“The Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship program is an excellent example of philanthropy focused on fostering a vibrant and creative community here in Indianapolis.”
C. Thomas Lewis’ renewal process centered around his passion for filmmaking and the environment, this time in three virgin forests of Indiana: Donaldson’s Woods at Spring Mill State Park, Wesselman Nature Preserve in Evansville, and Meltzer Woods in Shelbyville. The goal of shooting films in the selected forests was to create a range of material for various venues, like the internet, galleries, and movie theaters. For Lewis, these films “will invite audiences to experience the sights and sounds of the forests and hopefully foster an appreciation for these pristine places that somehow have managed to escape the axe.” Lewis kept his working methods loose and spontaneous for this project. He explains, “I walked through the forest and found particular moments and vantage points that revealed themselves in the moment, unlike a conventional film production where every minute and location are completely pre-planned.”
Several important outcomes resulted from this new work. For example, the film shot at Wesselman will be permanently on display at the Wesselman Nature Preserve. He has also been invited to present the work in a gallery space at Herron School of Art and Design in the spring of 2017. However, the effort put into finding the right shot is where Lewis felt he really grew. He says, “trying to open my eyes to finding those vantage points that make a shot work required consciously developing a visual strategy that would make a shot a satisfying visual experience.” Though this might seem specific to the project, Lewis feels he will be applying this new knowledge to his creative process in all future film work.