The role of the conflict in storytelling

   This week, it is all about how the content you create needs to be carefully crafted and developed in order for the story to become successful and to get its message across multiple platforms.

   Our guide book throughout our first year of university that contains valuable lessons, tips and advice towards how to best tell a story through a television factual programme was certainly “C.O.N.F.L.I.C.T.” written by the storytelling expert also known as the “TV Troubleshooter” Robert Thirkell.

  “CONFLICT” provides an invaluable insight into the television and filmmaking industry, more precisely it reveals the process of making a programme from scratch, starting from discovering what story you want to tell, the characters that can bring your story to life, structuring the script, filming techniques to the best way it can be delivered to the wide audience. As the title subtly suggests, the book covers 8 essential areas that are described in detail by Thirkell using as support examples and case studies international leading TV series such as Kitchen Nightmares, Wife Swap, The Apprentice, Coastguards, Oprah’s Big Give Fat March, Jamie’s School Dinners and When Big Chef Met Little Chef.

  All of these elements, namely Characters, Out of the Box, Narrative, Front, Love,  Interviews, Care and Timeline work together towards creating the conflict that keeps a story alive and the audience on their seats. Therefore, the development of a good story contains multiple stages that any content creator needs to go through and to work hard in order to ensure that the final piece will be impactful and long-lasting.

   Regarding my university assignment, namely to create a story and to shoot a music video for the emotional ballad “Leave a light on” by Tom Walker, storytelling is essential and therefore, this is my version of events that I imagine would work the best for the piece.

  Once upon a time, there were two teenagers and best friends,Tara and Kyle, who grew up together and who had a very strong bond since the first day they met.They lived very close to each other in a small town from Manchester and since they were small children,they used to do everything together. They always relied on each other and knew that if one was to ever be in trouble, the other one would come to the rescue in no time. Their friendship was something that both of them valued deeply and there was no day when they did not meet to play together or  just wake up and go on a random adventure. There was no Kyle without Tara and everybody admired their long-lasting friendship which turned soon into something more.

   However, one unpredictable event managed to change everything in a short matter of time. After spending months looking for a job, Kyle’s dad got a job offer as a manager in a German company and consequently, his family decided to move to Germany when he was only 16 years old. Tara and Kyle needed to say goodbye to each other, even though none of them knew exactly how. Although they made countless promises to each other that they would visit and they would try their best to keep their love alive, truth is ,their relationship did not manage to survive the time’s trial. Tara made several attempts throughout the years to contact Kyle and to see how is his life in a new country, but had never heard back from him. As years passed by, Tara moved on with his life and made new friends at college, but deep inside, he knew that no one would ever be the same as his good old friend and lover, Kyle. On the other side , Kyle became so angry from the day he found out that he has to move that he decided to completely change his lifestyle and due to some bad influences he met, he chose to follow a dangerous path. He soon started using drugs and alcohol as a desperate attempt to numb the loneliness he felt and the pain of losing his best friend. His addiction became something that he couldn’t control anymore so he knew that he needs to get help if he wanted to survive. Although his parents spent so much money on the best rehab facilities that could help their son, nothing seemed to work for him. 

    What Kyle did not know was that his parents got in touch with Tara’s family and as soon as Tara heard the news about Kyle’s state, she went there hoping that she can save the one she always loved the most.The reunion was something that Kyle never believed would happen, but this gave him the strength to fight for his own life. With the support of Tara and his family, he managed to fully recover and to realize that the love he and Tara shared was something that he could never give up again. Even though they were young, they had each other and that was enough for both of them. When Kyle turned 18, he and Tara moved together in Manchester where they lived happily ever after.

Advertisements

”Back in Time for Tea” on BBC Two

  Back in Time for Tea is a popular television programme that was originally broadcast on BBC Two and which closely follows the Ellis family who ”travel back in time to discover how changing food in the north of England reveals what life was like for working class families over the past 100 years.” (BBC,n.d.) The series have far more copyrighted items that the radio show ”Desert Island Dics”, for instance the show uses archive footage, food, old brands and music that aim to illustrate the 1900s and the families that lived in those times as accurate as possible. ”Starting in 1918 they’ll experience first-hand the lives of previous generations, from the food people ate to the jobs they did and how they kicked back and enjoyed themselves.” ( BBC Media Centre,n.d.) The show is suitable for BBC Two because it aims to build the knowledge and understanding of the audience for an era where people had to work hard and endure poverty in order to have a decent life and for the head of the family to be able to support his entire family. ”BBC Two’s remit is to be a mixed-genre channel appealing to a broad adult audience with programmes of depth and substance. It should carry the greatest amount and range of knowledge-building programming of any BBC television channel, complemented by distinctive comedy, drama and arts programming.” (BBC,n.d.)

