January 29, 2024
Veteran broadcaster and actress Fae Ellington says she is happy to have been a part of the production of the Bob Marley: One Love film.
Ellington was the dialect coach for the Marley biopic which opens in cinemas worldwide on February 14.
A dialect coach is a technical advisor who supports actors as they craft voice and speech patterns for characters in the context of productions, be it in an on-camera setting (film, television and commercial), stage setting as well as stand-up comedy, musicals and operas’ or voiceover setting (radio plays, animation, audiobooks, video games, etc.).
“It was a pleasure and an honour working with the Marley family, and specifically Ziggy, who was hands-on in the production. Cedella [Marley] was there as well. And I want to acknowledge the work of Neville Garrick, who was critical in the development of this movie,” Ellington said in a recent interview with the
Ellington said Garrick (a renowned graphic artiste and photographer who worked at the Jamaica Daily News in the 1970s) was involved in the production of several of Bob Marley’s tours overseas. He passed away in November last year after a brief illness.
“After Neville graduated from UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) he returned to Jamaica and linked up with Bob after his stint at the Daily News. He was also a part of starting the Bob Marley Foundation, and he designed 12 of Bob’s album covers. He was also touring, doing lighting and set designing, he was very integral and he saw that period in Marley’s life when he was touring and doing all those big shows overseas,” Ellington explained.
Said Ellington: “Working on this film has been a privilege and an honour for me to add to my repertoire or my CV. I have done three other movies, but this by far is the biggest and the one that kinda rocks your soul. This one takes you to a place.”
The other projects that she has served in the capacity as dialect coach were the British television series Get Millie Black, the American television series
Black Cake, and the sports drama film, Sprinter.
Ellington shared with the Observer that, while serving as a broadcaster, she covered Marley’s funeral in May 1981, which served as added significance to work on the movie.
“In 1977, when I went to the BBC [British Broadcasting Corporation] to do a radio production course, I took three albums with me, one of which was
Exodus by Bob Marley and the Wailers,” she said.
Asked what she was looking forward to most about the film when it opens locally, Ellington said: “I am looking forward to how Jamaicans will react to seeing the movie and hearing the treatment that Paramount has given. You can’t cover everything in a biopic.”
Said Ellington: “Please understand that our Jamaican, creole dialect (patois) is a real language that has been established a long time ago. For the Bob Marley film, I worked with a dialect coach from England, and I also recommended that Paramount studio got in touch with the Jamaican Language Unit [at The University of the West Indies, Mona]. The dialect coach learnt how to write the Jamaican language the proper way, and then she taught Kingsley Ben-Adir — who plays Bob in the film — and he learnt how to write as well. She did all of that foundation work, but Kingsley did all the amazing work himself, soaking up Bob, his soul, his spirit, how he spoke, and what he stood for in this world.”
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