Idea Amplifier - Day Two

There was no delay in getting started on day two of Idea Amplifier – everyone arrived early (despite the clocks changing), eager to start.

We’d all been reflecting on four questions overnight, so our first job this morning was to share our thoughts about each of them. Amber, our live illustrator, got them all straight down on paper.

The questions related to the four main themes of our film, and to the changes that everyone involved would like to see.

At the start of our collaboration this weekend, we didn’t know whether or not the film we’d make would relate directly to Tourettes. But in our discussions yesterday it soon became clear that the group had a lot of shared experiences and frustrations relating to life with tics and we soon agreed that the opportunity to express what we all thought about it was too good to miss.

The title of our film is “Running away from the Circus”. It’s from an idea that Star, who’s a visual artist, came up with yesterday. This is how she explains what it means to her:

‘Running away from the Circus’ is a play on words from the typical saying, ‘Running away with the circus’ to symbolise our desire to escape. As soon as I turn on the TV I am bombarded by false and misinterpreted information about Tourettes, creating a very warped perception of the condition… We are all tired of being someone’s source of entertainment, and feel that this is something that needs to be addressed.”

Singer and songwriter Kai had written an amazing poem that addressed all four of our questions. Listening to her reading it felt incredibly exciting. And it wasn’t just me – later when I was speaking to Joe, a nineteen-year-old photographer from Bradford, he said, “It feels like the start of something.”

We made a list of the jobs that needed to be done to bring everything together in the few short hours we had left.

Musicians Charlotte and (another) Joe worked on the sound bed for the film. The Roundhouse very kindly hooked us up with a keyboard, and Joe had brought his guitar.

Filmmaker Brent formed a team with Nick, who’d been filming throughout the weekend, together with photographer Joe, they set up a studio downstairs to record everyone’s individual thoughts and ideas.

Artists Star and Molly worked with Amber on creating hand-drawn props for some of the more dramatic segments of the film, including this amazing newspaper:

Photo: Matthew Pountney

Kai, and Hannah, another writer and poet, produced scripts to pull all our ideas together.

We all worked frantically to get everything done. It was a nail-biting race against time, but with just minutes to go we all came together in the studio space to film the last scenes.

Photo: Joe Wallace

Incredibly though, we got everything done, overrunning by only five minutes – a testament to everyone’s energy and teamwork.

Now that all the content of the film’s been successfully recorded, it’s ready to be edited. This’ll be a slightly slower process, and everyone involved will have the opportunity to contribute. I can’t wait until it’s all finished and ready to share.

I’m going to leave you with a message from Charlotte. I asked her what she would say to other people with Tourettes, or any other disability, and here’s her response:

Take your own feelings out of your brain and put them onto paper, either with music or words. It’s just a way of being able to talk about how you feel in an awesome creative way.”

To Unlimited Impact, The Spirit of 2012 Trust and everyone who made this weekend possible and to all those who took part – huge thanks.

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