The Ellis family/ Photo taken from BBC

   Back in Time for Tea puts a lot of emphasis on the footage that they incorporate throughout the series in order to show to the audience those past times exactly as they were without any alterations, as well as to bring authenticity to the whole story. If the footage were to come from the BBC Archive, then the programme would not have any copyright issues, except the clearance that can be requested personally in order to access and to use all this content. Furthermore, the use of music that was specific in the 1980s is another element that adds authenticity to the story telling, but which nonetheless, it requires copyright in order to be properly used on the screen. For that to happen, the producers would need to have the approval from both PRS and PPL since they are the main organisations that  “ensure that the creators and performers of music are paid when their music is used in public” (PPL & PRS, n.d.).

REFERENCES: 

BBC. (2018). Back in Time for Tea – BBC Two. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09rdv80 [Accessed 16 Mar. 2018].

Bbc.co.uk. (2018). BBC – Back In Time For Tea – Media Centre. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2018/06/back-in-time-for-tea [Accessed 16 Mar. 2018].

Bbc.co.uk. (2018). BBC – BBC Two Programme Policy 2010/2011 – Inside the BBC. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/corporate2/insidethebbc/howwework/accountability/statements2010/television/bbctwo [Accessed 16 Mar. 2018].

PPL PRS. (2018). About PPL PRS Ltd | What we do | PPL PRS | United for Music. [online] Available at: https://pplprs.co.uk/what-we-do/ [Accessed 16 Mar. 2018].

”Desert Island Dics” on BBC Radio 4

    This week is all about copyright and clearance, namely how the copyrighted material has been cleared and used in the story telling of a programme. Therefore, I listened to the radio programme named ”Desert Island Dics” on BBC Radio 4 , more exactly the episode that features Jack Whitehall and which was broadcast on 9th of February 2018.

Photo taken from BBC 

  ”Eight tracks, a book and a luxury: what would you take to a desert island? Kirsty Young invites her guests to share the soundtrack of their lives.” ( BBC, n.d.) – this is the question that revolves around the show hosted by Kirsty Young and where each week, a new guest has to pick the one song that describes best their entire life at the actual moment. According to the BBC Radio 4’s remit, which is to appeal ” to listeners seeking intelligent programmes in many genres which inform, educate and entertain.”(BBC Trust,2016), Desert Island Dics fits the criteria because its main aim is to allow the audience to connect with the artist that is in the studio, while the guest to be open and ready to share his stories and favorite music.

   Jack Whitehall is a well known British stand-up comedian, television presenter, actor and writer. ”His work includes a string of sell-out stand-up tours, writing and acting in the hit sitcom Bad Education and appearing in the upcoming Good Omens series.” (BBC,n.d.)

   The music that the radio show uses is the one thing that needs to be cleared in order for the BBC to avoid legal action and the consequences that come if you did not give the credit when it is due. Therefore, the organisations where the music can be cleared through the radio programme is Performing Rights Society (PRS) and Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) because the money they collect is ”to pay those writers or musicians whose copyrighted music has been used.” (BBC Academy, 2016) Moreover, the host Kirsty Young makes sure that before every track played on the show, she states the artist and songwriter/producers of the songs in order to inform the audience and to recognise the talent and hardwork that are put in each and every song.

 

REFERENCES:

BBC. (2018). Desert Island Discs – BBC Radio 4. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qnmr [Accessed 16 Mar. 2018].

Bbc.co.uk. (2018). BBC – BBC Radio 4 – BBC Trust. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/our_work/services/radio/service_licences/bbc_radio_4.html [Accessed 16 Mar. 2018].

BBC. (2018). Desert Island Discs – 10 things we learned from Jack Whitehall’s Desert Island Discs – BBC Radio 4. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1HpvT4gHg5nfYFFDVffxdgp/10-things-we-learned-from-jack-whitehall-s-desert-island-discs [Accessed 16 Mar. 2018].

