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The Intent: 2 directors speak to The Voice

AIMING HIGH: Nicky ‘Slimting’ Walker and Femi Oyeniran

COMPELLED TO create another movie following the success of The Intent in 2016 writers and directors Nicky ‘Slim Ting’ Walker and Femi Oyeniran told The Voice if you enjoyed the first instalment of the independent release then this is definitely for you.

Featuring some of the biggest names from the world of music such as Popcaan and Ghetts, The Intent 2 – The Come Up is another gritty, heightened action film which tells the story of Jay (Ghetts) who has big dreams; but his ambitions are crippled by his allegiance to both his crew and Hackney crime boss Beverley (Sharon Duncan-Brewster).

Talking about the work that went it bringing the movie to life, Oyeniran, an award-winning actor and filmmaker who has starred in hit films including Kidulthood and Anuvahood and completed his first feature film, It’s A Lot as a writer, director and co-producer in 2013, said: “It took us a while to cast it. I think we were half way through production and I said to everyone, ‘Should we get Ghetts?’.

“He was already doing music but everyone was like, ‘Ghetts is not an actor’. At this point we’ve auditioned 50 actors, maybe even 100, some of the biggest names in the UK and I just didn’t feel they were right.

“There wasn’t the same level of authenticity as Scorcher. So I was like, ‘Let’s get in Ghetts,’ and he was like, ‘No, [I’m] not doing it’. I suggested he audition for the casting directors without us there and he went for it. He did it and was brilliant. For us, whoever got that main character had to earn it. That was important.”

Walker, who is one of the pioneers of the grime scene with his work as a DJ and music producer shaping the scenes in its infancy in the early 2000s, added: “We were the writers, directors and producers not because of choice but because nobody knew or understood the vision like us – no one is passionate like us.

“I feel like when you put it into other people’s hands over time you don’t really get the job done. I feel like the reason Femi and I work so well is because we’re on it all the time. We’re constantly trying to be better.”

There’s a lot of pressure to deliver a believable and entertaining product when you delve into the genre of film The Intent 2 will find itself in. Talking about how they got it right, Walker said: “I always feel pressure. There was no expectation with the first film. There was nothing to worry about because nobody was really taking us seriously. But now, all eyes are on us and I hope when people go to watch it, they are blown away.”

The two directors share probably the most entertaining scene in the movie, their per- sonal relationship away from the camera allowed for them to be free on set. “There’s a scene in Jamaica that nearly didn’t make the nal edit,” Walker enthused.

Oyeniran added: “We were always going to have a scene where there was action on one side and on the other you had our characters. My character is always on the jokes and Nicky and I had about 12 minutes of us just going back and forth. There’s so much more that hit the cutting room floor but we had to trim it in the end.”

PROCESS

Ensuring they shared the shine Walker said it was important people understood this movie couldn’t be made if they didn’t hail all of those who had been a part of the journey. Walker said: “Our thing is, The Intent 2 is not just me and Femi – we’re the creators, the masterminds but without the other people pulling in stuff it’s not possible.

“In going to Jamaica and meeting Popcaan, we had an executive producer who knew Jamaica and could show us the island and keep us safe – we had no clue. There are so many people in the process that makes the film, so for us to take solo credit would be selfish.”

On the Island Music collaboration Walker put simply: “Without Darcus and Twin we wouldn’t be here. There would be no money and no movie. They saw the vision. The hardest part is not making the movie, the hardest part is finding the money.”

Oyeniran said: “By sitting across the table from two black executives that understand the culture already made it easier for us to sell.”

The Intent 2 – The Come Up is in cinemas now.

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