Ben_J Productions (Previously BenJamin Productions) is a comedy and drama production company run by Writers Express forum member Ben since September 2016, however it did not begin producing any material until February 2017.
It's debut project, a six part drama entitled 'Mrs Fanshaw' starring former Coronation Street actress Alison King, and Doctor Foster's Bertie Carvel, began publishing on 24 February 2017, with the final episode going out on 7 May 2017. The drama told the story of a thirty-something woman, Pandora Fanshaw (Alison King) who has been missing from home for 16 months, and her husband, Blake. (Bertie Carvel) is desperate to track her down and bring her home. As of August 2017, the future of the show has yet to be announced - however given that this was a debut project and very much a 'learning curve' for the developing writer, it is unlikely that the series will be recommissioned for a second series; however, that doesn't rule out a new incarnation of the project at some point in the future - 'never say never'!
Ben_J Productions is currently producing ONE project - Continuing Drama Now & Forever, which has been running since 2 September 2017; while another project produced by the company, Ben's Emmerdale - a fan-fic of the Yorkshire soap, Emmerdale, - is currently dormant, and has been since 16 July 2017.
BenJamin Productions, as it was then, joined Twitter on 30th January 2017. Shortly after, the company adapted it's name and is now known as 'Ben_J Productions' promoting content for six part drama 'Mrs Fanshaw' which was running at the time, as well as helping to promote content for the rest of the forum. There was a gradual move towards Ben_J using this account for more personal use, and in May 2017, 'Productions' was dropped from the account - now known simply as 'Ben_J' From this point on, Ben_J Productions content is promoted through Ben's now personal account; however, with news of a busy Autumn coming up for the company, with more than one new project (excluding LIAR) launching during the season, rumours are circulating that Ben_J Productions may move to a separate account, however, this has not been officially confirmed, so for now the account will continued to be shared for these two purposes.
Ben's Emmerdale Edit
The company's first foray into the world of soap opera fan-fiction then came along, as 'Ben's Emmerdale' launched on 24 May 2017. The project saw Ben go back to September 2015, to Episode 7300 of the Yorkshire based soap, enabling him to put his own 'spin' on stories such as Robert's shooting and Lawrence's past, as well as producing entirely original stories - namely the burgeoning Carly/David/Leyla love triangle; Belle & Kirin's on/off relationship & Lachlan's developing obsession with Belle and driving a wedge between the couple, and Rakesh's family woes, including the introduction of his estranged daughter, Rohoni. But perhaps his biggest move, was bringing back Emily Symons to reprise the role of Louise Appleton after seven years away from the dales. Louise Appleton, along with Carly Hope have made the shortlist at the Summer 2017 WRIXAS in the categories of 'Best Newcomer/Returnee' and 'Best Soap Female' respectively.
The project went on to produce ten episodes (Episodes 7300 - 7309) broadcast between Friday 25 September 2015 and Monday 5 October 2015. The last episode was published on Writers Express on 9 July 2017. On 16 July 2017, it was announced that the project would go on an 'extended break' with no clear indication of a return date. Following the 13th WRIXAS Ceremony on 2 September 2017, the project will be moved to the 'Dormant' board.
Life Is A Rollercoaster Edit
It was announced in early Spring 2017 that the production company would be launching a new project entitled 'Life Is A Rollercoaster' 'later in the year' The location in which the show is set changed several times before being officially announced as Kent shortly after. Later, it was confirmed that the series, after much speculation, would be a comedy-drama or a 'dramedy' - this is a first for Writers Express, having never had any projects of this genre in the past. In May 2017, it was confirmed that Life Is A Rollercoaster would begin in the Summer.
The pilot episode aired on 23 August 2017.
On 3 September 2017, Ben_J Productions announced that the project would not be continuing for now. The company hopes to relaunch the project, bigger and better at 'some point in 2018' and focus all efforts into producing their first original soap for WX Now & Forever which had launched the day before (2 September 2017) with episodes being posted on subsequent Saturdays thereafter. The main reason for the move is that writer and creator Ben_J admits that he feels like he 'rushed into the project' and 'put himself under too much pressure with an airdate from so early on' this coupled with the lengthy episodes which would now be a headache to now cut down without continuity errors and the like inevitably arising, he felt like the only option was to drop it for now, with a view to picking it up at some point in the future - something Ben would definitely like to do, as a lot of work went into the project, despite ultimately, the entire thing, including the artwork feeling 'rushed' For now, the first four episodes that had already been written will remain unpublished.
There are rumours that L.I.A.R may re-launch around New Year 2017/2018 for a full series.
Now & Forever Edit
On 30 August 2017, it was announced that Ben_J Productions would be launching it's first original soap opera
project, Now & Forever (See link for the project's official page) joining forum favourites These Days and Behind Closed Doors as the latest edition to Continuing Drama on WX. Ben_J said he was 'hugely excited' but 'nervous in equal measure' about launching his first original soap, but felt that it was 'the right time' It was revealed that Now & Forever's action would centre around the fictional town of Rosborough and surrounding Districts such as Fairview, Chipston and Lower Barkley - the latter a more rural district home to All Saint's Anglican Church. In terms of its setting in the real world, Rosborough is just North East of the City of Cambridge. Now & Forever was confirmed to launch in September. Although sometimes refereed to as 'Now AND Forever' occasionally, this is not the usual practice; the project is stylised as 'Now & Forever'
The next day, on 31 August 2017, a 'Who What Where' thread was released to give readers a brief overview of the characters, their backstories, and where they're at as we join their journey. This included characters appearing on a guest and recurring basis.
On 2 September 2017, Now & Forever launched with its first episode. The episode was titled 'I Hate You, Don't Ever Leave Me' which is a reference to the character of Crystal Torres, who suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder - the character uttering a similar line during the episode.
If the Continuing drama is successful/ receives at least reasonably positive feedback, then it will be recommissioned for a second Season during this current run.