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I'm excited to be one of many filmmakers who will be documenting America this Election Day for a new documentary tentatively titled, "11-8-16." We're spread across the country filming in all corners with Americans from all walks of life. I will spend my day (starting at 4:30 am) with a coal miner named Eric. I'll go underground with him all day, then follow him to the voting booth and back home to see the results.
Also, we will be Periscoping during the day. So follow that here.
We took our film to pitch at the Points North Institute!
Read this great article about the #NewStoryWV event. Thanks to the Charleston Gazette-Mail for quoting my thoughts on long-form and "positive" and "negative" coverage in the media:
Asked what she was doing currently to “change the narrative” and what new stories she was working on, she outlined her new project inspired by West Virginia’s opioid epidemic.
“Right now, I am producing a film about four guys in recovery from heroin,” she said. “When I say I’m making a film about the opioid epidemic, I get a lot of eye rolls. And that’s unfortunate because I actually think these guys can teach everyone in this room a lot. They’re a lot like the state — they’ve hit rock bottom in a lot of ways, and they’ve seen a lot of hard times and now they are building themselves back up and becoming a new person.
“So, I hope that that story is one that will bring a different type of conversation around addiction and how we got ourselves into this problem. Let’s stop saying this is purely negative because when we say that’s a purely negative story, we’re quantifying those stories as unimportant, that we shouldn’t be telling those stories and those people already feel silenced. So let’s not do that.”
We're so excited to take "Rescue Breath" to BritDoc's Good Pitch NYC! Read more here.
Logline: When his son holds up a bank while high on heroin, a successful doctor who re-invented the urgent care system is forced out of retirement to battle the opioid epidemic that has swept through his home state of West Virginia. Now with his son's future in the balance, can he save hundreds of lives and families from a similar fate and change how we treat addiction in America?
This morning we went into full-tourist mode and rode the incline. It was beautiful
She Does Podcast- Live Recording in Miami
When: Feb. 27 at 4-6pm
What: Join us for a live recording of the podcast with Almudena Toral, a thought leader in digital journalism. In this intimate conversation, we'll explore Almudena's international multimedia reporting and her goals as the new Creative Visual Manager at Univision. We will also journey into her background, her lightbulb moments and turning points, her philosophies, and what makes her tick. The event will include live music by Inez Barlatier and audience interaction.
Where: Deauville Beach Resort: 6701 Collins Avenue Miami, FL
Get your ticket here
Lionfish Film Screening & Dinner: Film Gate Interactive
- When: Feb. 27 at 7:30-9:30
- What: Screenings of "Lionfish" and "Foraging" films by Elaine & Kerrin Sheldon, along with a lionfish dinner.
- Where: Deauville Beach Resort: 6701 Collins Avenue Miami, FL
- Get your ticket here
University of Knoxville: Digital Humanities Speaker Series
- When: March 24 at 6:00pm
- Where: Hodges Library Auditorium: 1015 Volunteer Blvd, Knoxville, TN
- Details here
Appalachian State University: Digital Appalachia Lecture Series
- When: March 30 at 5:30 pm
- Where: App State University Library (Room 114 Lecture Hall): 218 College Street, Boone, NC
- Calendar here
Panel Discussion on NOVEMBER 21 @ 3:30 PM at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University's 25th Anniversary celebration and national forum.
Description: The storytelling power of audio—with envisioned characters and imagined scenes—presents rich opportunities for innovative approaches to the digital terrain. From the podcasting boom to new forms of interactive documentary, the capacity of sound, voice, writing, and layered narratives to spark the imagination extends outside the box (radio, tablet, smartphone) to reach people where they are and to inspire engagement, and possibly changes of heart.
DECEMBER 2 @ 1PM: Kickstarter Creators Hangout
I'm answering all your questions about documentary filmmaking, podcasting, and production in this Kickstarter Creators Hangout. The discussion will be live-tweeted through @KickstarterTips
This week on She Does, we have the talented co-directors of the fantastic documentary, "Frame by Frame."
DESCRIPTION: Mo Scarpelli and Alexandria Bombach are documentary filmmakers and co-directors of award-winning film "Frame by Frame.” The documentary follows four Afghan photojournalists as they face the realities of building a free press in a country left to stand on its own after decades of war and rule under the oppressive Taliban regime. The film had its world premiere at SXSW 2015, has screened over 50 times, garnered several awards, was voted one of the Top 10 Audience Favorites at Hot Docs Film Festival, and is nominated for a Cinema Eye Honors Award for Spotlight Doc. Right now, Mo and Alexandria are knee-deep in an Academy Award campaign for the film. “Frame by Frame” is opening for a week-long run in New York on Nov 20 at the IFC Center.