BBC Academy. (2016). A guide to music copyright. Retrieved 15 March 2018, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/academy/en/articles/art20130702112135229

”SAS:Who Dares Wins” on Channel 4

 Ant Middleton, second left, and his team will be putting 25 ordinary Brits through their paces in gruelling conditions
Photo taken from Channel 4 

   ”SAS:Who Dares Wins” is a five-part documentary series that is broadcast on Channel 4 and with every new season, it aims to push 25 Brits to face their fears and to break all their boundaries in order to survive under extreme conditions. The show has come to its third season and the challenging series is filmed ”in the punishing climate of the dusty Atlas Mountains.” (The Sun,2018) , more precisely ” The SAS show is filmed in Southern Morocco – and the contestants will be staying in a makeshift training camp within a 150-year-old Kasbar, or fortress, in the foothills of the mountains.” ( The Sun,2018)

 The candidates will be staying in a makeshift Kasbar, or fortress, in the foothills of the mountains
Photo taken from Channel 4

    The North African location where the programme was filmed contributed to the development of the series and at the same time, it greatly influenced the quality of the content that it has been produced for the show. ” The location took 8 crew members 5 days to rig, using 32 cameras and 40 camera positions. Filming took place over 7 interior rooms, the Recruits Dorm, Recruits Mess, DS Dorm, Prayer Room, Mirror Room and 2 extra interrogation spaces. There was also a ‘Beasting’ Area that had light coverage for interior physical work. ” (The Complete Camera Company, n.d.) Apart from the isolated nature of the remote location, ”SAS:Who Dares Wins” use of the Morrocan stretch of the Alas Mountains helped to attract the audience because of the impressive views and set the action in a place that the viewers can identify and therefore, they can truly believe the story. ”Through sleep deprivation, interrogation and relentless circuits, SAS: Who Dares Wins uncovered the truth about what is really required – and to the surprise of the audience, physical fitness came secondary to psychological resilience. Audiences relished the opportunity to watch the punishing trials, see candidates reach their breaking point, and celebrate some surprise successes in equal measure.” (The Complete Camera Company,n.d.)

REFERENCES:

Griffiths, J. (2018). Inside the stunning Moroccan filming location for who SAS: Who Dares Wins. [online] The Sun. Available at: https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/5275266/sas-who-dares-wins-filming-locations-where-filmed-morocco-atlas-mountains/ [Accessed 6 Mar. 2018].

The Complete Camera Company. (2018). SAS: Who Dares Wins – The Complete Camera Company. [online] Available at: http://thecompletecameracompany.com/project/sas-dares-wins/ [Accessed 6 Mar. 2018].

”The Last Post” – Drama series on BBC One

”The Last Post” is a British drama show that was first broadcast on BBC One on 1 October 2017. Set in the mid-sixties, the television drama tells the story of the officers from a unit of Royal Military Police who have to take care of their own families while dealing with the challenges and conflicts that the politics, love and war have to bring into their lives.  However, the story is being told through the perspective of a man that lived during those difficult times. namely the focus is on the childhood memories of Peter Moffat, one of the writers of the drama, that remembers his father’s career as an officer in the Royal Military Police.

The Last Post
Photo taken from BBC

The BBC One series has the action set in a particular impressive place that reveals how important is the use of locations in telling a compelling story. Therefore, ”The Last Post” drama series takes place in Aden, a town from Yemen but was filmed in Cape Town , South Africa. ” While Yemeni port city Aden is located in Western Asia, the series is filmed (very probably due to the sad fact that this area of the world continues to be ravaged by wars) in South Africa.” (Evening Standard,2017) According to Margery Bone, the executive producer, the landscape of Yemen had to contain ”a mixture of coastal, mountain and desert settings ” (Express,2017) and so Cape Town was the place that could fit the story in the best way. Moreover, “Finding a disused British naval base that overlooked Simon’s Town Bay enabled us to give our drama the kind of scale it is normally difficult to achieve on a television shoot.” ( Express,2017)

The period drama has an interesting story behind it ”In the Sixties, Britain began dismantling its Empire, of which Aden was part. The end of British rule in the territory was partly brought about by an uprising in the area known as the Aden Emergency. Forces were sent to the region to try and control an uprising against the British rule.” (Evening Standard,2017)

REFERENCES:

Evening Standard. (2018). The Last Post: cast, locations and 3 other things you need to know. [online] Available at: https://www.standard.co.uk/stayingin/tvfilm/the-last-post-cast-locations-and-3-other-things-you-need-to-know-a3647341.html [Accessed 6 Mar. 2018].

