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Documenting Darwin – Jacob Hazeldine

City of Darwin’s LAUNCHmedia team have been busy of late, popping up at Darwin Pride Festival, Darwin International Film Festival, GeeCon and a multitude of other events. Off The Leash caught up with three team members who are using social media to share their creative talents and tell local stories.

Jacob Hazeldine doesn’t hesitate to name the Territory as the location he’ll turn his lens to after graduating from a bachelor degree in film and television.

The Darwin-born 20-year-old has spent the last few years studying at Bond University on the Gold Coast but believes the NT has a multitude of stories yet to be told on film.

“Darwin’s my home and I feel a real connection with the place. I really want to tell Territory stories through film and the skills I’ve been developing over the last few years,” he says.

“I really want to make it work. That’s my focus, northbound for the immediate future.”

Hazeldine has already been telling  local stories of a different sort, through his other love, photography. He joined the Darwin City Council’s Launch media team and quickly made his mark documenting events like the Pride March, which he captured with vivid colour and imagination.

“That was just amazing to see such a display on Mitchell Street. The most people I’ve seen at once in the city, there was a lot to take photos of.”

Mixing up old film skills with new, Hazeldine has taken to using “an old Nikon 3mm film camera from the 70s”, getting the negatives digitised into high-resolution scans, and then editing them.

It’s this sort of attention to detail  that drives the aspiring director in his filmmaking too.

“You wouldn’t put yourself through that much stress if you didn’t have to,” he says.

The former Casuarina Senior College student says he might not be so driven if it wasn’t for an early  success that confirmed his passion for the craft.

When he was in Year 11, Hazeldine and a friend won a small grant to shoot a short horror film set in Brown’s Mart. It went on to win the people’s choice award at the (now-defunct) Fist Full of Films Festival.

“That was probably the inciting incident,” he says.

“With any kind of creative person, the only thing that stops people is a lack of encouragement and people believing in them. Once you believe in yourself, you’re able to pursue the path that you want to –  if you believe that you can do it."

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