oscars speech
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Speech, speech … as awards season makes way for pilot season

What a great start to the year here in Hollywood. I wonder what clever person decided to make the beginning of the year Awards Season. In Australia January is the peak of the school (summer) holidays and February marks the big thud: back to reality. The reality and realisation that all that eating and drinking every day over summer has paid the price—on your butt, thighs, stomach or worse all three. That’s why FebFast was invented—a great cause to stop drinking for and help shed the excesses as an added bonus.

If you’re following me fervently (which I hope you are) then you’ll know I was in Sydney for January. One of my friends was talking about doing FebFast and another was trying to get me to start a 30-day cleanse in February. Not a chance! Not with awards season here there’s no time to give up drinking, it’s basically 4-6 weeks of parties.

I was lucky enough to go to two awards nights (depending on how you look at it): The ACE (American Cinema Editors) Eddie Awards and the ASC (American Society of Cinematographers) Awards. Like getting to know and understand the role of sound and colour in films I never really stopped to think about editors and cinematographers. One stat we were told at the ACE awards (if you remember) was one six-second car chase was edited from some 30 hours of raw footage. I always knew Cinematographers were clever but didn’t realise the importance of colouring to complement this process. I do now.

But with the number of different awards shows the big three are the Golden Globes, BAFTAs and the Oscars. This year Mr H’s company had two best picture nods: Whiplash (for which they did the sound–congratulations Ben Wilkins & Craig Mann) and Birdman (for which they did, among other things, the colouring–congratulations Steve Scott). And we were rewarded appropriately: with the big ‘O’! No, not Oprah… Oscar.  (Oh, and by the way, thanks Ben for sharing your Oscar & BAFTA with me even if it was just for a few precious minutes).

Let me tell you that Oscar is heavy; it’s pretty solid. Here’s a pic of me and Oscar:



Here’s one of me and the highly impressive (& heavy) BAFTA:



And here’s one with me, barely able to hold both of them for fear of breaking them:



I’m not weighing into the debate but obviously a lot was said about the shunning of the “African Americans” and in particular Selma (speaking of Oprah). Can’t any minority group say that? Big budget v small budget; black v white; haves v have-nots. This year the Academy definitely had its hat turned to those with not as much money as others yet made well-produced and engaging movies. It’s so nice that small budget films are being recognised.

Anyway, I posted my “brush with Osc and BAFT” pics on the regular channels and a few people called for my acceptance speech. What a great idea for a blog post. Absolutely I can do that.

My acceptance speech

Talk about pressure. Well I didn’t know where to start. For someone who’s somewhat opinionated I am lost for words. I’ve got the stage, my 50/60 seconds with the whole world watching (hopefully) but no idea where to start. How can this be? What are my options?

Well there’s the obvious one: thank God, mum & dad for all they did for me, my husband and kids and thanks to blah and blah for believing in me and helping me along this journey to get where I am today.

But I want more than that so what’s option two?

The statement speech or the watercooler speech. Perhaps that should be upgraded to the what-gets-social-media-talking speech. Well I’m not that politically minded, I’m not particularly passionate about anything in particular and I don’t really have any great pearls of wisdom to share (like JK Simmons this year–congrats–or Matthew McConaughey or Jared Leto last year) so I guess I won’t be one of those “talked about” speeches either.

So I thought I’d go for option three, tell a story.

Once upon a time there was a man and a woman. One grew up in a working class town in South Wales, the other in a small farming town in the Philippines—you couldn’t get more different people from such different walks of lives. Through fate they met and a year or so later they had a daughter. Then in another twist of fate they moved to Australia following an idea he had that they didn’t want to bring their kids up in Wales or the Philippines.

Fast forward a number of years (and moves) later and in a (not-at-all-sleazy) nightclub in Melbourne, this boy walks up to me who says he’s seen me around (haven’t they all?). After a tumultuous six years we married, moved to Sydney and had two amazing babies. We have pretty much always been happy: we’ve got great friends, generally have lots of fun, have had some great opportunities thrown our way and our parents set us up with some good values. We like to think we are aware of others and do the right thing by people but we’re not perfect (thank God!).

So imagine in the middle of your fun-filled life in one of the world’s most beautiful spots (Jervis Bay Australia), you get a call asking if you want to move to Hollywood. Seriously? What are you doing to me? I’m home and happy, the kids are happy and settled in fantastic schools with great friends and you want to uproot me?

It seems fate had a different plan to mine and if I’m up for the ride it’s mine for the taking.

{music starts playing}

Wait. Thankyou fate. Thank you for throwing me curve balls in my sometimes-over-planned life. Thanks for challenging me to put myself in different situations to see what I’ll do with them. And fate, without you, I wouldn’t be standing here today.

I believe in fate and all it has to serve up. Bring on more amazing Hollywood moments. And I welcome any offers now that pilot season has kicked off.

Thank you.

xx it Started in LA xx


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