Dimaggio: The Last Don

 The origins of DiMaggio: The Last Don began about 8 years ago when I was working at Downsound Records which was then in the basement of Globe Furniture on Constant Spring road in Kingston, Jamaica.

The boss was a guy named Josef Bogdanovich, an American from Los Angeles who had moved to Kingston a few years earlier to produce Jamaican music and concerts.

Although the initial purpose of meeting Josef was to build him a website, I ended up working there for the next three years after we created Kingston Signals – the first live-to-broadband webcast of hardcore Jamaican soundsystems. It was a great job and I quickly became addicted to the fast pace and unpredictability of the business; but what was far more interesting was the day-to-day hustle of running a music studio in Kingston and the personalities involved, particularly that of Bogdanovich who could be described as ‘constantly in first gear.’

Several years later when I began to think seriously about jumping into film, it occurred to me that the story of Downsound was something I really wanted to do because I had practically written the story in my head a thousand times; constantly explaining ‘episodes’ to people who would ask me what it was like to work in such a crazy environment with a person like Josef, who is often misunderstood by people who either don’t know him or are put off by his management style which goes something like : “Get it done or get the f*** outta here!”

Then, when you stop to consider that there are no guarantees in that line of work, and that each day can end in great success or terrible failure, the potential for a series or even a film became more obvious, especially when fused with the character of Bogdanovich himself, an unlikely underdog , a white guy in Kingston working in Jamaican music who does things his way, because, after all — he can.

As far as what we were trying to portray, it was simply a true-to-life observation of some unusual people in an unusual business, with Jamaica, and particularly Kingston as an interesting backdrop. DiMaggio: The Last Don was premiered to much acclaim at Kingston on the Edge (KOTE) 2009 in its Films on the Edge segment. The film was subsequently screened two more times to audiences in Kingston where it received further accolades, before being put back into the vault pending its distribution to film festivals around the world.

In 2010, two 5 minute shorts of the DiMaggio: The Last Don were created as teaser follow-ups to the series and are presented below for audiences who are unable to watch the original as it begins its rounds on the film festival circuit. - PDR 

DiMaggio: The Last Don  (2010) | Web episode II - 'Murphy always shows up'

Dir. Peter Dean Rickards Assistant Editor: Shawn 'Pastor's Son' Barnes Music by Sani Showbizz  

Synopsis: Joe's annual Reggae concert in the Bahamas is hours away and the main act (Vybz Kartel) is nowhere to be seen. With his options running out and the pressure building, Joe has to think fast.


 DiMaggio: The Last Don (2010) | Web episode III - 'The show must go on'  

Dir. Peter Dean Rickards Assistant Editor: Shawn 'Pastor's Son' Barnes Music by Sani Showbizz  

Synopsis: As showtime approaches, Joe pulls out all the stops to deliver his annual concert and the promised headline act. With the clock ticking down, The Last Don struggles to keep the concert (and his nerves) from falling completely apart.