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InicioTechnologySpotlight Interview: Katherine Waddell Discusses Her Work On Balloon Animal

Spotlight Interview: Katherine Waddell Discusses Her Work On Balloon Animal

Spotlight is a series of ComingSoon interviews with obscure and/or up-and-coming talents in the TV and film world. Our goal is to draw attention to the various positions that make the entertainment you love possible, rather than focusing solely on actors and directors.

Jeff Ames of ComingSoon spoke with actress Katherine Waddell about her work on Balloon Animalwhich starred Carla Alfonso-Smith, Tyler Beth Anderson and Danielle Baez.

Katherine Waddell is a talented actress and producer. She is best known for her work as an actress and co-executive producer on the acclaimed indie film. Dinner in Americawhich premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Katherine recently completed a feature Balloon Animalfor which she plays the lead character Poppy in this coming-of-age movie in which a girl makes balloon animals in a traveling circus filmed entirely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Geoff Ames: What inspired you to become an actress and producer on Balloon?

Katherine WaddellA: I was constantly attending events such as workshops, panels or networking parties where I could hear from other professionals for their advice or wisdom for the film industry. One phrase I heard over and over was to create work for yourself if you feel like you’re not being hired that often or are struggling to find roles. It was true for me (as it is for many actors) and one day I just decided to act on it. I kept thinking to myself, “OK, if I was going to make a movie just for myself, what would I want to do? What haven’t I done before?» I wanted to realize myself as a creative person while also trying to help my career.

I knew that my creative partner Em Johnson, a director and screenwriter, was also struggling to find work. It made sense for me to go to her and work on this film together. I just had a vision of a girl with blue hair making balloon animals in a traveling circus. From that moment on, we started working together from the very beginning to make Balloon Animal a reality. This included producing and playing the lead actress, as well as her writing and directing.

What was it about Balloon Animal that made you want to work on it?

It was all about what worked for Em and me as creative partners. We finally wanted to experience the relief (and excitement) of being able to work on a film that was important to us and could showcase our strengths. I knew I wanted to play a strong female character that would resonate with a lot of people, and having blue hair was a definite bonus! We wanted to film a piece of life turned upside down.

Not only that, but we felt Balloon Animal was the perfect starting point for our production company, First Bloom Films. The film is female-led on screen, full of female characters, and perfect for us to promote a diverse life that we weren’t used to at the moment. It really is a film where all our hard work can lead to something beautiful.

What was the most difficult part of Balloon Animal and how did you manage it?

Honestly, and I’m sure it’s not a surprise, but COVID-19 has been the biggest challenge! This led to a lot of problems, such as having to delay the film twice (which meant we constantly had to hire new people as there were scheduling conflicts), having to redo the script so there were fewer people, having to redo it to make sure the budget was in line with COVID protocol, and much more. We were also apparently working in a completely new work environment: we had to keep our distance, wear masks, test frequently and self-isolate.

It’s the norm now, but in early 2021, when we were filming, vaccines were just starting to roll out, so it was still unreliable. It has proven to be a challenge at this point, but I don’t think it has dampened our ability to put out an amazing film with an amazing team. Everyone really came together to make the film successful and successful. We just tried our best to hit and turn around as needed!

Do you have any funny behind-the-scenes stories about the making of Balloon Animal?

To be honest, our producers Monica O’Hara, Ruvi Leider and Ben Plotkin really took care of us with nightly In-N-Outs, tacos, a coffee van and other great snacks. There’s something to be said for delicious food on set that can totally brighten up your day. It would be best to break away from the long stage and be able to eat a hamburger or have an unusual delicious coffee late in the evening. These little gestures mean a lot to me when I’m tired and looking for an uplifting mood.

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What things you learned from Balloon Animal are you excited to apply to your future endeavors?

To be honest, any new kit I work on is an opportunity to learn and apply it to my next endeavor, especially since it was our company’s first official feature. As lead actress, executive producer and founder of the production company behind Balloon Animal, my eyes and ears were almost glued to the ground, catching any feedback in the hope of learning as much as possible about how we can grow as a company or how I can grow as a leader in the industry. This even extends to growth as an actress! Learning is the work of a lifetime.

Do you have any other projects that you could share with us?

Em and I are currently working on a script called Kismet. This is a thriller about a young woman named Jerry who, in a desperate quest to create a new identity, joins the world of multi-level marketing. We’re very excited about this and what it could mean for us as creatives and as the next film for First Bloom Films.

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