Daly, H. (2018). Where is The Last Post filmed? Stunning locations for BBC drama REVEALED. [online] Express.co.uk. Available at: https://www.express.co.uk/showbiz/tv-radio/861032/The-Last-Post-filmed-locations-filming-Yemen-Cape-Town-South-Africa-BBC-drama [Accessed 6 Mar. 2018].

”The Archers” on BBC Radio 4

  ” The Archers” is the longest British radio soap-opera that was originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4. The radio drama follows closely the Archers family while trying to face all the modern pressures of the rural life. Set in the English village of Ambridge, ”The Archers” has been created by Godfrey Baseley and since its first episode aired in 1951, the drama has quickly became one of the most popular radio shows in the British culture. According to the radio station’ s remit, ”The service should appeal to listeners seeking intelligent programmes in many genres which inform, educate and entertain.” (BBC Trust,2016)

       This drama has put great emphasis on research, with a thin line between fiction and reality that makes the characters and the situations believable and on the whole, it  enhances the listening experience. For instance, while making the episode about the sale of the Bridge Farm, the writer Carole Simpson Solazzo wanted to make sure that the scene is going to be as realistic as possible for the listeners. Therefore, ”As soon as our agricultural advisor Steve Peacock began talking about the Bridge Farm dispersal sale in our script meeting, I decided I needed to see one in action. I love this kind of research, and there is no way a writer could conjure scenes like this out of the imagination. You need to be there, in the thick of it, watching, listening, absorbing.” (BBC Blogs,2013) Her trip to Cumbria to see how an actual farm sale looks like and to discover their lifestyle, the warm atmosphere and the solidarity of people helped her greatly with the storyline and made her research be as accurate as it can be. ” It was as much about celebrating the lifetime’s achievement of one their own, as a business opportunity to buy a piece of kit or a cow.” (BBC Blogs,2013)

     When she got to the writing part, Carole used the notes from her research and applied them to the auction episode they wanted to create for ”The Archers”, like what are the real sounds during an auction, the way people talk or behave, while still focusing on the main characters and their honest reactions in front of this difficult event. ”We knew our listeners would be interested in the authentic sound of the auction itself. But more importantly, they would want to follow our characters through what was a very emotional day, one way or another, for each of the principals. ” (BBC Blogs,2013) The use of a real world event in an fictional drama was crucial in creating audio content that it is going to attract the audience and to make them feel like they are in the middle of the action, fact which makes ”The Archers” a successful and compelling drama that deserves all the recognition that it gets.

    REFERENCES:

  1. Bbc.co.uk. (2018). BBC – BBC Radio 4 – BBC Trust. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/our_work/services/radio/service_licences/bbc_radio_4.html [Accessed 25 Feb. 2018].
  2. The Archers. (2018). Researching the Bridge Farm sale. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thearchers/entries/0dbf3e94-efaf-345c-95c2-307d4f6243c6 [Accessed 25 Feb. 2018].

”Line of Duty” on BBC Two – Drama Series

Line of Duty
Cast of ”Line of Duty” / Photo : BBC

” Line of Duty” is the high acclaimed British drama series that was originally broadcast on BBC Two and which premiered on 26 June 2012. Created by Jed Mercurio, the drama follows the investigations of AC-12, one of the most controversial police anti corruption units and their fight for justice and equality.

    Set in a world where the corruption and the evil are everywhere, ”Line of Duty” is a drama based on fiction but which is able to integrate realist elements within it because it brings to the surface the issues that the actual society is currently facing with. “Line of Duty is a social realist drama so it’s set in a world that has the recognisable features of the authentic world we see around us. Within that world there is historic child sex abuse that has been perpetrated by certain public figures. I didn’t invent that.” (The Telegraph,2018) This proves that a lot of research and fact has been put into making this drama in order to create content that it is believable and which can be understood by the wide audience.

    Apart from the huge amount of research that goes into it, what makes this drama worth watching is the tension and mystery that each episode brings based on the secrets and plot twists that were never revealed or even hinted to the large public. ”Part of Line of Duty’s nerve-shredding tension comes because at a time when television is blighted by plot details leaking online, the BBC Two show has proved particularly good at keeping its secrets. ” (The Telegraph,2016) How can this be possible? According to the creator, Jed Mercurio, it ”is simple to lie”. (The Telegraph,2016) This approach encourages the audience to keep watching and in terms of the content, it adds a layer of suspense to the whole drama that has the outcome desired by the creator and the producers, namely for the audience to believe what it is shown and to immerse themselves into the storyline.

