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Peter Young; Cinephile

Peter Young; Cinephile

“Overall, between streaming and DVDs and the cinema, my count so far this year… I think I've seen close to 200 films,” said local physiotherapist and cinephile Peter Young, who couldn’t give me an exact figure only because he’d left his movie diary in the car when we met up for a chat.

“I love the cinema. I love all sorts of films. It is just the chance to go to another world for two hours and who wouldn't want to do that? Who wouldn't want to step away from their life and step into someone else’s shoes for a couple of hours? It is such a wonderful experience!

“I've just come back from my annual pilgrimage to the Sydney Film Festival where I sat through eight films in three days, which is quite the experience! So, film literally back-to-back all day, but I love it!

Peter’s obsession with film goes all the way back to his childhood in north western Sydney and memories of his grandmother taking him to weekend movies.

“Yeah, back in the early 80s my grandmother used to take me to the movies all the time. She would take me to the Roxy at Paramatta — which is not there anymore. Or she'd take me to films at the Parramatta Town Hall, I distinctly remember her taking me to Alby Mangles films at the Town Hall,” said Peter, who also spent a bit of time in front of the camera himself during his younger years.

“For a while there I worked as a child actor, between primary school and university year, and did TV shows and commercials and all that sort of stuff,” he said.

“I lived at the ABC practically for years doing all their kids shows. I’ve done runs on Home and Away, did lots of theatre, lots of TV commercials for McDonalds and Watties and quite a lot of American ads when they used to come to Australia and film ads for cheap because of the exchange rate.”

In one surreal moment, Peter said he was at Olympic Park during the 2000 Sydney Olympics when he spotted old footage of himself in a new McDonalds ad.

“I looked up at the Screen and there's a McDonalds ad and then my face popped up on this huge screen… so that got me paid again, it was lucky I was there if I hadn't seen it and hadn’t said anything I would have got nothing!”

Peter’s interest in the performing arts and filmmaking lead him to study film directing at the National Institute for Dramatic Arts (NIDA) and then screenwriting at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS), on top of gaining qualifications as a physiotherapist.

“My parents were far from being stage parents— far from it! They were supportive, but I think they are very glad that I got a 'real' profession as it were,” said Peter, who continues to write screenplays and is in the middle of directing a local theatre production.

“I love my job, but I really love producing work and writing work. I studied television writing and that is where my heart lies, particularly comedy/drama, that's where I would like to go.”

Peter is also actively involved with the Orange Film Society as their publicity officer and talks movies on a regular local radio segment.

And as you might expect, his home cinema set-up and movie library is quite impressive.

“I've got more DVDs and Blu-rays than I know what to do with! DVDs would be in the thousands and Blu-ray would be in the several, several hundreds,” he said.

“There is a point where you have to stop and I'm at that point now; unless I truly love a film or it’s in 3D—because I have the 3D setup at home— I'm trying not to buy any more, because eventually it would be more discs than space to live!

“But I still like going to the movies too. I still like the big screen. I like the surround sound. I like that communal experience where everyone is enjoying the film and you get that reaction. I just really enjoy it and that is different to being one or two people watching a movie at home.”

The Orange Film Society screen movies at the Odeon 5 Cinema every month. Visit orangefilmsociety.com or find them on Facebook.

Liam O’Brien - People of O-Town

Liam O’Brien - People of O-Town

Making a difference in the real world

Making a difference in the real world