New York, USA
Explorer & Filmmaker from New York, USA
In all of Trevor Wallace’s adventures, he is constantly humbled by the places he sees and the people he meets. One of Trevor’s early experiences harnessing film to power his storytelling came through mentorship from Students on Ice educator Alex Taylor, while on his 2009 Youth Expedition to Antarctica. Since then, Trevor has travelled the globe with nothing but his camera, two feet, and a heartbeat. After finishing his Masters Degree in Education, Trevor hopes his next project will include exploring the Altai Mountains in Central Asia.
The Expedition Experience
Trevor’s expedition changed everything for him. Capturing the Antarctic journey on film, with the support of inspiring mentors and educators, was a transformative process. Trevor’s memories from his two-week expedition remain crystal clear. Activities and lectures punctuated interactions with the incredible biodiversity in Antarctic ecosystems, opening Trevor’s mind to new perspectives regarding his place on the planet.
“To see it with my own eyes it really changed things for me, and enabled me to be a storyteller on a different level because I had experienced it.”
Realizing Goals and Ambitions
Trevor credits his Students on Ice expedition with fuelling his interest in documentary filmmaking, and kick-starting his career. A video Trevor put together of his Antarctic expedition was screened at the Explorers Club in New York City, catching the attention of the Club’s journal editor. This connection led Trevor to complete numerous video productions, while entering a network of professionals in his dream fields of film and exploration.
"After SOI I was really interested in focusing on the crossover between ecology and development. I ended up building my thesis around hydro dams in Nepal. I received a grant to go to different rural parts of Nepal. Seeing Geoff in action and seeing how the SOI expedition was planned I was able to piece together my own expedition."
Making a Difference
Trevor realises the value of effective storytelling. For example, two of his team members are investigating traditional medicines used by the tribes in the Sarawak rainforests in Borneo, claiming there are potential compounds that could cure leukaemia. In addition to searching for those substances, Trevor will document the local peoples’ resistance to large scale development projects in an effort to spark action. This is just one way he uses his experiences abroad, and his filmmaking skills, to make a difference.
“Being comfortable is what perpetuates the way the world is. There are many wonderful things about the world, but that trip to Tanzania (with the Jane Goodall foundation to study conservation) proved to me that we need to change things.”
Trevor is still cultivating his interest in documenting the human impact from interactions of ecology and development. While researching for his upcoming expedition to the Arctic creating a documentary about Inuit culture and Arctic wildlife, he tells us he feels pulled to stories that take place on the last frontiers and in remote communities, because they provide us with opportunities to be reflective. Instead of mindlessly charging forward with development, these films provide new perspectives on community-led victories.
"There's that inner voice that tells you that you that you can't do things; 'Oh I don't have the money', and you see people around you and think you don't have the expertise, the experience, the connections to pull this off, and I'm not the right person, someone else should be doing this. Time and time again I see that persistence and trying is worthwhile. I try to turn off that self doubt a little bit. Going for it, even if the odds seem stacked against you, as long as it's bold and meaningful and is working for something positive and good, no one can stop you."
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