Black Balloon update

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Marguerite, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Hi everyone - I got some emails from some of the other mums whose kids were associated with this film. There was a really good newspaper article on Australia Day (last Saturday) and here is the link:,25197,23091032-15803,00.html

    To re-cap - "The Black Balloon" is a film about growing up with a profoundly autistic brother; a coming of age film. Contrary to how it sounds, it is NOT a re-make of "Gilbert Grape". All through the story, the younger 'normal' brother is rejecting any ties to his older autistic brother, he finds him embarrassing and wishes he didn't have a brother at all. The mother is played by Toni Collette. But when the mother becomes ill due to complications in her latest pregnancy, the boy has to step up to the plate and help. His brother is rehearsing for a school musical production of Noah's Ark and a lot of work is going into it. Meanwhile the boy is discovering love for the first time (a young model called Gemma Ward) and she teaches him to swim (filmed, it turned out, an a lovely lagoon very near to where we live).

    The final scenes of the film revolve around this production of Noah's Ark in which our kids were in. They put out a call through the autism networks asking for autistic kids and their siblings willing to be in a "bit of a movie". We had no idea it was going to be big. They went to a great deal of trouble to rehearse the kids well and put in every possible character detail. difficult child 3 played Noah. easy child 2/difficult child 2 put her one metre high stilts on to play a giraffe and difficult child 1 played a psychotic rainbow lorikeet (in rehearsed fight scenes with the other lorikeet). The kids all had a ball, loved the whole thing and only right at the end did they realise that this was BIG.

    The Australian release is March 6. It's also heading off one section of the Berlin Film Festival later this month.

    And I'm going to drive you all NUTS with every update. We can't wait to see it.

    They also filmed the kids for a "making of..." DVD feature, they interviewed my three along with the rest.

    Somewhere on the web is the movie trailer. I think I posted it already, in an earlier thread.

    The publicity machine is hotting up...

  2. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    OK, I want to see this........but since I seldom watch anything, I am prolly gonna need to be reminded when it gets I hope you DO keep updateing us!!!!
  3. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    thanks for the update.....I'll keep my eyes open for THE BLACK BALLOON........(find if I write it down I'll remember it)..........glad it was such a good experience for your kids.......
  4. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    So should we all be on the lookout for you and the kiddos all gussied up at a premier or awards show???

    Definately keep us updated! I think you mentioned this before but do you know if it will be shown in the States? I'll have to go see it with a crib sheet of who is who in the movie!

    Congratulations to you and to the kiddos! Great job!!!
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911


    It's nice to get a just NICE post from everyone once in a while - and I guess this is YOUR while. lol

    Keep us updated on the movie and your little celebs.

    Congratulations to you all

  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    mstang, I doubt VERY much that you'll see us at awards nights! Although one of the other mums (her son was a lion) is wondering if we can ask if our kids can go to the premiere. I told her to not expect too much, the PR machine won't want our kids taking ANY attention away from the main attractions. PR-wise, these things are organised to every last fine detail and difficult children tend to be extremely random.

    I can just picture it - difficult child 3 had no idea who Toni Collette is, he still only has a vague notion. And none of the kids recognised the other stars in the movie. I, on the other hand, was walking around wondering whether to totally ignore them (give them their 'space') or rush over and ask for an autograph.

    As it was, the kids got a personal autograph each from Toni Collette and Gemma Ward (Toni Collette was very complimentary to difficult child 3 for his patience with repeated takes, and for ALWAYS being right 'on the mark' each time) and they also got a baseball cap with the movie logo, and later on they posted us the big glossy photo they took of the whole cast, with autographs again. Because we had three kids in it, we have three photos. That photo is on the MySpace page set up for the movie (I posted in an earlier thread with the link, but you would need to be registered on MySpace to get it). difficult child 3 is sitting right at the front in that photo. It's hard to distinguish the others - you can in our larger photo, but the thumbnail on the computer is harder.

    It seems we're in countdown mode now, with the Berlin Film Festival now so close. We're on tenterhooks to see how it's received there.

    And yes, it should get a US cinema release, we were told. Not sure - it does have Aussie accents throughout, although none are too broad. But the colours in the film, the detail in subtle ways - it will be a bright, colourful film. And the detail on autism - very accurate indeed. It's a film to show people who need to get a better understanding.