Monday, February 15, 2010


I am having a tough time typing this. Party due to the fact that I am physically and emotionally exhausted, but also due to the fact that I am balling like a baby whist typing this (not to fret – they are happy tears).

I am pretty sure that I have not cried like this since Macaulay Culkin died in My Girl, or maybe when ET gets left behind by his people – either way, my tears are of epic proportions and it started when I was asked to say a few words before my screening…

Lets rewind a little to the beginning of my day… Started off normal in the sense that I got up, had breakfast and went to Park Road Post. Once I was there it was straight to the Mixing Room 3 (AMAZING) where Tim, Tim, Chris and Dave were getting all the different elements of sound for my movie ready to mix. Everyone knows that Park Post has all the state of the art equipment and is quite stunning in terms of architecture etc. What they don't tell you is that it may very well have the most comfortable couches in the world! I took full advantage of this, made a “nest” and proceeded to bark orders from what I self titled “Aya's Throne” for the remainder of the day. Why none of the guys did not slap me is beyond me…

Anyhow, it was very interesting to watch it all unfold. I have NEVER been in a sound mix before, let alone one for my own movie so it was a HUGE learning curve for me. SO interesting (I now have a new found appreciation for sound – these guys are INSANE). Tim, Tim, Chris and Dave built an entire world through sound and it is FANTASTIC. I was a little worried about today as both Tim and Kristi who had gone before me were very stressed on their final mix day as they said there was not enough time. Well, in typical Aya fashion, we were mixed and done an hour early (how does this keep happening?!). I had kept my “hissy fit” card in my back pocket to use for this very day and was slightly upset that I never got to use it (though Dave did say that I could throw the phone at him!)…

Trying to get the levels on the music right during the montage sequence...

Therefore we deiced to use the spare time for the benefit of everyone… we went and had some drinks (hurrah)! It was then that people started to arrive for the screening. Helen, Kate and Luke (who are in the movie) arrived first – it was so nice of them to be able to come and see the end product. It was then a flurry of activity as Park Road employees (ones that I have become quite fond of over these few days) as well as friends and everyone who worked on my movie arrived.

It was then into the theater and cue the water works! I started off quite chipper and then took a serious nose dive when I mentioned making movies with my dad as a kid and then moving onto wanting to direct so badly (sob sob) and then onto how I was almost about to give up when this opportunity arose (gushing tears at this point). From then I pretty much don't remember anything (convenient no?). I know that they rolled the movie and there was lots of giggling, laughing and reactions happening. Then I vaguely remember clapping and then someone saying “Again?” and then they rolled again. The lights then came up and people started talking to me and I had a silly smile on my face the entire time but again remember very little!

I think that Juliet said it best when “Its like giving birth to a baby and then having to leave it at the hospital” as the next thing I knew Jonno and Reiko were driving me back to my hotel. Jonno and Reiko are SO nice, they offered to take me out to dinner so as not to spend my last night alone in my hotel but I declined as to be honest, I am so tired that I wanted to pack and then sit and stare at the wall for an hour or so…

My packing is now done, I have written my final blog entry for the Your Big Break site and once I upload this I plan on hopping into bed and staring at the ceiling and re living each and every moment that has transpired since I heard the news that I was off to NZ to film “Sweet As” – what an adventure indeed!

There are SO many people who have contributed to get me here that I feel that it is important to give a little thank you shout out. The only thing that scares me here is that I am no doubt going to forget someone and that someone will probably be the most important person of them all… I am delirious at the moment so if you are that person, please no not take offence… be happy as you can remind me of what a horrid person I am and then I will write a whole blog entry on just you!! Hurrah!

Catherine and Jill thank you for your amazing support and patience – I know that there were times when you wanted me to stop coming up with “ideas” (at least expensive ones!) – thank you for never loosing your cool with me! James my calm, cheeky DP – thanks for sharing my vision and teaching me so many new things… your unyielding support and can do attitude was definitely what got us through those two crazy days! Joe my fearless AD – thanks for keeping us in check and for being tough when I needed to hear the truth and calm when I needed reassurance. Ken, what can I say? You are AMAZING and your ears must be ringing as each and every one of us (directors) cant stop talking in awe about you! Gary my sidekick production supervisor – thanks for going above and beyond with my movie, I know that I talk a lot and you had to be on the receiving end of most of that! Last but not least from Queenstown was my homeboy Daz – you crazy location manager you… thanks for introducing me to the best “burgers” in Queenstown and for making me laugh, cry, laugh some more. Even though you abandoned me on day 2, I still love you!!

