Note: Yerosha is the monkey on the right.
In 1988 I was developing a feature documentary about Soviet underground rock star Boris Grebenshikov when Granada TV suddenly agreed to finance it. There was just one hitch: I needed a company to receive the money.
With Granada's CFO waiting impatiently for an answer I scanned my desk for inspiration. Buried under budget spreadsheets was a newsprint photo of a wild-eyed rhesus monkey staring straight into the camera. I unearthed the paper and discovered a front page NY Times story about Yerosha. Shot into orbit by the Soviets for research purposes, he'd freed his left arm from a restraining cuff, yanked off the electrodes fitted to his cap and tinkered with buttons on the capsule's control panel.
Feeling much the way Yerosha looked – crazed but determined – I made my decision on the spot. My company would be named in honor of this renegade space monkey. Within days we were in production on THE LONG WAY HOME, a wonderful film about Boris's bittersweet musical odyssey to the West and back again, directed by Michael Apted.
It was only later that I learned that in Russian Yerosha means "troublemaker." Well, the media world can always use some mischief, so the company continues in Yerosha's honor.