Local filmmaker goes from blockade to backstage

ROCKING TIME: Scene from the filming of RocKwiz Backstage at Bluesfest with host Julia Zemiro. Local sound recordist Darmin Cameron (centre) worked on set.
ROCKING TIME: Scene from the filming of RocKwiz Backstage at Bluesfest with host Julia Zemiro. Local sound recordist Darmin Cameron (centre) worked on set.

RUBBING shoulders with Knitting Nannas at Bentley one day, and the next hanging out with Michael Franti at Bluesfest.

Local sound recordist and filmmaker Darmin Cameron had a very unique Easter in 2014.

While documenting the Bentley Blockade for his production company, Peppercorn Project, Mr Cameron was whizzed over to Byron to help make SBS's RocKwiz Backstage at Bluesfest doco, and then once the show was over, went right back to Bentley.

The RocKwiz doco, hosted by Melbourne country muso Henry Wagons, will screen for the second time on SBS this Saturday, while the Peppercorn Project Bentley documentary series is available on YouTube.

Mr Cameron said one his personal Bluesfest highlights was standing a metre away from Michael Franti rehearsing his latest hit with Vika and Linda Bull doing harmonies.

Another was being on stage with KC from KC and the Sunshine Band - who personally shook his hand in front of 5000 people during his encore.

Then there was the backstage experience - which included "seeing Elvis Costello and Boz Scaggs doing their hair", and "ten or so living blues legends in the corner having a jam".

"It really is a different world backstage a real privilege to witness," he reflected.

But without any disrespect to the legendary festival, Mr Cameron said being at Bentley was more profound.

"Bentley touched my heart in a deeper way," he said.

"Bluesfest could change a person's life for a weekend. Bentley changed people's lives forever."

Mr Cameron confessed he wasn't very "activated" about the gas issue before Bentley, but being at the blockade opened his eyes.

"Because we were making films we had to do a massive amount of research," he said.

"This included talking to Lock the Gate, and consulting mining industry reports to try to get both sides of the story."

The conclusion: gas didn't seem like a good idea.

Comparing Bluesfest and Bentley helped him realise the value of community engagement above raw hedonism, he said.

"A deeper meaning in life is being engaged in the community; trying to make positive social change definitely feeds the soul," he said.

"A lot more than dancing around to a rock band."

Topics:  bentley blockade bluesfest

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