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Kentucky Hemp

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Kentucky Hemp

I'm currently in-production on a new documentary project focusing on the farmers, researchers, politicians and business men and women that are reintroducing hemp back into Kentucky's (post-coal and tobacco) economy. It's a super exciting story to follow and watch the industry unfold. Kentucky's history with hemp is deep-rooted, but our nation's relationship is complicated. I will have more to share in late June, but follow me on Instagram for occasional field updates.

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Find Inspiration: Interactive Storytelling

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Find Inspiration: Interactive Storytelling

A friend wrote me asking for resources to find/discover/learn about interactive storytelling. I compiled my list of go-to links and sent her an email, but decided that it may be helpful for all of you too! So below, I have listed out the sites that I like to go to for updates in interactive storytelling. There are certainly many more (add the ones you love in the comments section) but these are my favorites, and have a bit of a non-fiction slant to them.

RESOURCES
DISCOVER PROJECTS THROUGH PLACES THAT AWARD & EXHIBIT INTERACTIVE MEDIA:
Share your resources below!

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Food at the Hütte: Helvetia, W.Va.

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Food at the Hütte: Helvetia, W.Va.

Last time we were back in West Virginia, we met up with our friends, Jonathan and Clara (Coat of Arms Post), to help film at the Swiss restaurant, the Hütte, in Helvetia. Jonathan and Clara have been working on a documentary project about Helvetia--Clara's hometown--for a while now. I'm excited to see what they come up with. Kerrin shot some sweet slow motion on the FS7 and flew his drone about...I collected audio and photos and explored the many books, photographs and artifacts in the tiny restaurant. If you haven't been to the Hütte to eat yet, go! It's delicious. Just imagine: homemade, fresh baked bread, mounds of swiss cheese and frothy hot chocolate. YUM.

Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV
Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia, WV

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50 People Who Are Changing the South

50 People Who Are Changing the South in 2015

I'm so incredibly honored to be put on this Southern Living magazine list of the 50 People Who are Changing the South in 2015. You gotta check out the lineup...they're some seriously awesome people on the list.

Being from West Virginia--weird Appalachian middle ground between the South and North--I've never really considered myself Southern. Nevertheless, I am very happy to rep the Mountain State!

Thanks to Southern Living for including me and for taking the time to get to know HOLLOW.

Photo by: Elle Effect

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Recent Awards and Honors

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Recent Awards and Honors

The past month has been a fun whirlwind of events that I have succinctly distilled for you in six bullet points and one gallery!

  • Hollow won the Excellence and Innovation in Visual Storytelling award at the Online News Association Awards! See Tricia and I accept the award here.
  • Sarah and I have started interviews for She Does podcast (coming in Early 2015).
  • The Hollow team was nominated for a News & Documentary Emmy for the New Approaches in Documentary Category.
  • I taught a workshop at FoST 2014 and met my hero, Robert Krulwich.
  • We won the Innovation Award at the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma in Montreal!
  • I spoke at the Magnum Foundation Photo Ex Symposium about Hollow and using film and photography online.

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New Short Film and Photos: The Marijuana Divide

 I traveled to Gunnison County, Colo., to make this video about two towns that had taken different paths since medicinal marijuana was legalized in 2000 and recreational marijuana sales began this year. One, Crested Butte, has embraced the sale of retail and medicinal marijuana; the other, Gunnison, has so far rejected it. (While anyone in the state over 21 is free to use the drug on private property, it’s up to local governments to decide whether it can be sold.)

I spoke with a wide cross section of people – including politicians, educators, store owners, police officers and two guys who hope to strike it rich in the legal marijuana trade. Yet I found it surprisingly challenging to find someone to speak for the oppositional side. Many told me this was because marijuana was not a new recreational drug to the state; Colorado and weed have a long history, they said. Others said, “It’s just not that big of a deal.” I called an individual who was deep-rooted in the ranching community who said that finding ranchers to talk about it would be nearly impossible. They were “not in favor” of the new laws but weren’t comfortable talking about this to journalists.

Yet I did find a sense of caution: concerns about access for youth, proper labeling and fair taxation. And one thing everybody agrees on is that this new legislation is a huge experiment.

LINKS:

 

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Happy 151st Birthday To An Old Friend #WV151

Today is West Virginia's 151st year of statehood. While most Americans don't celebrate their native land's statehood, we West Virginians do. We're proud and weird people.