Mo and Alexandria are extremely self-sufficient women and filmmakers-- both having worked alone on most of their film projects before this one. They both started their own film companies and both have carved out their own niches; Mo in the documentary and journalism world and Alexandria in the outdoor filmmaking world.
In this episode, we talk about how they came to the medium of film, reporting international stories, filming in Afghanistan, their dedication to stunning cinematography, earning the trust of your subjects, the responsibility and weight of releasing stories into the world, holding onto empathy, the perils of co-directing, how to reconnect with relationships after disconnecting to make a film, and how to maintain belonging and community when living out of a suitcase.
This post is for anyone interested in how or why we made Hollow. We're fortunate to get alot of interest and inquiries from folks asking about how the project came about, how it was developed, what made it successful and what the response has been. So to help answer these questions, and more, we have compiled some links below :
- 1-hour Hollow team chat: Answering all your questions about producing HOLLOW
- My keynote at iDocs: Showing how the designs and concepts changed overtime
- Interview at iDocs about Hollow: General ideas about the project
- Interview at Festival du nouveau cinema: General ideas about the project
- Presentation at the Magnum Foundation: Community-centered journalism
- Presentation at Woodstock: Using digital media to tell these stories
- Jeff Soyk on MIT's blog: UX design and development
- Jeff & I on Filmmaker Mag: How we made this project happen
- Hollow on MIT's Docubase: Resources, documents that show our process
- IGNITE Interview with Elaine: The Making of Hollow
- Interview with Jeff & I on Colombia Visuals: Behind the scenes
- Interview on Storybench: Why choose interactive, Who's the team, How to raise money?
I'm excited to participate in #DocForum2015 at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University this year!
On Saturday, November 21 at 3:30 p.m., I will be sitting on a panel with Al Letson and Anayansi Diaz-Cortes. The panel, titled "AUDIO & NEW FORMS | Interactions and Impact: Possibilities for Listening," will be moderated by John Biewen and should be loads of fun! Come and join us for a conversation about storytelling across platforms and mediums.
Tickets just went on sale today. Reserve your seat!
Do you make media and/or art? Do you live in Appalachia?
If you answered yes to those questions, you should get on a new database of makers in the region. I'm creating a list of those of us who make media in the region, in hopes that we can start collaborating and make better work! If you want your name to be featured on the list get in touch below.
For the sake of keeping things less complicated, I'm looking for folks who do: video, film, editing, writing, animation, design, illustration, photography, interactive media, technology, audio, journalism, music, exhibitions, installation art, etc.
IMPORTANT: You have to make work from or about Appalachia. You must be interested in collaboration and not just self-promotion.
Not sure if your city/town is in Appalachia? Check out this map courtesy of Looking at Appalachia.
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.
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.
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
Thanks to the Magnum Foundation for having me as a guest back in October 2014. They just released the recorded presentation and following Q&A. If you're interested in learning about the process of making HOLLOW, check it out!
[vimeo 112433263 w=450 h=253]
Also, check out all the other speakers on Magnum's Vimeo Channel.
My mom sent me this treasure the other via a text message. I was going about my day, but this made me stop. Wow...I thought. What an amazing document to just be texted into your life. It's your blood line. Your family tree. Your roots. The people that made you...well you. I continue to be fascinated by my family's roots in Appalachia. Kudos to my Great Uncle Roy who created this beauty. I think I might update it soon...more to come.
We sold out of the first 100 t-shirts and have ordered more! If you place your order now, expect your t-shirt to arrive in 3-4 weeks.
Luckily, there’s no need to correct anyone’s pronunciation anymore. Just slip into this instructional t-shirt the next time you’ll be around folks who insist on saying Appalachia that other way, and they’ll get the picture pretty darned fast.
Including some great tips for storytelling and a mention of HOLLOW
For many citizens and natives of Central and Southern Appalachia, watching the meteorologists on the Weather Channel pronounce the name of our mountain range is a cringe-worthy experience: “There’s a storm system making it’s way across the midwest and will hit the Appa-LAY-shun mountains of Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia.”
The project will be in the Grand Gallery from October 23-26 for the Margaret Mead Film Festival.
Winners will be announced in Chicago on September 27.
We moved to Miami!
Just a personal update, Kerrin and I moved to Miami Beach last week. We will be based here through January working on our next documentary and interactive project. More to come! Follow my Instagram for daily snaps.
We decided to take a Saturday drive through McDowell to visit with my second family. Ed got to meet baby August and Alan played us his new banjitar. Kudzu has covered nearly everything and more buildings have collapsed. I love that county and the people it holds.
"This baby is made of lead," Ed exclaimed as he struggled to get a grip on August.