Not everyone can tell you how to get down that seemingly-impassable cliff to the little black sand beach and how to make it from 10th Avenue to the Financial District to Astoria at 3 AM if the L is broken and the 6 is running express-- Terra can, barefoot or in black heels. Born in the mountains of Washington State, came of age on the beaches of Maui, and educated in New York City, Terra Joy McNerthney is an adaptable, creative, and motivated filmmaker. She specializes in directing, writing, and production design, and is capable in many other fields. She is currently a junior at New York University Tisch School of the Arts, majoring in Film and Television
Terra spent the first ten years of her life in an octagonal log cabin in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. Homeschooled, she learned fractions from cooking and taught herself to read and write at 4 years old. When she decided she wanted to go to school, she moved with her parents to Maui, Hawaii. In her first year of school - 6th grade - she also got her first taste of directing when she wrote and directed a short sci-fi play for a middle school showcase. As well as theater, she bacame active in dance. During high school, her interest in ballet eventually culminated in six months at the pre-professional ballet school Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Terra was always drawn to film -- for her 7th grade “career dress-up day,” she was a movie director, not in a shiny dress and boa but in rolled-up jeans, a t-shirt, and a clipboard. After graduating magna cum laude from King Kekaulike High School, she moved to New York City to attend NYU, and rapidly fell in love with the collaboration and passion unique to filmmaking.
Terra has directed 7 short films, including several on 16mm black-and-white reversal film. In 2010, she was first assistant director on the short The Price of Silence; submitted to Campus Movie Fest, the film won regional Best Film and was nominated for international Best Drama and Best Film. She has held two art department internships for the features Twelve and Gun Hill Road, worked in a variety of crew positions on over twenty films, and served as production designer on 5. She is currently in pre-production for New York Below, a short about a high school teacher in a society where everyone is content because no one is curious. In the rare moments she is not making movies, Terra enjoys watching ballet and rock concerts — but never together.