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Seeds of Change

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Shannon Mackinnon

Production Designer

Shannon Mackinnon

I have always enjoyed stories and the efforts and aspects of telling them. Production Design is one of my favorite tools for exploration, having a background in art, directing and video game design as well as working on sets for films and theatre in the past. Over the last few years, I have built up a resume as a production designer and art director for several short films.

Art direction focuses on what’s filmed and it informs the audience the world the story takes place. It’s not just the colors and the furniture. It’s the style, the age, the angles, the costuming, it all informs the viewer to the themes, characters and how they live.

My backgrounds combined as well as some great teaching from others have given me an eclectic outlook and a penchant for research and execution.

How Racism Has Affected Me

Growing up and every day, I’ve seen a lot of inequality. I’ve seen friends unable to enter spaces because of the color of their skin. I’ve heard of my husband being asked to leave a restaurant because it “wasn’t for him.” He and I have received stares and grumbles from people. His cousin told me of people in a grocery store telling her she “brought the virus here.”

Friends and family afraid to stay in a park at night, an adult yelling a racial slur at a friend of mine when we were 14  as we walked across the street in a small town. We were too slow, apparently.

I’ve heard of lost identities and indoctrination, an internalization of being told you’re inferior or not worth it. I’ve seen or heard of fear of going to the police, loss of family connections, mistreatment by doctors.

 

And I’ve seen subtlety too. In the casual. It’s not all people with torches and slurs, It’s everywhere and in every institution. A co-worker hinting at “laziness” regarding a woman in a wheelchair. A teacher telling me to write a paper from a slaver’s perspective when I was in 7th grade because it’s “just the side you were assigned.”  My friend was punished for someone else attacking her because “she had an attitude.” meaning: She told him not to touch her. 

It makes me so sad and it makes me so angry, and I don’t want to make this about me. I am not perfect and I am not the best person to talk about it, but I’ve seen it and it’s there and no one can say it isn’t or that it’s over. It’s not over, and it never will be unless it’s truly addressed.

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