Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Oscars 2014: and the winner is...

I love the Oscars. And that’s not just because I work in the film industry, am a self-confessed movie geek or enjoy seeing all the gorgeous dresses sweeping down the red carpet—although all of that is true—it’s because I love the inspirational acceptance speeches. That’s my favourite part. I love hearing grown men and women talk so openly about their dreams, about believing in yourself and striving for the top. These are all things we're encouraged to talk about as children. Unfortunately, as we get older and real life responsibilities set in, we make compromises. We stop talking about our dreams and goals and focus on the practicalities of every day.

I was eight years old when I decided I wanted to work in the film industry. I had been blown away by Jurassic Park and was determined to be a part of movie-making magic. As I got older, my dream expanded. Not only would I work in film but I would also win an Oscar. My dreams were big, like most kids’ dreams are. Of course, when I went to University to pursue my goal of working in animation and VFX, I scaled down my expectations. I knew it was unlikely that I would ever win an Oscar, so I shifted my focus to working on great, award-winning films. I wasn’t giving up on my dream, but redefining it.

Throughout my career, I’ve been extremely lucky to work on films that have won awards. And although I’ve never been on that glittering Oscars’ stage, I’ve felt the overwhelming joy of being part of a team that brought an amazing film to life and had their efforts acknowledged by the Academy. I still think back to the 2010 Oscars where Avatar won Best Visual Effects and it’s one of the highlights of my life. I will always treasure that night.

When I watch the Oscars, I’m reminded that the desire to follow our dreams is something we should not grow out of. Whilst we might not achieve exactly what we dreamed of as kids, if we work hard, we’re likely to find something equally as satisfying. It's also wonderful to share in the excitement of other people's successes and hear their inspirational journeys. Last night, I particularly enjoyed Jared Leto’s acceptance speech as well as Lupita Nyong'o’s and Robert Lopez's and Kristin Anderson-Lopez’s. If you are ever doubting yourself and your dreams, you should check out their speeches to stay inspired and keep your dreams alive.

And the great thing is that we all have different dreams and paths to follow. As well as winning an Oscar, I’ve always wanted to be a published author. What about you? What are your dreams? How have they changed from when you were a kid? I'd love to hear in the comments.

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