Born and raised in Saint John New Brunswick, making movies was never something Rob Parsons thought he could do. Growing up in a low-income single parent home watching movies was his escape. Making them seemed like an unattainable dream.
Having a childhood filled with mocking and laughs from his peers because his sister has cerebral palsy he found when he wasn’t in school defending her he could forget the world around him with a good flick. His sister was his first real inspiration as the family was told she would never walk nor live past ten. She is still alive and walks with purpose every day.
He began his professional career as a call centre employee in 2001. After floating around a few odd jobs he found something he was good at, and kind of enjoyed. His bills were paid, there was a little extra money, things were looking good.
It wasn’t until much later when he realized that his love of story telling is in fact something he could translate into the world of making films.
When his son Declan was born, he found the next person who would inspire by defeating the odds. The joy of being a new parent was quickly dashed by every new parents worst fears, complications. After his son was born he was immediately flown to another province where it was deemed he would need numerous surgeries and be hospital bound for the first half of his first year. The only thing Rob knew for sure his whole life was that he wanted to be a father, now he was. That first year was as trying as you can imagine. But again, while his son lay with tubes and lines consuming him as he slept, Rob would pull out his portable DVD player watch his favourite movies.
To keep his family up to date on all of his sons surgeries and happenings Rob began writing a blog. It was far too expensive to call everyone so every night he would write a blog and family members could read the updates at their leisure. This is when something happened that would change Rob’s path in life.
Every time he updated his blog he would get e-mails and comments from people saying things like “Glad Declan is doing well, you should really write something” or “You made me laugh & cry, do you write anything else”. Some of these comments were from complete strangers. Never having a story to tell he simply went through the motions. It wasn’t until Declan was finally able to live at home that Rob realized he did have a story to tell. So he sat down and began writing, and that script was “Calling” his first feature film.
When he first started to tell friends and co-workers that he wrote a movie he was initially met with cynicism, laughs and doubt. But after a couple of people said they were in (Julius Malco, Jason Butts and Guillaume Dauphinais) and would help make it however they could. Rob decided to cut the naysayers from his life, and use their skepticism as the backbone to his philosophy of making movies: Go ahead and laugh, we’re going to do it anyway. Let em Laugh productions was born out of those people who panned his idea as ridiculous.
With the zero funded “Calling” he acted as the co-director along side Jared Burt, but he knew that for his next project he wanted to helm it from the get go. Just as they were wrapping up postproduction he began writing his second full-length feature “The Divorce”. Again out to prove himself he assembled a team largely made up of the same folks from “Calling”.
This time however he wanted to take it to the next level. He wanted to write and direct a feature film that was an homage to the province he grew up in. This movie was “The Divorce” and In June of 2013 they began filming and by May of 2014 they had their first working cut of the film.
Having lost his job at the call centre after being told to choose between his passion of making movies or representing the company to the fullest, he is now fully invested in his dream of telling stories. With complete support from his better half Tracey and two-step sons who drive his passion even further, Rob is now living his dream. Shooting corporate videos, editing jobs, conversion work, while writing and making movies. In the summer of 2014 he acted as the 1st assistant director for a third full length movie shot in Hampton NB which he also did some colour grading for.
He finally found his passion, what he loves to do, and the kind of people he wants to be around. All because his son, and his sister showed him that no matter what the travail life throws at you, anything is possible.