Favorite

In a lather 

A UA soap opera fan does it his way.

SCHEMING VIXEN
  • SCHEMING VIXEN

Though this writer hasn't sat through an entire episode of a soap opera since my stay-at-home mother got addicted to “General Hospital” around the time Luke and Laura got married, I can still appreciate the genre. Unlike real life, things happen on soap operas — big things. Unwanted pregnancies and murders for hire. Incest and suicide attempts. Dirty business deals and shocking revelations. These days, we hear, even stuff like alien abduction and possession by the Devil gets thrown into the mix.

With action like that, who could blame UA student Raymond Burks for wanting to get in on the fun? A 22-year-old senior seeking a degree in English and creative writing when not running campus radio station KXUA, Burks is also the writer, producer and editor of his own cable access soap opera: “Bring Down the Moon.”

Burks has been a hardcore soap fan since his junior high days in Stamps. These days, he still loves daytime television enough that he talks straight-facedly about the “art” of soaps, and sniffs at online videos that play up their cliffhanger plotlines for laughs. Burks produced the pilot for “Bring Down the Moon” last year as an entry for a contest run by the cable channel Soap Opera Network, using student actors from UA. While his video didn't win, writing and directing it was so fulfilling that Burks decided to keep the show going. He approached Cox Cable about showing “Bring Down the Moon” on their Community Access Television (C.A.T.) Channel 18. They said yes, and the show currently appears there on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., with an encore at 1 a.m. Wednesdays.

Burks said that the show is his tribute to the older, more relationship-driven soap operas he grew up with. The show revolves around four college students (couples David and Meredith and Alyson and Alex) who strike up a friendship during their freshman year at UA. Though the show features plenty of traditional soap-style intrigue — for example, an upcoming episode features allegations of infidelity, and the shocker that Alex has been sleeping with David's mom in exchange for cash (GASP!) — Burks said you won't see any of the paranormal, far-out plotlines that have become commonplace on modern soaps.

“It's not every day that you hear about somebody sleeping with their best friend's mom,” Burks said. “But overall we have a lot of real moments on our show. That's one thing I pride our show on. There aren't any characters that are going to die and come back from the dead. There aren't any possessed people on the show. We're grounded in reality.”

Another thing Burks said that viewers can expect from the show is more conversations and character development. “Nowadays on soaps it's action, action, action, action,” he said. “Nobody really takes the time to try and develop bonds between their characters.”

Currently in the midst of filming and editing the second, six-episode season of “Bring Down the Moon,” Burks said that public response to the show has been very positive. “People give me tips and hints on technical things,” he said, “but for the most part everybody that I've talked to is very addicted to the show.”

Burks said that many of the online videos labeled as soap operas are a parody of the genre. Though “Bring Down the Moon,” is “very self-aware” and draws on the music, editing and mood of classic soap operas, it's meant to be taken seriously.

“You're always going to have people who take soaps at their camp value. What we want to go for is a style where we're aware of the fact that we're a soap opera, but we take the craft of soap opera seriously.”

Burks watches soaps with an eye toward the writing, but said that everyone gets something different from the experience. Soaps can be, he insists, an art form — not to mention a security blanket.

“I think that for a lot of people the soaps can be very much a comfort food,” he said. “It's very inviting to come home after a long day, having taped your shows, and kind of watch other people's fuckups in life.”

While Burks will finish out this season of “Bring Down the Moon,” he said it will likely be the last, given that he and most of the actors in the cast will graduate next year. Burks said he's currently applying for internships with companies that produce daytime television series on the West Coast. After graduation, he hopes to move there and break into the business.

Outside of Fayetteville, soap opera fans can view episodes of “Bring Down the Moon,” at www.myspace.com/bringdownthemoon.

I'm PREGNANT, and it's yours!

david@arktimes.com

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Tags:

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Fritz Brantley

  • Words, Dec. 20

    Introducing an old movie on the old movie channel the other night, the host told an old story. The story is untrue, although I suppose the host, semi-old, believed it.
    • Dec 20, 2007
  • He talks, and talks, the talk

    A fellow posted an old newspaper article on his blog about a Mike Huckabee speech to a religious group in 1998. A friend faxed the article to me, then called to ask if I’d yet read it, which I had.
    • Dec 20, 2007
  • Going whole hog

    A Q&A with irreverent Arkansas-raised comedian Matt Besser
    • Dec 20, 2007
  • More »

More by David Koon

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Latest in Media

  • UA cozy with D-G columnist

    An interesting element of the ongoing story of budget problems in the University of Arkansas Advancement Division has been a divide in outlook in the pages of the state's dominant news medium, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
    • Nov 21, 2013
  • Democrat-Gazette covers one of its own in story of reporter Cathy Frye's rescue

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's reports on the rescue of its reporter Cathy Frye, who was missing for days in the hot scrubby desert that is Big Bend Ranch State Park, are gripping.
    • Oct 10, 2013
  • Hodge shares his OA vision

    Roger Hodge, the new editor of Oxford American magazine, talked about his rise at Harper's, his writing philosophy and his plans for the OA before a full crowd last Wednesday at the Clinton School.
    • Sep 26, 2012
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Another Jesus

    If you follow the logic of Jason Rapert and his supporters, God is very pleased so many have donated money to rebuild a giant stone slab with some rules on it. A few minutes on Rapert's Facebook page (if he hasn't blocked you yet) also shows his supporters believe that Jesus wants us to lock up more people in prison, close our borders to those in need and let poor Americans fend for themselves for food and health care.
  • Pay attention

    If anyone thinks that a crisis with the Power Ultra Lounge shooting, then he hasn't been paying attention to Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Another Jesus

    • And I quote: "Sounds like maybe some of those descriptors hit a little close to…

    • on July 21, 2017
  • Re: Another Jesus

    • Hey Bishop, when did God say "Grab them by the pussy?"

    • on July 21, 2017
  • Re: Pay attention

    • Well said. I believe that male mentors are another key way to connect our local…

    • on July 21, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation