Everyone seems to have a bad tattoo story. Whether it is their own, someone they know, or something they have seen, they make for great cringe-worthy yet fun stories to tell amongst friends. Most people learn creative ways to hide those tattoos they don’t want people to see, some people decide to get them removed, but some people turn a bad tattoo into one they love. That is where the UK television program Tattoo Fixers comes into play.
The show has been a runaway success for Channel 4 in the United Kingdom. The format of the show is a split studio and location format. People apply to be on the show because they have a tattoo disaster that they want to fix. Examples of these tattoos can be anything from the name of an ex-partner, to an embarrassing drunken tattoo. They visit a tattoo parlour to get the tattoo corrected into something they would prefer. During their consultation, a video of their backstory is shown. They then go into the tattooing room to have their tattoo corrected. The big finish is then the reveal of what their new tattoo looks like and their reaction.
Director and producer Ben Bhatia worked on a special edition of the program, Tattoo Fixers on Holiday, which premiered this summer. He had the responsibility to produce the backstories video for the contributors on the show. This would either tell the story of their life or how they obtained the said tattoo. A vital task, because if viewers aren’t hooked by the back story of the person they are watching, they change the channel.
“I loved being able to flex my creative muscles and have the flexibility to devise, write and shape the script,” said Bhatia. “I shot, produced and directed the clips. This was an awesome opportunity for me.”
The ‘Holiday’ spin-off was something new for the show as it takes the series out of its normal studio setting and would take the cast members to a foreign holiday resort and would fly contributors over from the UK. This was unchartered territory for the show, but was an instant success with the help of Bhatia.
“Ben was highly recommended by many of my peers in the industry. Because of this, we knew he would be the perfect fit and we were keen to invite him to become a part of our successful series. Within his career he has established himself to be a well-respected and forward thinking director and producer, and has a very bright future ahead,” said Matt J Smith, the executive producer for Studio Lambert, who is responsible for the show.
“Ben is a real pleasure to work with, he has a natural creative and visual flair, he is an outstanding communicator, he works exceptionally well as both leader and part of a team,” continued Smith. “Ben could be nothing but the brightest of assets to any company or production.”
As well as working with Smith, Bhatia also worked with Tim Harcourt, both of whom are extremely well established veterans in the UK television industry. They have developed many television shows in the UK, including Gogglebox, which has become such a big hit as a format it has spawned regional versions all over the world.
Despite having never worked with Studio Lambert before, Bhatia’s work was so impressive that he was asked to edit and produce an entire episode, giving him full control. With this, he had the opportunity to learn how to use an entirely new camera.
“Due to the small amount of time to get accustomed to the camera, I had to hit the ground running. Luckily I was quick to adapt and it has become a skill that I have used elsewhere ever since,” said Bhatia.
Using a new tool wasn’t the only obstacle to overcome to ensure success. The time constraints on making the bio clips meant Bhatia had to think quickly.
“I personally feel like I work best under pressure, so when I saw the final product that was transmitted, I was very happy and felt like I had achieved a lot,” he said. “I also enjoy reading twitter posts about the show and seeing how well received the episodes and stories have been.”
It is impossible to complain, as the project was shot on the beautiful Greek Island of Crete. Bhatia got to experience the scenery while working alongside some major players of British television.
“This was a fun project to work on,” he concluded. “Having the ability to lead a team to shoot that would creatively tell the contributors backstory and using a wealth of exciting technology was something I really enjoyed being a part of.”
You can watch episodes of Tattoo Fixers on Holiday here.