I've have contemplated for almost a year whether I would release this blog article. I'm not a vindictive man, but I feel that I'm not the only one to have suffered some bad experiences of this person and I suspect that many others out there have suffered or are suffering right now.
This is a post about a con man named Dean Kirkman. I am using the strong term "con man" because I sincerely feel that I have been conned, and further research online paints a picture of this person which doesn't bode well for anyone dealing with him.
In my life as an entrepreneur over the last decade I've encountered many types of people, from the supremely talented and successful to the utter disastrous idiots who think they know business, but just about know how to breathe, but throughout this time I can truly say that I haven't met anyone evil, until now.
By evil I mean a real intent to deceive and subjugate for their own gains and ignore any consequences that may arise from their actions. I trust human nature, and for the most part I'm right, but when you meet someone evil, you don't always know it from the start.
Let's back up this story to the beginning so that I can explain in full light what has transpired.
On September 29th at the National Wedding Show at Earls Court we were shopping for ideas for our wedding and looking at suppliers and their wares, and this is where we encountered Dean Kirkman in the guise of a wedding videographer. (we would later discover other guises on the web)
We came across Honesty Media and their impressive video show reel of their wedding videos and immediately we liked the idea of what was on offer. It was a package costing £1495 which included the following:
- 12 Hours Filming
- 3 Crew
- 3 Cameras
- Bride and Groom Preparation coverage
- Wedding Ceremony coverage
- Speeches coverage
- First Dance and Cutting of the Cake coverage
- Wireless Mic Kit
- Full Edit
- Web Version
- 10 DVDs
- Highlights Edit
- 5 Blu-Ray Disks
- IPod Version
- Video Wedding Invite
- Highlight Playing at Reception
- Aerial Video with RC drone
We went away from the show and thought about all our options. We had several videographers to choose from, but in the end the package here seemed the best deal. We contacted Dean Kirkman, the director of the company and setup a meeting on the 15th Feb 2014.
Everything seemed fine and Dean seemed like a nice normal person. We had a good chat and by the 26th of Feb we had confirmed the contract and ready to put down the deposit.
On Sunday 9th March 2014 we were due to visit Eynsham Hall our venue for a tasting menu visit for our reception meal, so we also arranged Dean to come along to do a site visit. He brought his son along who would be assisting him on the day. Everything seemed to go fine.
The wedding came and went without a hitch and Dean and his son filmed the event sufficiently and although most of the private filming time was taken up by the photographer, we did manage to get a bit of video done too. One thing that was strange when we asked Dean on the day whether he needed or wanted more time with us to film specific shots, he didn't insist and claimed he had footage already. I guess I let that go as his filming style which seemed more documentary than setup.
We went off on our honeymoon and came back by the 16th of June. I started to contact our suppliers just to touch base and see how things were going and immediately the problems started to show.
By 23rd of June I had sent a couple of emails and had not heard back, so I just thought it's no big deal, perhaps Dean was busy editing or working on other projects. It was 28th June that I got the first contact back from him and it was a text message and it read:
"Hi Eddie, I'm very sorry but I've had a few big personal problems very recently. Just want you to know your wedding film is nearing completing of the first edit so will let you know shortly when I've got this read to post. Regards Dean"
I'm an understanding person, so I replied with:
"Hi Dean, Thanks for letting me know. Communication is important. We don't mind delays as long as there's a good reason. Hope everything s ok with your personal stuff. Kind regards."
Of course I understand if there are personal things happening. Life happens, but in all of this, communication is key. No matter what happens if people keep communicating, there is always room for more understanding, but if radio silence happens, then that begins to breed mistrust.
A few more week go by and on 9th July I get another message thanking me for my patience and that the editing is near completion. He wanted to get more footage of the venue and claimed he would go back to get a few more extra shots. I thought that was nice that he would put in such effort. He also said the film would be finished by the end of the next week too after getting the extra footage.
I keep in touch as much as possible, sending our music suggestions, but the messages soon become more and more sparse. Having sent the music choices on the 20th July, I tried to get in touch and didn't hear back until Aug 17th when I got the last email I'd be getting from him.
Things were starting to look bad, I had a funny feeling in my gut I was being played, but I persisted on a nice tone. A few more txt messages goes by ignored and by Sep 9th I get the last txt message I would be receiving from him. This is what it said.
"I have everything ready to send out to you now and will get all the footage posted to you. I am sincerely sorry for the long delays. I have given the copyright to all the Eynsham footage to you and have written a statement releasing all claims to copyright over to you."
That was the last time I heard from him. Since then we've sent emails, txt messages, Facebook messages, Twitter messages, tried calling (but it never gets picked up - try for yourself 07834 719430). Nothing. Have not heard from him since.
Could he be dead I wondered? No, because I could see Tweets and Facebook status updates, so I knew he was alive. Could he be missing the messages? No, because I can get read receipts on them.
Was he ignoring calls from my number? I tried on a few numbers and got my wife to try from her work and also tried calling with a hidden number and not a single phone call gets picked up.
What was going on? It was really hard to tell whether at this stage he was just being evil and ignoring us, or if something was really wrong with his personal life.
How are we to know without communication?
I had to investigate further and started to delve deep into his activities and the way his company was setup. What I started finding was a string of evidence that wasn't good.
Firstly I found that Honesty Media had been filed for Dissolution on the 19th Nov 2013. This means that it was getting ready to be struck off as a company. That's 7 weeks after we met him at the National Wedding show. It seemed incredibly soon after that show to start the process of closing down the company. I can only surmise that either the show yielded no video jobs, or he had decided not to work in the wedding sector. Either way when we later contacted him he should had declined our job knowing he was already closing down.
Instead he took our job, probably because it would provide some money to him. Honesty Media finally dissolved on the 4th March 2014, a couple of weeks after we signed a contract with him. By the way, as of writing this blog, the Honesty Media website no longer exists. You can see all the company details here (https://www.duedil.com/company/08152481/honesty-media-limited).
It also lists Barbara Kirkman as a director, whom based on the information and further investigation I can determine is Dean's mother.
I also found out that Dean had started another company called Cine Chopper Ltd which he incorporated on 27th June 2013 which currently also stands in status as "Proposal to strike off" which means that it's also in the process of being closed down. Further research shows another company of this name and I suspect he is just changing the name to avoid conflicts.
He did not file the last annual returns due in July 2014.
Both company entities were registered to the following address:
82 Homefield Avenue
which on Google maps and street view you can see is a residential home, so I can only assume this is his home.
As I delve deeper into investigating Dean, I start to build a picture and start to wonder if this man is really evil or just plain stupid? If he already knew he was changing direction or moving away from wedding filming, why take on our job?
If it was for the money, was it worth it?
Since researching I have uncovered that Dean is really interested in aerial filming and is looking to move in that direction. Since the wedding package included aerial footage I wondered if he was just using us to get paid and get some aerial footage for himself to create a new show reel.
I have subsequently found YouTube footage of more aerial footage he has filmed since our wedding, and he has even uploaded one of Eynsham with us in it! The cheek. This clearly shows that he has the footage and has completed it. I started to question whether in fact he had filmed any of the rest of the wedding or was he just there to get aerial footage?
These are all assumptions, but based on the evidence it is showing more and more likely that this might be the reason. I wonder if his family know?
To this date I've had no further contact and any attempts at any form of communication has been met with radio silence. I feel like he's got what he needs (his aerial footage) and is moving on. If that's the case, I admit that in the first time of my business life I've met someone who is truly evil.
A man that is prepared to pretend to offer one thing, in his mind having a different objective, but in the process letting down a wedding couple on their most special event, one that can never be repeated, all for personal gain.
Update October 2015
On further research it would seem that the con man label is probably correct. His latest guise seems to be working as a "Wealth Consultant" for the deVere Group (https://www.linkedin.com/pub/dean-kirkman/73/b63/42) , which has me holding my hands in my head.
I'm seriously hoping people will find this post to understand the lack of ethics and morals this man has. When we finally got hold of him to get some footage for our weeding video, he claimed he was practically broke. How he can advise on finance is beyond me.
This man has also posed as a sales consultant for a building society, an aerial video expert, professional photographer and probably countless other pseudo jobs as he jumps from persona to persona.
His CV is also available on LinkedIn (displayed below) and I quote he claims "I have conducted all functions myself from business planning and marketing to book keeping and tax returns". I'm sure he has, but with a view to scamming people from their money.
I deeply suspect there are many other couples who booked wedding videos that also did not get their videos, or just got really bad footage.
I say once again with utter conviction, DEAN KIRKMAN IS A CON ARTIST, avoid him at all costs.
Images of Dean Kirkman so you can avoid him:
CV Page 1
CV Page 2