      In terms of the audience, ” BBC Two’s remit is to be a mixed-genre channel appealing to a broad adult audience with programmes of depth and substance.” ( BBC Trust, 2016) The drama has currently finished its fourth season, but due to its popularity and the passion of both the creator and the fans, it has been renewed by BBC for another two seasons. ”The broadcaster’s decision to do another two series comes shortly after Mercurio said it would be “nice to know” it’s not the end before he starts penning the fifth instalment.” ( The List,2017) Furthermore, the season four’ finale has managed to score the highest viewing figures in the drama’s history. ” The BBC police drama’s sixth and final instalment on Sunday night was viewed by 7.5 million people, according to overnight ratings, nearly a million more than the penultimate episode the previous week – at 6.6 million.The number, the highest overnight figure in the show’s history, is expected to grow after viewers watching on catchup are taken into account next week.” (The Guardian,2017)

REFERENCES:

  1. Wilson, B. (2018). Jed Mercurio: Lies have been the making of Line of Duty. [online] The Telegraph. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/2016/04/27/jed-mercurio-line-of-duty-interview/ [Accessed 25 Feb. 2018].
  2. Bbc.co.uk. (2018). BBC – BBC Two – BBC Trust. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/our_work/services/television/service_licences/bbc_two.html [Accessed 25 Feb. 2018].
  3. The List. (2018). Line of Duty gets another 2 series. [online] Available at: https://www.list.co.uk/article/93692-line-of-duty-gets-another-2-series/ [Accessed 25 Feb. 2018].
  4. the Guardian. (2018). Line of Duty season four finale cops 7.5 million viewers. [online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/may/01/line-of-duty-season-four-finale-7-point-5-million-viewers-bbc2 [Accessed 25 Feb. 2018].

  ‘

Pre-production & research process

    This week, I have started to consider the option that I want to take for my Content Delivery assignment for university and to begin planning and studying the brief in more detail. One of the first steps in the stage of pre-production is to do research about my choice and to ring people that could potentially become contributors for my piece or that could help me with relevant information. Therefore, I chose to create a story and to shoot a music video for the meaningful song that the singer-songwriter Tom Walker has released in 2017, namely ”Leave a light on”.

    Considering that I was not familiar with his music or this song in particular before, the first step was to do my research regarding the inspiration and the real story behind this emotional song in order to get more sense of what it is all about and how I could visually portray it for my assignment. Produced by Steve Mac and written by both Tom and Steve, the single tells the story of a real friend of Tom that was struggling with addiction and it represents his own personal way of reaching out to him and helping him to recover. As Tom Walker stated in an interview with MTV, the inspiration of this song came from a couple of hard-hitting experiences that he encountered in the past. “One of my friends…was in a really bad place at the time and, I don’t want to say went missing, but he just dropped off the map and I had lost a family member also, so it was those two things coming together, on that day, in that session… I think it’s one of the realest things that I’ve written.” (MTV News,2018)

     Furthermore, I realized that although it is a gut-wrenching track about serious issues like struggling with addiction and being enveloped by darkness, the song still has a powerful message that urges to bring light and a ray of hope in what we may all see as being hopeless situations. My research then was redirected to the music video that accompanies the song and how the essence of it was beautifully transposed in the story of the music video. Produced by Charles Mehling, the music video reveals the singer that desperately tries to reconnect with his friend who is far away, alone in the middle of the ocean, isolated by the world and with no way of getting back to his old-self. ”The stunning visuals perfectly encapsulate the isolation and distance between Tom and the friend he’s reaching out to in an emotional plea.” (APB,2017)

    Taking all of these facts into account, I started looking up for charity workers or experts regarding addiction and mental health issues that could help me with my ongoing research. I came across the Change,Grow and Live charity based in England that ”supports people to change their lives for the better” (changegrowlive.org, n.d.) They offer a wide range of services for people of all ages that are struggling with drugs and alcohol addiction, abuse or mental health problems. The approach they use is to ” combine medical, psychological and social work interventions to support people to make lifestyle and behavioural changes that will improve their health and wellbeing”. (changegrowlive.org, n.d.) Unfortunately, there was no contact number so I could not call  but I have e-mailed them in hope of getting an answer back. If they will not get back to me, I will keep looking for relevant contacts or search for another charity that will be able to offer me some insight about the influence of addiction over young people.