Bare with me folks – Tony, every time I eat a snake, milk bottle, Jaffa or pineapple thingy I will always think of you. Thanks for keeping me high on sugar and for your constant positive energy! Jonno you film cutting, tea making, bass thumping extraodinair (sp?)! I could not have imagined a better editor, not to mention friend – thanks for taking care of me here in Welly and for making my movie what it is (fierce and fabulous!). Katie and Daizo, your graphics and Roto skills are a force to be reckoned with – thanks for being so kick ass! Matt, your coloring of my movie was truly like watching someone paint a beautiful picture – thanks for making it look so damn good! Alison, you mother hen you! Thanks for being such a great positive force of energy and for always looking out for me! Dave – wow wow wow, I am still thinking I will wake up and realize that it was all a dream… HOW THE HELL DID YOU COMPOSE THAT MUSIC, I am in awe of you and your talent and cannot thank you enough for all that you did for me (specially those damn trumpets – I LOVE THE TRUMPETS!). Tim, my sound effects man – you are so much more than that! Thanks for adding a little more humor and cheek to my movie, every time I hear a car horn, an egg timer, a cash register etc I will think of you! Chris, my amazing dialog man – thank you for doing such an amazing job with my dialogue, as I know it was not easy. Also your idea for the smooch was really the cherry on top – thank you! Juliet - I guess none of us would be here without you! Thanks for being so supportive and patient with my credits (I know I am a nutter!). Barrie Osborne - thanks for fighting the fight regarding granny and nannas homes, I got what I wanted and I think it made "Sweet As" what it is. Thank you for your time, your advice, your wisdom and guidance!

Back home there is also a troop of AMAZING people who picked up all my loose ends and made everything better while I was away so that I did not have to worry. Callie, OP, Uncle Todd and Justin – thank you so very much for loving and taking care of Little Pig. You know how precious he is to me and knowing that you guys were there to depend on was a lifesaver – I will never be able to repay you! Alia and Sabrina, my PR agent, my sisters, my babies Aunties - I am trying to think of a way that I can re pay you for all that you have done for me and it is going to take several life times - you guys are truly amazing, giving, generous, kind and I don't know what I have done to deserve you in my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Clio my translator you – thanks so much for re writing everything that I write in gibberish to make it sound professional and not like it has been written by a bi-polar person with a 2nd grade level of English! Marissa, Anna, Jessie - thanks for being my rocks! Can't imagine what a fruit cake I was like in NY but you guys were there for me. I love each and every one of you! Sarah and Jesse - you have championed me from the beginning - LETS GO MAKE FLAIR A REALITY! Carlo - my beloved work husband... your little notes and photos throughout this experience have really gotten me over some humps. Thanks for being so thoughtful! The DeVito's - you have been there for me through the good and the bad... thank you so much for all the love and support, I am getting you that damn Yankee season box if it kills me! Mardie my partner in crime, thanks for kicking me up the but and making me reach for the stars - I hope that I can hire you as my producer some day (soon!). Lucy my killer west coast rep - thanks for spreading the love!

Last but not least is my family. Mum is going to have to go to rehab starting tomorrow as she is a bonafied YBB and Aya Adventures addict. She has rallied behind me from when I was born and threatened everyone with horrible things if they did not vote for me in this competition… guess what mum – it worked! Thank you! In addition, thank you to my father who encourage me with such gems as “your eyes are in your heart like a Samurai”! The best sister in the world – Hana (possibly the most talented person I know – she can draw, animate, write, sing… ok well maybe not sing but sister has mad skillz as she was the killer animator behind “Sweet As” not to mention the fact that she replied to each and every freak out e mail I sent her way and talked me through everything over Skype… not only that she also made me a Your Big Break mix for those lonely moments in my hotel and I TOTALLY needed it)! My brother Taisuke who helped me upload my video (special needs Aya had trouble with it). My Aunt Rhonwin in Australia who diligently wrote me notes on my blog each and every day to keep me going and last but not least my beloved Ryan who has always supported and encouraged me to go after my dream even when it is not easy for him - thank you for allowing me to be me!


  1. Totally LURVE the bit to Ryan THAT WHAT I WANT - lucky you being you Stay Gurl OX The Aunt

  2. Wahhhhh.tears and the children are coming in from recess break..what to do ? what to do?
    This has been a splendid trip Aya.
    This is both the end and the beginning for you.
    What more can I say.
    Travel safely my dear. As always across the seas, Mem

  3. Congratulations for a job well done, Aya! I admire your perseverance, tenacity, people skills, your great attitude,incredible disposition, and your genuine desire to do the best you are capable of doing. Epito and I send our best wishes for the end of this adventure to become the best beginning you can ever dream of. Abrazos,

  4. Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelp, we need an update!!