By Chloe Kent

IT WAS a natural progression for Terry Melvin to move from stills to the moving image.

“I’ve been taking photos for many years, mainly nature photos.

“What set me on my way was some courses at ACMI in the city,” Terry began.

“A couple of weekends where they taught us how to make digital stories, which was basically bringing together still photos with music, and adding sound effects to tell a story.

“From there, I graduated into more serious videography, undertaking courses at RMIT and with private documentary makers.

“Since then, it’s been a self-educative process through YouTube and various other means to build my skills in terms of videography and the editing process.”

For Terry, his passion for photography started many years ago.

“I’ve always enjoyed the process of taking photos – I find it quite meditative. And I was really attracted to nature photography and macros.

“Walking through a particular environment, whether it’s the woodlands or beach – just paying attention to what’s around you on the ground or in the trees.

“It’s amazing what you can see when you do pay attention.”

Promoting local filmmakers as well as inviting people from outside, film festivals are a great place to showcase films, in particular buddying filmmakers’ works.

For individuals like Terry, it’s also an opportunity to promote stories that people are making through their films and raising awareness within the community.

“The last couple of films I’ve made, I’ve been involved in the woodland protest against the sand mining.

“I initially started down here during the AGL protests against the gas terminal near Hastings.

“I made a film about Western Port and the fragility of its environment.

“That naturally progressed to the woodlands and the impact of sand mining on the current woodlands and the proposed expansion of the sand mining which would have very severe, detrimental impacts on both the fauna and flora within
the region.

“Given that these are the only remaining coastal woodlands in the state, and in Bass Coast in particular nearly 95 per cent have already been cleared, I wanted to highlight the issue.

“The first film I made, The Cost of Sand, has been shown in a number of film festivals around the world, and received a number of awards.

“‘Walking in the Woodlands’ is a much lighter look at the issue.”

And what does Terry hope individuals will take away with them?

“I would hope that those who come and particularly those who may not be aware of the issue will go away with it.

“It’ll raise awareness about the importance of the environment at the present time, given everything that’s happening around us in the last couple of years with the fires and floods.

“I think the whole issue around the environment, environmental awareness, and what impacts our behaviour is having on what’s left.

“I think it’s such a crucial issue for us today.”