an editor and editing equipment.
Phase Three has invested enormously in equipment over the past few years, helping to build the capacity not only of the firm itself but that of local media. Again on the football front, Phase Three will provide multi-camera coverage of some CONCACAF regional matches and will send them via satellite to overseas TV and cable stations. Up until a few years ago, they would have had to bring in the entire crew and cameras from overseas.
And of course, this means vital foreign exchange earnings and the positioning of Phase Three (and Jamaica) to hold its own with international standards in media. “We are not fully up to the mark as yet, but we are working hard to get there,” says Marcia. What a long way we have come from the dear old JBC (Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation)!
Marcia noted at a business workshop last week, “Like sexuality, in media everything is fluid – nothing is fixed.” Media – and especially social media, of course, which she has studied in depth by immersing herself in it – is no longer about the audience sitting and passively receiving programs and information. “It’s all about people,” Marcia emphasized. In fact, this is the topic of her first book, “Music, Media and Adolescent Sexuality in Jamaica,” which is based on her doctoral thesis.
Did I mention that Marcia also teaches? She is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of the West Indies’ journalism school, the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communications (CARIMAC), where she teaches Media Management to the Masters students. And she plays a pivotal role in the influential work of the 51% Coalition: Women in Partnership for Development & Empowerment through Equity.
And does she have enough hours in the day? I doubt it. As for Jamaica’s traditional media, Marcia states it simply: “They don’t know who their competition is.”
Change is the only certain thing in life. Nuh true?
Dr Marcia Forbes
Executive Chairman, Phase Productions Ltd. – http://www.phase3prod.com
Steering Committee Member, 51% Coalition: Women in Partnership for Development & Empowerment through Equity; Board Director, United Way of Jamaica
Contributing Writer – Caribbean Journal ‘Newspaper’ – http://www.caribjournal.com