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Film faculty member produces school shooting movie and Elton John video

2019-03-27-Jason-Winn-2
Jason Winn, center, directs on the set of the movie "Dandelions." Winn is a part-time faculty member in the Department of Communication, Media and Journalism at the University of North Georgia.

More than a year ago, a lone gunman walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and killed 17 people – one of the deadliest shootings in U.S. history.

Jason Winn felt compelled to tell a similar story through a camera lens. The part-time faculty member in the Department of Communication, Media and Journalism at the University of North Georgia (UNG) created the movie "Dandelions."

"It was really personal to me to make this film as an instructor and teacher," Winn said. "I had 100 percent creative control on how to tell the story."

He said the movie is based on a fictional school and told from the perspective of a teacher, who grapples with the decision to return as a teacher as well as deal with the blame and guilt of the tragic events.

"It was an important movie to make," Winn said. The movie will make the film festival rounds and be screened in Atlanta in August. "It was a tough subject."

After that film, Winn switched gears to produce Elton John's farewell video for the iconic singer's tour. And he made use of the opportunity by allowing UNG students to have real production experience, which is critical to learning the craft of filmmaking. 

"Fifty percent of the crew were students and alumni from UNG," Winn said, though they didn't meet the singer. "I thought it was a great opportunity for students who recently graduated and the current one."

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