"Black Balloon" soon!


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husband found this today. We've been watching for news and promos. To refresh your memories, "The Black Balloon" is the film my younger three kids were in (big final scene) filmed a year ago. The story - a teenage boy trying to cope with an autistic brother. It's got an all-star cast, including Toni Collette. We're getting increasing publicity for it in Australia, it's to be released at the Berlin Film Festival next month.

The scene our kids were in - it's a sort of song & dance Noah's Ark school concert. difficult child 3 was Noah, easy child 2/difficult child 2 was on stilts as a giraffe and difficult child 1 was a psychotic rainbow lorikeet, with a choreographed fight scene with the other lorikeet. However, I think most of their fighting has been cut. A pivotal part of the scene revolves around a pair of monkey ears, which we see a fair bit of in the trailer.

husband managed to download the film trailer today. We also noticed a LOT of footage of a swimming spot very close to where we live - it's absolutely beautiful, there is an ocean beach with a palm-fringed lagoon beside it, the lagoon has a waterfall pouring into it (when there has been enough rain). The main people in those scenes are the young teen, his new girlfriend and his autistic brother. They must have filmed it outside school holidays, because right now at this time of year, the place is packed with people and picnickers.

We found a MySpace page. If you're MySpace members, you will be able to work your way to the photo album. Somewhere in there is a cast photo from the day of shooting our kids were in - the Noah's Ark. difficult child 3 is sitting right up front to one side. easy child 2/difficult child 2 is one of the giraffes in the rear - NOT standing on a box, that's how tall the stilts are. The other giraffe is also a stiltwalker. And the rainbow lorikeets are the ones with green lycra hats trimmed with orange feathers.

We already knew most of the kids in this group from difficult child 3's drama class and the associated social group. We met a few more, some of whom turned out to be part of the regular cast.

mother in law was here today, saw the info and mentioned that sister in law, who we've been telling about this for ages, still didn't realise how BIG this is, she seemed to think it was some sort of minor release documentary. No, this is BIG. After Berlin it's slated for world-wide cinematic release. sister in law is in for a shock!

So here is a link to the MySpace page, the public part.

If you're a logged on MySpace member, you can go to the picture menu under the poster on the top left. "View my: pics"
Then you will see "My photos" - the big cast photo is the second of the group of three photos.

The woman in the white shirt, dead centre - that's Elissa, the writer/director.

Elissa was telling her own story in this film. The bloke playing the autistic brother really is very like her own brother, who was there for the day the kids were being filmed. He and their mother were in the audience for the 'play'.

It was an amazing experience for the kids to be involved with.

I'm hoping that when the film comes out, you can see it and remember "what we did in the holidays" in 2007! I was ferrying the kids to and from rehearsals from November 2006 until filming on 25 Jan 07, for this.



Well-Known Member
Sounds great! I can not wait to see it!

I can not for the life of me recall my MySpace password, so I could not view the pics.

The kids must be excited about this!

The photos are great, and the movie looks very interesting, I can't wait to see it. I know you are proud of your acting troupe :smile: Wow, difficult child 3 really is right up there in the front... does he enjoy acting?


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I could only see the trailer but it looks like a great movie! I hope I get a chance to see it.


Active Member
difficult child 3 didn't want to be in it. At the audition, he kept saying, "I'm not going to do this, I'm only here because Mum made me come along." Meanwhile difficult child 1 & easy child 2/difficult child 2 were really keen. BF2 was sitting outside, he didn't want to be in it either because at that time, it was not going to be a paid job and he was desperate to get a job which could pay his way.

difficult child 3 finally only agreed to do it if he didn't have to wear an animal costume. He refused to wear a hat (I would have lent him my pith helmet, it would have been great) and wore his own shorts and my Malaya boots. They found a matching button up shirt for him. They really rehearsed this thoroughly, so on the day of filming the kids all knew what to do, and everything went off without a hitch. difficult child 3, despite being in panic over "I can't do this, I've changed my mind," during the rehearsals, was right on the button each time, for each take. They had hired someone to work with the kids, but I managed to get in there to explain to him why he needed to do it again and again, despite getting it right - the different camera angles, the difficulty getting sound level right, the need to make sure everything else worked well, and so on. He needed to be shown all this and day of filming is NOT the time to do it, as a rule.

But they were great - the cast, the staff - all seemed to really understand that the kids needed a lot of consideration and space. They had their own space away from the main cast but could mingle if they wanted to.

In the photo - the kids in blue, the mice and the monkeys are main cast, in the rest of the film too. The rest of the animals - just that scene. My three were also in a scene shot the previous day (just luck) although difficult child 3 was being totally uncooperative and lying down on the stage instead of "listening to the director" for a bit where they were supposed to be in the background, when Toni Collette's character arrives to deliver her son's costume.

The emails are flying thick and fast, form the other "animals" and their mothers. We've lost touch with the other giraffe - she's another professional stiltwalker who gave up some professional work to do the gig. She has a longer face than easy child 2/difficult child 2. The costumes were really amazing - they had to look like something a good amateur production would use, but they are very inventive.

Gotta dash - time to go see the neurologist.



call 911........call 911
WOW real MOVIE STARS right here in our own family!

-Send the autographed 8x10's to me will ya?

Congratulations of enormous proportions - and what a worthwhile film topic!

- That should look good on a resume later in life!

Thanks for sharing -

Marg's Man

Gotta brag,

We HAVE autographed 8x10's... from the main cast.

PLUS I've just discovered that Luke Ford (who plays 'Charlie', the difficult child) is the third "Mummy" movie as the grown up son of Brendan Fraser's character.

Also (we didn't know this at the time) but Gemma Ward is one of Vogue's top models as well a fine actress.

This turning into something bigger than 'Ben Hur'.

Marg's Man