Last year, the Hollow team and I launched this baby into the world. It says everything I want to say about this state, so for today I will share some of my favorite (winter) photos of this place we call home.

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This road didn't exist when I lived in Logan. When I drive through West Virginia I try to imagine the work involved to create roadways through these mountains.

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Here I got my first fish, took bubble baths, wrecked my Barbie car, celebrated my 4th birthday, watched my baby sitter eat a whole jar of pickles, swam in the back of a pickup truck filled with water and built igloos when the snowed trapped us on the hill.

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Downtown Logan, West Virginia.

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Williamson, West Virginia.

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Morgantown, West Virginia.

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The building that used to stand here burned to the ground. Inside of said building was Saks Jewelry, my mom's place of employment. Today, they have relocated and a gravel lot occupies the space.

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There really is nothing like a West Virginian sunset.

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It's nice to take a moment and see the details.

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Mom.

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My uncle built this house in the 1970s. He is one of the most intelligent and creative people I have ever known. He has never been married, never had a driver's license and lives alone. The house is built on, and in between, a huge rock cliff in Nicholas County, W.Va. He used to have a dark room in the house but has since converted it into his computer room. Times change.

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Great Uncle Roy (said uncle of story above).

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I'm named after this sweet woman. Great Aunt Eva Elaine Russell. Known in the county as a fantastic school cook for decades.

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My Paw Paw Doy's woodstack.

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Silver and blue.

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Paw Paw Doy taking a break from the swarms of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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The newest grandchild.

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One day I will learn how to play the fiddle from this man.

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My favorite view.

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And one from summer. My favorite season is fall but something about these winter photos felt appropriate for WV's 151st.

Happy Birthday, West Virginia.

 

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Share your photos of #home today!

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Share your photos of #home today!

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 12.07.02 AM
Tomorrow marks ONE YEAR since we launched Hollow.
Since then, many of you have contributed to a gallery of 1,011 photos of "home" by tagging your Instagram photos with the #hollerhome tag.
We want to THANK all of you who have been part of this journey and encourage you to help us reach 1,500 images of "home" by tagging your photos for our one-year celebration! #hollerhome 

 

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Server Issues with HOLLOW, Alternative Viewing Experience via #Vimeo

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Hello Hollow visitors, I wanted to write a short post and let you know that we are experiencing some issues with our server. These issues range from extremely slow load times, videos not playing, images and buttons being missing and redirect issues with Firefox and Internet Explorer.

We recently relocated the project to a new server and with that issues have presented some challenges to our users when trying to view content. We ask that you please be patient with us during this time.

Interactive storytelling projects are extremely frustrating and expensive to maintain. Issues with the website can change and occur at any moment without us knowing and we are now trying to figure out how to resolve some new bugs.

We invite you to visit our VIMEO page to view the video content in the meantime.

We have created channels for each sequence of the interactive doc. Some of the videos are still uploading but head on over and check out what is there!

THESE ROOTS: https://vimeo.com/channels/theseroots FOR EACH OTHER: https://vimeo.com/channels/foreachother FOR THE LAND: https://vimeo.com/channels/fortheland WHEN COAL WAS KING: https://vimeo.com/channels/whencoalwasking AROUND THE BEND: https://vimeo.com/channels/aroundthebend

Thanks for sticking with us,

Elaine elaine@hollowthefilm.com

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Day 2: Shkodër, Albania

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Day 2: Shkodër, Albania

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Today we made the beautiful drive from Tirana to Shkodër. We filmed at the castle this evening and are staying at Florian's Guesthouse, a lovely place that we are also featuring. Tomorrow we head to Theth to film with a mountain guide!

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Day 1: Tirana, Albania

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Day 1: Tirana, Albania

My first day in Tirana was fascinating. We were lucky enough to spend the morning with Iris Elezi, of the Albanian Cinema Project, who introduced us to Maks Velo, an artist who was punished and imprisoned for his work during the communist dictatorship. We were so fortunate to gain amazing insight into this country's history through Maks and Iris. The people we have met so far and very genuine and serious-mannered folk. There are still remnants of communism all around (including this pyramid, below), but the city is also searching for its new identity as a free market.

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Albania was the first country to be declared an atheist state (under the dictatorship) but since the collapse in 1991, Christian and Muslim practices have returned.

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We also spent time with the folks at Tirana Express and a cultural critic here. Tomorrow, we rent a car and head North to Shkodër for a few days.

Great news: food and drink is CHEAP!

Filming for Humanity.

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