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Thursday 21 March 2019
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All about The Business of Carnival

Video series on dollars and cents of the festival

Carla Parris and fashion designer and entrepreneur Anya Ayoung-Chee.
Carla Parris and fashion designer and entrepreneur Anya Ayoung-Chee.

IN the middle of all the wining, catchy songs and beautiful costumes of Carnival one aspect that is at times forgotten is the business side of the annual festival. A new YouTube video series The Business of Carnival is seeking to shine a light on the dollars and cents under the bikini and beads.

The series is created and hosted by entertainment/sports lawyer Carla Parris who is also an executive producer together with her sister Lynmerie and mother Marguerite. It is being co-produced and directed Juliette McCawley.

The team in a release explained this series is the first of its kind as it has been designed to educate people across the Caribbean and globe about the legal and business aspects of the Carnival industry, including intellectual property law, in an attempt to elevate business standards within the entertainment industry and assist people to generate long-term revenue.

"The series also demystifies some of the common misconceptions concerning copyright law and the ownership of creative products such as Carnival designs, costumes and events in an attempt to minimise the exploitation that is rampant in the industry."

The team said the series is also unique in terms of its broadcast methods and integration of social media platforms and technology. Apart from the episodes being aired on YouTube, it utilises social media platforms Facebook and Instagram to launch its episodes. One-minute episode teasers are launched on Instagram and simultaneously shared on to the show's Facebook page whilst the main show is aired on YouTube.

The first season held in Trinidad in January 2018 featured renowned soca star Fay Ann Lyons-Alvarez, owner of Tribe/Bliss Carnival band Dean Ackin, Caesar's Army CEO Jules Sobion and founder of Lizard Blizzard Entertainment (videography/photography) Marvin Eversley. The Barbados Crop Over edition featured DJ Puffy and Richard Haynes of Baje International.

Season two was launched on February 7 and featured DJ Private Ryan, designer and Project Runway winner Anya Ayoung-Chee, designer Chandra Maharaj and soca star Kees Dieffenthaller.

The series has been funded by the executive producers but the team said it would also like also like to reach out to companies who would be interested in partnering with it through sponsorship/investment.

Parris said: "I am currently discussing brand partnerships with companies locally, regionally and internationally who are interested in product placement opportunities within the show and in sponsoring new editions which will be produced in islands throughout the Caribbean. We are also open to discussions with hotels and guest houses throughout the region who are interested in having the production filmed on location. My team and I are excited about these brand alliances and open to discussions with other companies who may be interested as we view these partnerships as a means of increasing the visibility of Caribbean products and services not only in the countries in which new editions will be based but throughout the world."

She continued: "Since the show is housed on YouTube, unlike a traditional TV show or film which is aired at particular times of the day or night, the content exists on YouTube forever, there is no limit to the audience who can view products and brands within the show at any time of the day or night."

In July last year the series was picked up by local cinema, Cinema One and 90-second highlights of each episode were aired before Summer blockbuster movies over a two-week period at its cinemas IMAX and Gemstone. Also in July last year a partnership was formed between Carla and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean Commission (OECS) Commission in which the OECS created an online The Business of Carnival newsletter which distributed each episode of the first edition.

The series can be found on the YouTube channel Carla Parris LLB, LLM. For more info: The Business of Carnival Facebook page or e-mail businessofcarnival@gmail.com.

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