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FLEFF Intern Voices

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view

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Posted by Erica Moriarty at 3:23PM
My Mind

Blog posting written by Erica Moriarty, Documentary Studies and Production '16, FLEFF Intern, Houston, Texas

This Sunday, March 3rd, FLEFF will kickoff at Cinemapolis with The Upstate Filmmaker's Showcase, including two pieces by Ithaca College’s very own Jason Harrington.

Jason Harrington is a professor in Cinema, Photography and the Media Arts. While obtaining his undergraduate degree in film, he discovered filmmaking as a way to combine his previous experience in other forms of art.

“I discovered the filmmaking process allows me to put all of what I’m doing with music, painting and sculpture and allows me to put them together. Filmmaking is just this composite medium that I can do everything together,” Jason said.

After realizing the amalgam of filmmaking, he began using more and more animation. At the showcase, he plans to show two of his older animated films, The Tree With the Lights in It and My Mind

Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek inspired Jason to create The Tree With the Lights in It. In the book, a chapter called Seeing stuck with him. The chapter discusses the different ways in which we learn to see and how what we learn influences what we see in the world. Specifically, the chapter uses a case study of people who have cataract surgery to see.

“There’s a line in the book where the doctor takes this girl’s bandages off and leads her into a garden. She sees the tree and she sees it as full of light. I love that image of the tree being filled with light. It struck me. Then, I went with the notion of the tree and took it a step further and made it about ancestry and perception,” described Jason.  

His other piece, My Mind, explores a poem he wrote while living in Queens in a tiny apartment. Living in such a giant metropolis, yet confined to this small space, he wanted to explore the concept of scale.  

Jason commented, “My Mind is about this butterfly girl who represents the imagination. She goes on this journey which basically illustrates how she can go anywhere she wants. With your mind you can go and do whatever you want. Otherwise, you’re grounded and stuck in the same place.”

He completely hand drew My Mind, using a crosshatch style. Despite the challenging work, he finally finished the film after three years. On the other hand, The Tree With the Lights in It took about a year, incorporating a layering technique focusing on movement, design, composition and texture.

Each piece represents FLEFF’s idea of mobilities in a unique way. How do you feel that Jason’s work incorporates the idea of mobility? 

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