Interview by Katie McDonough
Anthony Earabino is a senior film and video major from Walpole, Massachusetts. His photograph, Flowing River, will be featured in Visions 2016 at Fitchburg State University.
How did you come up with the name of your piece?
I panicked. I didn’t know you had to name your projects and I didn’t want to hand in an untitled photo. I decided to put the name of exactly what it is, Flowing River.
What was your vision for your piece?
This picture was part of a bigger series of flowing water. I didn’t have a long exposure yet and the water in all of my other photos was still, but in this one I wanted to show it moving. I decided to take a long exposure of the river, which is a one second exposure.
What techniques did you use when making your piece?
Like I said it was a longer exposure, so I had to keep the shutter open for longer than you would normally keep it open for a photo. That way it makes the water look like it’s moving, blurry, and flowing.
Describe your style as an artist in one word?
Lit. Photo is all about light. The way the light hits the silver halide crystals. That is what I strive for as an artist. Especially with film, it is all about the lighting. That is what makes the image interesting. If it is not lit properly I won’t look good.
What do you think matters most in your artwork?
With still photography, it is about getting everyone else to see the world the way you saw it for that moment. With film, it is all about making something interesting and new while entertaining them.
What is the most unusual piece you’ve thought of or created?
I would say “Happy Place” the advanced film we just created, which is also in visions. Happy place is an unusual piece because of how we presented the ideas and themes we express in the film. Not only that but also the ideas and themes themselves are unusual. Students tend to play it safe with the structure and narrative of their final films but we took a much riskier and interesting approach to our film in my opinion. People tend to want to do a typical three act Hollywood structure in their short films, and that tends to leave the audience with a story that feels formulaic and rushed and has underdeveloped characters. We chose to focus more on the character we were developing and less on the broad story arc. We focus on ideas like the duality of man, how our sense of self can be skewed by our own careless imagination, and how social pressures can force a person into a state they may not normally find themselves in. We have two worlds presented in our film, reality and the inner headspace of our character. We shot the reality stuff on a Black Magic Cinema Camera (a digital camera) and the imagination stuff on a Super 16mm film. We wanted to separate the two worlds from one another visually to really drive home what we were going for in terms of theme. The split in mediums is also an usual choice in terms of student films, because unfortunately students are typically deterred by the price of working with film and the uncertainty that come with it.
What do you do when you hit a creative road block?
When it is for photo, I go on an adventure and try and find stops to photograph. If I get stumped I just hang out and try to look at the area differently. Sometimes I adjust where I am sitting or go walk somewhere else and come back to the area and see if it looks different. It is all about resetting what you are seeing. You can look at things in so many different ways. One way just might be better to look at it.
Has there ever been a piece of art, film, play that you saw and you thought, “Wow. That’s amazing. Why didn’t I think of that?”
There is this movie called Swiss Army Man that is coming out, that looks very creative and I saw the trailer for it and thought that. Also, for music, an album that I really enjoy would be, “A Long Drive For Someone With Nothing To Think About” by Modest Mouse. They were about eighteen when they recorded it. It was really shitty but really good because no one really wrote music like that and still doesn’t, from eighteen year old kids.