REFERENCES:

  1. Mtv.co.uk. (2018). Tom Walker Talks The Emotional Inspiration Behind ‘Leave A Light On’ | MTV UK. [online] Available at: http://www.mtv.co.uk/brand-new-for-2018/news/tom-walker-talks-the-emotional-inspiration-behind-leave-a-light-on [Accessed 18 Feb. 2018].
  2. Apb-pr.co.uk. (2018). Incredible new single Leave A Light On out now, UK tour in November | APB PR. [online] Available at: http://www.apb-pr.co.uk/news/tom-walker/incredible-new-single-leave-light-out-now-uk-tour-november [Accessed 18 Feb 2018].
  3. Changegrowlive.org. (2018). CGL | change, grow, live – health and social care charity. [online] Available at: https://www.changegrowlive.org/ [Accessed 18 Feb. 2018].

”A Mix-Tape for Gus” on BBC Radio 4

logo-bbc-radio-4_0

  ”A mix-tape for Gus” is a radio music documentary that was originally broadcast on Tuesday 30th of October 2014. According to Emily Levy, Gus’ sister, the documentary that she made in the loving memory of her brother came as a gesture of affection and as a strong desire to spread to the world his original taste in music. ” It’s about his eclectic music collection and how he and I exchanged musical loves from childhood onwards, as he did with all who knew him, and how much this legacy has influenced and inspired me  – and continues to do so…”  (Emily Levy,2014) The 30- minutes segment on BBC Radio 4 was presented by Emily herself and at its core, it seeks to show how music is an essential ”tool” that can transcend time, even death and to keep two souls deeply connected. In terms of the audience, BBC Radio 4 service aims ”to appeal to listeners seeking intelligent programmes in many genres.” (BBC, 2016) Therefore, this heart-breaking documentary holds precious life lessons about the healing power of music and the unbreakable bond between siblings.

  Five years after losing her sibling in an accident, the Oxford musician found the strength to cure her pain by listening to the music they sent each other during their teenage years and to create one last mix-tape that would incorporate his all-time favorite songs, while still being inspired to create her own meaningful pieces . ”Music can also help us through everyday tragedies such as loss. The death of a loved one is possibly the hardest emotional experience that most of us have or will have to go through. At times like these certain music can hold particular resonance by communicating to us when words and actions will not suffice.” (Get in to this,2016)

 

Imagini pentru emily and gus levy
Emily Levy / Photo taken from emilylevy.co.uk

  The story-telling approach of this radio programme was for Emily to record herself while expressing her own personal thoughts, feelings and memories that she has with Gus throughout the documentary in order to reveal how each piece has an important meaning for their relationship.  ”Her feelings are audible and the nostalgic experience of handling the cassettes add another layer of emotion to this heart breaking programme – proving the attachment we have not only to music but the means by which we play it: “Even this feeling of this fast forward play thing is making me feel like a teenager” Levy says, giggling.” (Get In To This,2016) His taste in music is diverse and the listeners can hear since the beginning of the programme snippets from artists like Peggy Lee, Tom Waits or Curtis Mayfield.

   Moreover, Emily interviews in her documentary three of Gus’ closest friends who had the same bond with him by creating music tapes. This enables the listeners to get intimate details about the life of Gus and how much he positively influenced other people’ lives and what kind of person he truly was. ”His friend Kirsty says he “had a rhythm and a movement and a reaction to music like nobody else I remember … The care that he had around discovering music, following music, cataloging it and sharing in it … was infectious“. Gus didn’t follow trends and they muse on him being “his own algorithm for music” and that although his taste was eclectic it was subjective. “He thought very deeply about a lot of things, especially music” Kirsty adds.” (Get In To This,2016)

    On the whole, the main point of the documentary and the mix-tape Emily created is to encapsulate the essence of the person that Gus was and through just a simple string of the guitar or bass sound, to engage with the listeners and to make them feel like they have actually known him or that a part of him will always live on.

REFERENCES:

1.Bbc.co.uk. (2018). BBC – BBC Radio 4 – BBC Trust. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/our_work/services/radio/service_licences/bbc_radio_4.html [Accessed 11 Feb. 2018].

2.Pickett, J. (2018). Soothing the Psyche – music as therapy for illness and loss – Getintothis. [online] Getintothis. Available at: http://www.getintothis.co.uk/2016/11/soothing-of-the-psyche-music-as-therapy-for-illness-and-loss/ [Accessed 11 Feb. 2018].

