We had the good fortune of connecting with Melissa Torrey and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Melissa, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.
Creating makes me happy…getting what’s in my head out on some kind of visual canvas makes me happy…having at least one person connect with something I’ve created makes me happy because it lets me know that the reality of my unique experience and how it manifests itself in my creations is real. I don’t need validation that my creation is good, just that it’s real and exists beyond the boundaries of my own mind. For me, creating is akin to baring one’s soul; the part of the soul that can only be seen if the person chooses to reveal it.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I consider myself a visual story/emotion-teller because that’s what really interests me about the human experience. What is that person’s story; what have been their life experiences; and most importantly, how did they feel about all of it? And to me, nothing tells a story and gets to the heart of an emotion like a moving visual.

We all have hundreds of stories we could tell about ourselves and I like creating the opportunity for people to do that, which is why my passion is for creating documentaries of various lengths and subjects. I’ve met so many people, some whose lives may seem uneventful to most on the surface, but who actually have intriguing stories that deserve to be told.

I also do other visual work, such as music videos, weddings, event recaps, training videos, and promotional videos. During the pandemic I started creating shorts using only stock footage to tell various stories to post on IG, which is a fun challenge because I had to weave together random clips into a cohesive story.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Atlanta is a great place to visit and certainly has a ton of tourist places, so if someone was inclined to visit the staple places, I would suggest they get the city pass and visit the museums and other venues on the list. But if MY best friend visited Atlanta, we would likely avoid those places and instead tap into the parts of the city that are more “lived in”. Like Little 5 Points, East Atlanta Village, the Auburn Ave/Edgewood area. Other popular places like Atlantic Station and Lenox Mall are pretty, but you don’t feel the heart and soul of the city when you’re there.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to dedicate this Shoutout to my late aunt Debra K. Cobb. She bought me my very first video camera when I was in the 5th grade and my passion for creating has only grown since then. I still have that camera…

Instagram: @svnty8visuals

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