It has been a little over a year since the award-winning short film Pothound was released by husband and wife production duo Christopher and Leizelle Guinness. Already, the owners and operators of Bepperton Entertainment have released another project likely to achieve similar success. Their short film Captain T&T, launched online on May 29, tells the story of a boy who aspires to be a superhero. The film's stars include Kden Hee Chung (Thin Foot), Blair Cameron, Sherwin Marcelle and Christopher's grandmother Lucille Poon Kwong, who also appeared in Pothound.Most importantly, the film also stars one of the couple's beloved mongrels, Runty Magic. The star of Pothound was another beloved mongrel named Bubbercin.
In an interview last week, Christopher said the inspiration for the film came from "childhood memories, daily situations and the social and political climate of present day T&T."It's all packed into a coming of age story with a superhero twist. Like most of my work, it has autobiographical elements by default," he said. The film was written, directed and produced by Christopher and Leizelle.Captain T&T has already been selected as a Staff Pick on the video sharing Web site Vimeo and is scheduled to screen at the Aruba Film Festival and the travelling festival, Caribbean Film Corner. However, Christopher's plans for the film are simple. "(My plans for the film are) for it to be seen by as many people as possible, especially Trinbagonians. The messages are most applicable to us, the nuances more significant."The tools used to create the film were also simple according to Chistopher, with a lot of improvising being employed."Instead of a crane, a ladder would do. Where water hosing was needed, Ziplock bags did just fine. Every little thing adds up."
The core tools were a DSLR camera, glide cam and glide track as well as GO Pro.In Captain T&T, Thin Foot attempts everyday to tap into superhero powers such as superhuman strength and mind powers, he must also battle the villains or neighbourhood bullies who try to harm his dog. Thin Foot's aim to use his powers for good are part of the film's overarching message."There is a message of love, of hope. Our responsibility to live a righteous life, use what influence we have for good from the man on the street to the head of state."Captain T&T shares similar messages with Pothound, which advocated animal protection. Captain T&T also promotes a non-governmental organisation, Summer Heroes T&T, in the same way Pothound promoted the T&T Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Summer Heroes T&T is charitable organisation using art therapy in outreach programmes for children living in homes and centres throughout T&T."They both (both films) advocate kindness towards animals. Both stories are intertwined, they share some of the same characters and some of the scenarios overlap."However, in Pothound, animal protection is the main theme versus Captain T&T which has a more holistic message presented presented in a simple childlike manner," Christopher said.
He added: "Much like Pothound, we wanted to connect the film to an initiative that will benefit from any publicity the piece garners. The film shares many of the ideals of Summer Heroes, about finding one's self and doing good so the connection was most natural."While Bepperton Entertainment films have an artistic quality visually, Leizelle, 31, does not consider herself an artist and Christopher says he "will like to be an artist when he grows up."Bepperton is an "audio/visual design, film and animation creative company" which the couple founded in 2010.Both had worked extensively in advertising before both winning numerous awards. Christopher is also a former president of the Caribbean Advertising Federation. Deciding to run their own business allows them to balance work with "passion projects.""The bread-winning work usually involves bringing someone else's idea to life, sometimes you are afforded creative control, sometimes not so much, which is fine."It's just important for us to communicate our personal ideas as well, present our voice. And that's where the passion projects come into play."
The name Bepperton came from Christopher's nickname Bep, which he acquired for the "habit of falling asleep during less than interesting movies." For Leizelle, Bepperton is the "custodian of dreams, a colloquial version of the Sandman." Since its founding Bepperton has won more than 60 awards, however, Christopher and Leizelle remain pragmatic about what these awards mean."Awards are a good validation, like hey someone else like our stuff too. See, trust us with your business. But beyond that it's best to turn profit or do work that you are proud of," Christopher said.To view Captain T&T, visit www.captaintandt.com
2012 Vimeo Awards Finalist
Best Short Film:
Mostra de cine Latino Americano de Cataluna
Gold ADDY Award: Cinematography
Gold ADDY Award: Animation
Silver ADDY Award:
Non Traditional Ad
Silver ADDY Award: Public Service
Asians on Film Festival–Best Cinematography–Short Form
The Indie Fest: Award of Merit
AIFF: Best Animation Feb 2012
Pothound Official Selections:Pothound was screened at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival, Martinique Film Festival, Caribbean Tales Film Festival, TTFC T&T Diaspora Film Festival, New York City International Film Festival, New York International Film Festival, World Kids International Film Festival, Sao Paulo International Short Film Festival, Salento Finibus Terrae Film Festival, Corti da Sogni Film Festival, Fandana Film Festival, Portobello Film Festival, Short and Sweet TV London Screening, Asians on Film Festival and the interfilm Berlin Shorts Attack.