(The first five clients to email our Account Manager identifying which one of the below acts our title is referring to will earn a 5% discount on their next booking!)
As many of our partners know, the process of creation is a wild, whimsical, and often wonderful ride. Whether you are conceptualising a coherent event for your client or we are developing a unique act for you to pitch to them, the underlying mechanics of the process from inspiration to execution is more similar than different. There are several lessons we’ve learned over the years about the creative process and we want to share them with you, in the hopes that they will be helpful.
1. Inspiration can come from anywhere.
For example, at Wildfire, it’s hard to imagine a week where someone doesn’t ask us about some variation of our Globe Dance act - whether it’s the Ballerina, Garden Nymph, or CNY-themed Dance, the act found its place in events across the year. You'll never guess how we developed this act.
Would you believe me if I told you that this act was developed from an offhand comment made over dinner by the mother of our Managing Director? “Why not have a snow globe? But life-sized? And with an ACTUAL human dancer inside!” she exclaimed to many laughs. And thus, the Snow Globe Dance was born.
This happened in 2017, and for nearly a whole year not a single person asked us for the Globe Dance. We aren’t going to lie, we were close to giving up on it as something people wanted. Then in December 2018, we had a slew of requests. Suddenly, we were producing the act nearly every weekend that month. In 2019 we evolved the act to meet our clients’ needs and now people can’t get enough of it! Since then, we’ve rolled out the Globe Dance for at least one unique event a month - with dancers dressed to many themes including Steampunk, Garden, and even Shenxian for CNY.
2. Adaptability is important to the creative process.
The foundation of Wildfire’s success as a show creation company is our ability to adapt and create. LuMen has been a steady offering since the birth of Wildfire, but we knew we wanted to do something more with it. As most of us are well aware, end clients can be a little difficult. Sometimes they know they want something different but have trouble articulating what it is they want - they will only know what it is after they see it.
Cue Jazz LuMen, our adaptation of an existing favourite in anticipation of our clients’ needs. Created at the same time as the Globe Dance act, Jazz LuMen also experienced a period of quiet before it took off. In fact, our CNY version of Jazz LuMen beat out many of our other CNY-themed acts to become the most produced CNY act for 2020.
3. Restrictions can inspire creativity.
As we innovate and drive ourselves to think outside of multiple boxes, it can become easy to forget that sometimes the solution to a problem can be found within the box we have been trying to think outside of. Our performers are the best in the industry, and our trust in their ability allows us to continuously challenge them. “Dance with lights on your body in mid-air while everything is on fire?” we might ask them as their expressions turn to horror (Ed. Note: No dancers are harmed in the making of Wildfire Shows). But sometimes, the best option for an event is to just get them to do what they do best - DANCE!
Channeled effectively, creativity can truly shine when applied within boundaries. Through the innumerable shows we’ve produced for innumerable events at various scales, we’ve refined our ability to channel our creativity efficiently to solve our clients’ entertainment needs within their restrictions. I’m talking, of course, about the theme and budget.
How do we work with and around those restrictions? Honestly, it really depends. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, and wouldn’t it be easier for all if there was? What we do know is that consistent and open communication with our partners has been key. With that, we are able to create entertainment packages that have been truly unique.
4. You know you’ve done well when it looks easy.
And of course, the least understood factor of the creative process is just how much isn’t seen by the audience. As our partners, you come up with proposals for your end clients day after day, so we know you feel this on a profound level. Your end client sees your proposal and the final product of a stellar event, but they have no idea how much background work goes into making those events successful.
As in our Projection Dance acts. We create the graphics together with the choreography - and this is matched to the proportion of our dancers. All these details work together so we can create as seamless a performance as possible, because we understand that even the slightest incongruence will break the illusion for your audience.
We've produced hundreds of shows in collaboration with our EO partners. We have a similar objective: to entertain the end client in the smoothest way possible, so they don't notice the background work. We want the product to make the process look effortless.
Our products might be different, but our creative processes are similar. We hope these tips we've learned through our years producing creative entertainment will resonate with you. Do you have additional 'lessons on creativity' to add? Let us know what they are in the comments!
And don't forget to email our Account Manager the answer to our riddle for 5% off your next booking.