ABOUT THE AUTHOR
(whose work is believed
to have been illegaly adapted)
At the time of writing, Ben Krushkoff (aka Crushcov) is a 44 year-old, single dad and part-time rugby coach. He's also a creator, screenwriter and educator, from Torquay, England, and is of mixed English/Bulgarian heritage.
Born in Nottingham, but raised on the English Riviera, he reluctantly attended the local boys' grammar school, where he found his creative endeavours weren't exactly encouraged: "even in my formative years, I'd had these ideas for killer films and TV shows, but the national curriculum back then - just as it is now - didn't provide an outlet in which they could be honed and developed".
He did write a couple of plays for school assemblies, but without any academic pathway at the time - Creative Writing and Screenwritng simply weren't offered by British universities in the Ninties - he put a hold on his dreams for a couple of decades, even though the visions he had never fully went away.
After training as a photographer in his gap year, he lasted approximately eight weeks at his first university before being offered a job in the music business by an Eastern European media mogul. This led on to him starting his first company, BLOC Music, which involved him promoting Techno and House parties and DJing abroad.
"They were some of the best years of my life," notes Ben, "from what I can remember of them!". Alongside putting on club nights and warehouse parties, he produced and hosted his own weekly radio show, for around two years, and organised and promoted a concert on behalf of the Red Cross.
Marriage and children then followed, which saw him take a more serious, money-oriented path, which he stayed on for the bulk of his former career. This involved him working in marketing and sales for the family furniture business and online trading agency, before landing a job as a Corporate Manager for Habitat (based in his spiritual home of Manchester).
"I ended up running my own property business - a markeing consultancy for developers over in Bulgaria, the land where my father and then my kids were born. It was great while it lasted, but that particular bubble was always going to burst," he said.
When the markets finally did crash, like a number of other things in his life, they truly came tumbling down for him. "Not only was I living abroad and owed tens of thousands of pounds that never got paid, I ended up breaking my back in a ski-ing accident, my father died in the most tragic of circumstances and then there was the breakdown of my marriage. All in a six month spell". Talk about an annus horribillus...
Conversely, though, it sparked a change in career which would eventually take him to a place he never thought he'd actually see. It started when he re-trained as an English teacher.
"I ended up getting inspired by a really talented group of teens. They showed me, through their own hard work, dedication and creativity, just what was possible to achieve in life. I would tell them to never be afraid to chase their dreams, but in hindsight I was probably saying it to myself."
So he went back to university, Bath Spa to be precise, to study the one thing in life he'd always wanted to learn: how to write scripts for films and TV shows.
"I took every opportunity that wonderful environment offered - even a few that probably weren't meant for me - and was lucky enough to have attended lectures and workshops led by some of my heroes, such as David Puttnam, Ken Loach, Fay Weldon and Matt Luhn (Pixar and The Simpsons). Getting to meet some of them afterwards and then talking about my own ideas and work will be something I'll be eternally grateful for".
He ended getting a first class honours in both elements of a Creative Writing and Education undergraduate degree, jointly winning the coveted Script of the Year award (for Tribus) before succesfully passing an MA in Scriptwriting. Alongside Tribus (which both himself and a growing number of others believe has to have been adapted and used as the source material for Sky TV's Britannia), he has written: a spec script for The Arctic Thirty (a film due to go into production this year with an unconnected final script, it's believed, written by Emma Thompson); the pilot for a low-budget, gritty semi-autobiographical drama called Our Baz; and a radio play about the radicalisation of teenagers, Turning Misty.
Since graduating, he has been trying to start a law case in order to assert his rights over his intellectual property, written a number of articles for an entertainment website and has taught and lectured in a variety of institutions, including universities, secondary schools and several prisons.
"The power of storytelling and writing cannot be understated," he believes, "not only in terms of potentially developing a professional career, but also as a form of self-therapy and catharsis. And as well as helping those who want to learn and understand what may seem to be an almost mythical craft, I've also been able to learn something from those I've been lucky enough to teach. Seeing the inside of a prison and getting to hear a number of life stories, for example, was a revelation".
Whilst developing this site and his case, Ben found himself at the centre of national media attention for an altogether different reason. This led on to him becoming a spokesperson for the NSPCC: together with his son, he has helped to lead national anti-bullying and cyber-bullying campaigns, that have featured in international media.
All the while, though, at the back of his mind, has been the case this site highlights and what he considers to be the most serious of frauds: "It's hard to explain the feeling; not only having total belief in the fact that years of your hard work have been taken and adapted by others - a view that's been supported academically - but actually having your dream stolen is something quite hard, even for a writer, to put into words."
"However, having taught my own children the family motto 'never give up', it's time to show them what this truly means. I may be up against Europe's biggest media company and the UK's 'Cambridge' entertainment establishment, but if David hadn't picked up that sling and stone then Goliath would have walked all over the Israelites and nobody would have heard of David's name. And, like my own situation, that simply wasn't going to happen."
Ben has now created this site and a number of videos which it hosts, in order to draw public attention to his case. He is currently seeking support from the press and media, both at home and abroad, as well as the general public at large, all of whom can draw attention to his battle and ongoing legal fight.
For further details, PR or to find out about his lecturing, please contact: