I've thought long and hard about writing this story. At first I was resistant mostly down to not wanting to hurt anyones feelings but I've decided after almost a year and the massive unlikeliness that I will ever work with the creators again what the hell why not put my opinions out there so here we go let me regale you with the story of my worst ever film making experience and to be honest and looking back it was actually quite funny (in a god damn its terrible kinda way) so..
In Summer 2011 I was saw an advert for a Feature DOP on Shooting People. Instantly my interest was sparked as it was based in Nottingham, not far from me sure it was expenses only but hey its a feature. I quickly jumped onboard with the project contacting Donny Kingsley Okoh (the Director) about my interest. A few weeks later I was asked to meet with Donny and his 'business partner' Clinton to see if we clicked. Looking back now I should of realised what I was in for from the get go. Our first meeting took place in McDonalds where Donny argued with a member of staff as none of us had bought anything, I'll say this much for the guy he has the gift of the gab and that's what got me onside in the first place. Other than wrestling a member of staff the meeting seemed to go well we all had similar aims and ambitions for the upcoming project. Its worth noting at this point I had yet to see a script so was very much flying blind. My bullshitomiter did start to register a little when Donny began to tell me how "A DOP from Lord of the Rings' is really interested in getting involved with the project, but we've decided we want to keep it more intimate"........Now i'm not knocking my own ability for one second but mate go with the guy that has an Oscar. Anyway I put this purely down to a man building up his project so thought nothing of it before heading home and being told I'd hear back from them in a few days to tell me if i'd been successful.
A few days past and I got the call, they'd love me to be involved on the project and could I come to Nottingham in a few weeks to finally see a copy of the script. At the time I was actually bricking it, this would be the first feature film I ever worked on and to jump straight in as DOP had I taken on more work than I could handle? Well time rolled round and I headed over to Nottingham where along with getting to finally see the script I would also be meeting a number of cast members (every one of which would never be seen again) We met in a hall where an 80 page script was dropped in my lap to read there and then. Over the next hour I motored through the whole thing and to be perfectly honest it made no bloody sense. There was talk of 'big bums' and some atrocious spelling along with whole chunks of dialogue that just didn't seem to make sense.
What follows is the synopsis for 'Park it Right'....
"Five migrant University Students who are traffic wardens teams up with a sexy female classmate to find a way to convince the public they serve that there is more to them than their big bums and issuing parking tickets.
As the story unfolds, the Lead character, Colin falls in love with the sexy female colleague and starts to discover the truth about being a traffic warden. By the finale, they manage to stage demonstrations and cause havoc on the street in order to prove their worth and win the respect of the public.
Think Mission Imppossible meets Mad Men"
Yet again alarm bells went off in my head "THIS IS NOT A PROJECT TO GET INVOLVED WITH" but I kept going with it I guess I was just thinking about the fact that I would be working on a feature film. After reading the script and lying through my teeth about what I thought of the project a massive bombshell was dropped, Donny wanted to shoot this whole 80 page beast within 10 days and with from what I could see using a VERY small production team. By the end of the day I was heading back to Leicester to read over the script again, after all maybe it was good and i'd just rushed it........
I could still hear those alarm bells