Then I became pregnant and had my first child which brought my whole life with movies together…

Cine Mini began when my daughter turned 1 and we could no longer go to ‘big scream’ at our local picture house. I was gutted our regular cinema trips were going to come to an end. I was anxious about taking her to a ‘normal’ screening just incase she kicked off or wouldn’t sit still. I dreaded the thought of someone shushing us or asking us to leave. It made me wonder if there was something I could do about this? What if I could create a place for parents to watch movies with their kids where they felt welcomed and relaxed? I mentioned the idea to my husband and he encouraged me to start writing ideas down. Cine Mini started to become alive and it was really exciting! What if I could change family cinema forever? It’s a big aspiration but one I feel passionately about.

My love of family movies came way before having my own family. It started when I was a child. I have so many great memories of being together as a family watching movies at the cinema and at home. I remember Saturday nights when my mum or dad would drive us to a our local town and we would order pizza or fish a chips from the takeaway place and while it was being prepared go to blockbusters and pick a movie for all of us to watch. My siblings and I would spend time looking at all the video boxes on the shelves and then have to find a way to choose together! Sometimes this could take ages. I do miss exploring shelves of movies, lists on iTunes or Netflix just aren’t the same. Weekend mornings where another classic movie time in our house. Me, my sister and brother would be up early but we weren’t allowed to wake up our parents so we’d go downstairs and sneak into the chocolate and biscuit drawer (we knew exactly how to quietly open the door and carefully pull the treats out with no noise) and then put on a movie. We’d watch our favourite movies over and over to the point we could sing all the word to the songs and repeat all the lines in the movies. Some of our favourites where Aladdin, Grease, Benji and Princess Bride. We still quote lines to each other today! Cinema trips were also a regular way to spend time together, we would go to the local Showcase and eat at TGI Fridays. Our family playdates started from my first memories well into my teens. I totally believe families which play together stay together and for us movies were a big part of that.

This relationship with films lead me into a career in the film industry. I started as a runner in the art department straight out of uni and then progressed up to an Art Director, Set Decorator and Production designer. I then moved into learning about how movies are put together and became an Assistant Producer. I have been lucky enough to work on a whole range of movies including BAFTA and Oscar winning ones. Then I became pregnant and had my first child which brought my whole life with movies together.

I love the time my daughter and I spend together watching movies. We have made Cine Mini together, she is my muse and little business partner. She has joined me at every meeting, pitch and event. I have had no childcare up until she recently started school so we were in it together. I love that she now comes up with her own ideas and suggestions. We have also been joined by other mothers and their Cine Mini’s who have helped shape and create Cine Mini. So far we have created 4 pop-up, 2 cinema events and we are about to launch our ‘Play with Movies at Home’ mission.

Chat more soon!

Mell x