 

 

”The Man Who Squeezes Muscles: Searching for Purple Aki” on BBC Three

  The urban legend that has kept everybody talking over the past three decades is no stranger to the citizens across the UK, especially the area of Merseyside. Akinwale Arobieke, known as the ”Purple Aki”, is a 56 years old black male who became recognised by his strange obsession of stalking his victims and squeezing their muscles. ”He became something of a ‘modern day bogeyman’ known for approaching younger males and striking up conversations about weight training, before touching and measuring their muscles, and inviting them to squat his body weight.” (The Daily Mail,2016) 

   ” The Man Who Squeezes Muscles” aims to explore the real story and to understand the purposes beyond Purple Aki’ s acts of assault, harassment and manslaughter that have terrified people from all over the world.

Akinwale Arobieke, 54, vowed to make a fresh start
Akinwale Arobieke

  The approach that the programme takes is a simple, yet effective one because it proves clearly the impact and the consequences that Purple Aki had over his victims. The story-teller of the programme is Benjamin Zand, a local young man who was driven to find out who is the real Purple Aki by going to the main and primary source for it : the people who have been either his victims or have been personally affected by him. Therefore, by hearing the real and unbelievable experiences of the victims, such as Gary Kelly and the way he tragically passed away while running from Purple Aki made the viewing experience more personal and insightful.

   However, not everyone thought about Purple Aki as a threat and considered that the story actually had a funny twist within it. ”Of course, you can see why people find his story funny – the image, the name, the fact he seems to prey exclusively on big, preening gym-heads, the 10 year court order against touching biceps, getting banned from being anywhere near St. Helen’s Rugby Club. You couldn’t write it.” (The BBC,2017) “At the 2008 Glastonbury festival, someone brought a banner bearing the legend “arr mate!!! Purple Aki jus’ gripped us in a Portaloo”, below a photo of Arobieke’s baleful-looking mugshot.” (BBC News,2016) Moreover, the reason why his nickname became ”Purple Aki” was because of his dark-coloured skin. ”It seemed like a bizarre fairy tale, borne of 1980s neuroses about sexuality and race. The nickname itself was racially charged – the suggestion being he was “so black he’s purple”. (BBC News,2016)

   The programme includes some opinions of regular British people who were asked by the story-teller about the identity of Purple Aki and he is reffered as the ”big black” man who has been seen and feared by everybody. ” The BBC3 film, available online and first broadcast in September, starts: “Purple Aki, a name that’s whispered in the parks and playgrounds of Merseyside … a threat made to kids … watch out or Purple Aki will get you.” (The Guardian,2016) This approach surely is beneficial to the film because it portrays essential traits of the character that the story revolves around and overall, it gives the viewers a better understanding of who he is and what he looks like. ” One alleged victim says “He is just purple and huge.” (The Guardian,2016)

  The exchange between Benjamin and the Purple Aki’s victims brings a valuable insight into the story-telling because it reveals in detail the emotional weight that each individual story holds within and simultaneously, this add depth and context to the whole story of who is Purple Aki. By bringing in front of the cameras the people who truly experienced the terror and the assaults of Purple Aki, the viewers get to see him in an unfiltered and honest manner, namely as a troubled and mysterious man that is and will always remain an enigma to the world.

REFERENCES:

  1. Mail Online. (2018). Muslce pervert dubbed ‘Purple Aki’ has his ban lifted. [online] Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3576790/Muscle-obsessed-pervert-dubbed-Purple-Aki-barred-ten-years-grabbing-men-s-biceps-ban-LIFTED-vowing-reinvent-himself.html [Accessed 11 Feb. 2018].
  2. BBC News. (2018). Searching for Aki – BBC News. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-6d083913-0bfb-4988-8cd8-d126fa6dcff1 [Accessed 11 Feb. 2018].
  3. BBC Three. (2018). IMHO: Should we laugh at urban legend Purple Aki –the man who squeezes muscles? – BBC Three. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/9e756e96-30e8-4822-9e69-ff8271f689b6 [Accessed 11 Feb. 2018].
  4. Hattenstone, S. and Allison, E. (2018). Bodybuilder’s race hate claim against BBC investigated by police. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/oct/21/bodybuilder-purple-aki-race-hate-claim-bbc-investigated [Accessed 11 Feb. 2018].