2020 DMD BFA Exhibition—Storrs

Student Work


Why We Fly

Allie Marsh

Old Lyme, CT

BFA (Motion Design & Animation)
Advisor: Heejoo Kim

Film and motion graphics
5 min 55 sec

I took my first flight in a small airplane when I was six weeks old, and both my mom and my dad were the pilots. The love of flight runs deep within my veins, and a fear of heights was not coded into my DNA. I was incredibly fortunate to grow up watching a woman—and a man who genuinely encouraged her—fly in the cockpit of an airplane, and I believed it was completely normal. Unfortunately, I learned that could not be further from the truth.

When was the last time you boarded an airplane and said hello to a female pilot as you walked by the cockpit? I bet you haven't experienced it, or if you have, it was memorable because of the rare occasion. The reality is that women only make up about 7% of all pilots.

Why We Fly is a collective celebration of the 7% and a tribute to the brave women of the past who showed the world that the cockpit also belonged to them. To that end, I reached out to female pilots through Instagram to request video footage. They could not have been more supportive of this project and were completely thrilled to contribute. With this film, I aim to show girls of all ages that flying and becoming a pilot is something they can, and should, do. I don't believe girls are less interested in flying than boys, but since girls see so few female pilots in society, movies and pop-culture, they might not consider flying as something that's for them, too. I want to show girls that a pilot looks just like them. I also want to raise awareness and curiosity about the general aviation community at large.

The shifts from micro to macro perspectives, in-conjunction with life-like compositing, aim to emulate the actual feeling of flying an airplane—from the pre-flight inspection, to the moments of rough turbulence, to the magnificent views of the earth from above. I intentionally filmed most of Why We Fly on-location in Wyoming, because it's the most sublime place I've ever flown above—and because in 1869 it was the first place in the entire world to pass legislation giving women the right to vote, and hold office, 50 years before the rest of the United States.

Artist Bio
Allie Marsh

Allie Marsh is a multidisciplinary digital creative, storyteller, and native New Englander. She grew up flying around in small airplanes and admiring Earth from above. As an "adventure capitalist," she lives for the intersection of nature's serenity and adrenaline-pumping activities. She has been inspired by her travels across the USA—from the charm of the ocean along the coastal states, to the wild nature of the flyover states, and U.S. National Parks—from sea to shining sea!

Allie is completely fascinated by the digital arts because of their ability to be simultaneously permanent yet ephemeral, and their endless possibilities to design, remix, and recreate the reality she saw in her head. She is ardently American and her work is heavily influenced by her free spirit, relentless optimism, and appetite for adventure. She believes the digital arts embody that spirit because they give her the total freedom to create whatever she wants. An abundance of dream-like light, selectively vivid and muted colors, and open compositions are prevalent in her work.

In May 2020, she will receive her BFA in Digital Media & Design with a concentration in Motion Design & Animation. She looks forward to earning her Pilot's License and she dreams of running her own media company from wherever her journey takes her.


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