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WOW!!! I can’t believe I stumbled on to this thread!!! You cannot believe the profound impact OTW had on my life! One of my earliest memories, of childhood, was laying on the carpet, with a big cookie in my hand, staring up at the screen watching ‘The Red Balloon!’
When I was 13, that memory came back and I was struck with the idea opening up my own OTW. My next thought was “I would teach kids how to make movies in the back of the theater.” I got that idea from being able to the the projector.
When I was 18 I attempted to go to college, and study film, but I wasn’t ready and it wasn’t ready for me. I did however get a job as a film projectionist at West Newton Cinema for a year or two. Then I left for London and got a job at the Richmond Film House.
After that I settled in Australia and established a pretty successful career in IT. But every once in a while that old idea would come back, and then I’d put it away. I was busy working and raising babies.
Almost 40 years after that first memory, I finally decided to follow that idea. I gave up my lucrative career. My children are much older and independent. I am now half-way through completing my degree at university, majoring in film & TV production, and minoring in Festival & Event Management and Australian Indigenous Studies.
Hopefully, if the god’s look favourably, I will recreate my memories of OTW, to kids in the most remote parts of the Queensland outback and the far north tropics.
I’m going to bring them a road-show of the best of children’s cinema (OTW quality), and then teach them to tell their own stories.
I wanted to call my non-profit ‘Red Balloon Productions,’ but that was already taken, so it’s called ‘Big Balloon Productions.’
I hope to launch at the end of 2014. In the meantime, I’ve written up the draft business plan. I am slowly creating a network of educators, Film Professionals and Academics to be involved. It’s a pretty ambitious project. But chasing this idea is the happiest I’ve ever been!
I always wanted to say thank you so much OTW, for that beautiful memory that has inspired my whole life. And now I feel like I have.