Reggae-fyin'

Video producers spend big bucks to promote the Jamaican beat

"It was important," he adds, "that the shoot have a big budget so we could get that across."

Around 10 p.m., the money is really rumbling along at Sundays on the Bay. It's the final party scene, and the shoot is building to a climax. The extras, some dressed in bikini tops with less support than you'd find at a Bob Graham presidential rally, are hot and sweaty in the warmth of the klieg lights. Jamaican-born Togetherness Records President Christopher Kerr, looking like one of the kids in a gray T-shirt and casual jeans, has found his way into the mangle of dancers. "This," he instructs the girls "is how you wind." He gets low to the ground, his waist moving in slow hula-like circles. His wife, Allison, watching from the sideline, smiles. "Good. Let him be in the shoot," she says. "For the amount of money he's put into this thing, he should be in every scene."

Anthony B, backed up at the spin table by a group of Fort Lauderdale-based reggae artists, tells the room, in his mellow manner, that "you've got to have a queen if you are a king." His queen, though, is no longer looking so happy about her royal status. Baxter massages her temples as she attempts to stand upright in her pointed heels. A photographer asks her to smile, and she clenches her teeth in response. She's not the only one feeling the heat. At each pause, murmuring choruses of "Are we done yet?" clog the air. Relatives of the cast and crew keep checking their watches. Set designers, key grips, agents, and makeup artists sit with their backs slumped against the wall. It's been a long two days for everyone.

Ready when you are, Mr. B: Dancers wait to go on.
Colby Katz
Ready when you are, Mr. B: Dancers wait to go on.
Anthony B gets down with lead dancer Esther Baxter.
Colby Katz
Anthony B gets down with lead dancer Esther Baxter.

Finally, at 11 o'clock, an hour past the scheduled deadline, Dayo calls it a wrap. The announcement is greeted with cheers and air kisses. In a matter of moments, the set clears as extras gather their clothes and hobble home.

Anthony B, still as vibrant and lively as a Coke commercial, wants to know when the afterparty begins.


Dayo and Green's master plan clearly has a ways to go. At the end of the dock, across from the riverside café and bar where the shoot is wrapping up, Jon W. Burke, a Miami-based attorney, is about to load onto his yacht. In casual sandals, khaki shorts, a black Tommy Bahamas button-up shirt, and thin gold-framed glasses, the lawyer, who has an American-flag graphic scanned onto his business card, stares through his binoculars at the final party scene.

"Why," he asks, "are those people wearing towels over their heads? And what kind of Afro is that? Is this some kind of P. Diddy shoot?"

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