In the Spring of 2011 three Tortoise’s met at a dining room table to discuss ‘what’s next?’
In 2010 we had our first break with an Ideas Tap Edinburgh Award for our production The Last Miner. We started garnering some early recognition within the industry and we wanted to keep the momentum going. During this time Ross, Alex and I had to squeeze the company into any spare time we had, this resulted in very late nights, weekends and unconventional meeting spaces and times. We brushed aside Ross’s flat appliances and spread a melee of new ideas across the table, everyone was excited to get their teeth stuck into a new idea and we all came prepared to pitch.
I don’t know if you are aware of the magic Pixar meeting of 1998, it is a thing of greatness. Director John Lassiter and writer’s Andrew Stanton, Joe Ranft and Pete Doctor were having a lunch break after finishing Toy Story and they began talking about ideas for what Pixar would do next. In this one lunch they sketched out ideas for four huge films: A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo and WALL-E…on nothing more than napkins.
Now, not to compare ourselves to Pixar, but on that day we had a magical meeting of our own. Through sharing images, sketches and pitching we hashed out a series of ideas to pick from: A child soldier, a dream factory and a man floating out to sea on a boat. There was a lot of debate, intense discussion and we finally settled on the child solider as our next focus.
That child soldier idea developed over the year through research, play and refinement and became our next production, Grit. The dream factory went on a longer, different development period and eventually became The Lost Things. The man on the boat was put on the back burner, simmering away and slowly gaining steam. Now in 2016, five years later, after some thought-out and playful development, we are finally beginning the process of creating Fisk, our first ever international co-production with Teater Katapult, of Aarhus, Denmark.
Amidst a vast, cascading expanse of ocean, a tiny boat is tossed through rolling waves and thundering storms, a speck amidst the immense turbulent seas. Steadily rowing forward into the nothingness is a fisherman. Sailing to nowhere, he looks out as the darkness looms and prepares himself to leap…But before he can jump out, something else jumps in…
So if you’ve got a series of creative ideas floating in your head, they might seem like pipe dreams now but grab a napkin and some coloured pens because you never know what might happen in time…