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Remembering Victor Adebodun (1985 - 2018)

TRIBUTE: (L-R) Victor Adebodun, Emmanuel Aniyam-Osigwe and Femi Oyeniran (Photo credit: NK Abani Photography)

ON MARCH 23, when I recorded my last show of Meet The Critics on Colourful Radio, little did I know that I would return there three weeks later to record a live, impromptu edition of my weekly film show – in the gravest of circumstances.

For the last 10 months, listeners who tuned in to Meet The Critics were welcomed into a world where we dissect the film business and the business of film. And if there was one man who was all about the film business and the business of film – it was Victor Adebodun.

Victor's untimely passing shocked many and given what I know about the great man, he was only just getting started on the path that all immortals take. Over the course of the next few weeks and months, readers of this newspaper and far beyond will start to remember the name and the legacy of Victor Adebodun – and what a legacy it is.

After completing a degree in IT, Victor started his career in television and film working for the Soho post production company The Moving Picture Company (MPC). He worked on several high profile films such as Harry Potter, Narnia, G.I. Joe, James Bond (Skyfall) and Ridley Scott's Prometheus.

Seeing how these films were made from the ground up inspired him to create his own content and thus his company Purple Geko was created. Having a in-depth knowledge of post production Victor went on to direct and produce music promos, documentaries, films and television content.

In late 2011 he, along with acclaimed writer Baby Isako, created the hit online web drama Venus Vs Mars, which went on to get over one million views online and receive several awards, including the Screen Nation Digital award for Best Web Series. He directed and produced the short film Bag Ladies, which was screened at Cannes Film Festival in 2014.

It was at Cannes where his production company (Purple Geko) really first came to prominence. It was here that they convinced the powers that be at UK satellite broadcaster BSkyB to commission Venus Vs Mars as a ten-part drama for Sky Living. Venus vs Mars went on to air at 11pm on the April 9th 2015, directly after the US hit TV show Scandal.

He produced and directed alongside filmmaker Femi Oyeniran, an online panel chat show called Cut The Chat, providing a platform for the discussion of issues that affect young people.

With Oyeniran as co-director, Victor also executive produced UK gangster film The Intent (2016) and its prequel The Come Up (out later this year). Various other credits include ITV2 scripted comedy Dropperz (which he co-directed and exec produced), Rive (BET International) and Coronation Street, the latter of which he directed several episodes.

At the time of writing, Purple Geko are at the financing stage of Penny Woolcock’s next feature film The Day the Dog Died, comedy series Lodgers and Sonny & Me and a feel-good feature film Guerilla Poets. The company also has several projects in development for TV and film including a comedy scribed with BAFTA award-winner Adam Deacon.

And to think that all this was achieved by the age of 33. The last time I saw Victor was on the 34th floor of the BT Tower, seven months ago. It was a special night for everyone who was there - a night which became even more special when The Intent won the big prize on the night - best film at the 2017 BT British Urban Film Festival awards.

Femi's acceptance speech will live long in the memory as will the celebrations which took place afterwards. After the shock of Victor's news dies down, all we have left are the memories but more than that, we have his legacy, his body of work, his personality and a lot else to thank Victor Adebodun for. And whilst The Olivier Awards may have forgotten to recognise Sir Peter Hall the other day, you won't find that kind of carelessness here.

And so it is with the heaviest of hearts that I send my condolences to Victor's close friends and collaborators Nicky Slimting Walker and to Femi Oyeniran who I spoke to shortly after hearing the news on 12 April.

It didn't take me long (after consulting with friends, colleagues and loved ones) to think how we could start to remember and to celebrate Victor as a person. On 13 April, Colourful Radio granted me an hour to do just that.

I'm forever grateful to those who came on the show: actors Arnold Oceng and Justin Chinyere, to regular panellist on Meet The Critics Stephan Pierre Mitchell, actor and founder of Triforce Monologue Slam (Fraser Ayres) and to my wife Clare Anyiam-Osigwe who herself penned a heartfelt tribute remembering Victor (published by Pride Magazine Nigeria).

My thoughts are with Victor's wife and their young child. I speak for many when I say that we are so so sorry for your loss - may you all continue to find peace and strength at this most testing of times. Victor was a gent and a true don - a leader in his field who has gone far too soon. As long as i'm breathing, the legacy of Victor Adebodun will never be forgotten.

May the lord keep you.

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