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You Should Read: Bending the Frame

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You Should Read: Bending the Frame

All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.
— Richard Avedon

Fred Ritchin asks "What do we want from this media revolution?" in "Bending The Frame: Photojournalism, Documentary, and the Citizen."

He takes us through the history of visual storytelling, and reflects on changes in media curation and distribution, including the 24 hours news cycle, the disappearance of the front page, the role of photo editing in dictating what photos get witnessed, stereotypes, and participatory content, among many other topics. 

"Bending The Frame" is a must-read for any media maker who wants to explore the role of images today. 

Below are some excerpts that I'm still thinking about:

Challenging the responsibility of editors: "Images that might provoke new thinking, or that might aid in the search for even a partial solution to societal problems, tend to be displaced by those that are more vividly exotic and render problems as somewhat remote, concerning 'others.'"

The role of journalism has shifted: "Journalistic expertise is disparaged by many as a manifestation more of corporate branding than of knowledge. With reduced budgets, journalism's role becomes increasingly reactive, waiting for the next eruptions; its responsibility as governmental watchdog and societal glue is diminished..." 

The craft of storytelling: "Anyone can write--amateurs and professionals alike--but very few can take us to visit worlds external and internal, tie them together, melding facts and suppositions while creating a narrative flow that functions like a great piece of fiction..."

The importance of having connection and perspective: "Although it is not really possible to see 'objectively,' the tension of being both insider and outsider simultaneously is potentially enormously productive, allowing the open-minded photographer to function along the translucent membrane where the two worlds overlap."

An idea for future media makers: "Why don't we have a more developed photography that explores in some depth the move from pain to it's resolution, creating reference points for those striving to more forward, rather than continually searching for, and dwelling on, the cataclysm--reminding us of traumatic moments for the sake of the visceral shock. Why do so many young photographers want to become photographers of war when nearly every one of them, I have little doubt, prefers peace?"

How small experiments can push an entire field forward: "Innovative visual journalists could be urged to experiment with new media strategies that may be of value not only to readers of this front page, but to the entire documentary field."

Where do we want to go with media? "As we consider where we want to go with our media, we need to think about what models will serve not only our needs but also our values, and then experiment to see how such models can be implemented."

Truly understanding the role of (multi)media: "...Innovators will undoubtedly discover that 'multimedia' is not a process of simply adding more media, but of implicit relationships made resonant among the most divergent of media..."


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Upcoming Events: February and March 2016

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Upcoming Events: February and March 2016

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

 

 

 

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Kickstarter Creator Hangout

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Kickstarter Creator Hangout

The fine folks at Kickstarter asked me to answer questions about documentary making, crowdfunding, interactive storytelling, podcasting and other media-related things. You can click on my silly face below and watch the 30-minute chat.

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#DocForum2015 at Center for Doc Studies

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#DocForum2015 at Center for Doc Studies

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!

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Creatives in Appalachia

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Creatives in Appalachia

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.

 

Name *
Name
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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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Music & Live event photographers

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Music & Live event photographers

I put out a message to some of my photographer/filmmaker friends to help me find event, music or performance photographers for a student I am mentoring. The student is interested in building a stronger portfolio around capturing moments of local band performances and band portraits. Here's the list my friends provided me, but I would love to learn about more photographers. Leave comments with links if you would like to send more tips to my mentee.

Rebecca Kiger's recommended:

Madeline Herec's recommendations:

Chris Jackson's recommendations

Andrea Morales' recommendations:

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Hollow: Our Lessons Learned, Your Guide to Producing an iDoc

GoogleOnAir

SYNOPSIS Do you have questions about producing an interactive documentary? The makers behind Hollow, an award-winning interactive documentary about small-town America, are holding a live discussion to help you kick off your interactive projects in 2014.

The team will be available to answer questions about Hollow's fundraising and community building model, as well as design and development. Come with questions and be ready to learn from the team's successes and failures.

REMEMBER Google limits 10 people in the "room" at once. So come with questions and then let others in. The entire discussion will be posted on YouTube at 1 pm after the chat ends. After that point, you can reference it, revisit it and post it as you please!

 

Find us HERE on January 21, 2014 from noon to 1PM (EST).

 

TEAM MEMBERS IN HANGOUT: Director and Producer - Elaine McMillion Sound Designer - Billy Wirasnik Technical Director and Senior Developer - Robert Hall Art Director/Designer and Architect - Jeff Soyk

 

MODERATOR: Opeyemi Olukemi - Program Associate, Digital Initiatives at Tribeca Film Institute

 

HOW WILL IT WORK? When we go "live" there will be a Q&A sidebar on the video. You can post your questions there OR tweet at #hollowdocchat

 

FESTIVALS: New York Film Festival - 2013 Camden International Film Festival - 2013 Doc Lab at International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam - 2013 Future of Storytelling (featured in the Story Arcade) - 2013

 

AWARDS: Adobe Creative Edge Award - FWA Site of the Day - FWA Site of the Day - CSS Design Awards Selected for Doc Lab (Hollow was nominated as one of the top 3 projects out of 15 projects) - International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam Research and Documentation Award - National Coal Heritage Foundation

 

FEATURES AND REVIEWS: LA Times Huffington Post Filmmaker Magazine PBS Media Shift

 

WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING ABOUT HOLLOW?

LA Times:

Filmmaker Elaine McMillion’s project "Hollow: An Interactive Documentary" bridges that gap between the storyteller and the audience. The project is practically a living, breathing thing; viewers can subscribe for updates on individual people. Such connections create insight and understanding.

Huffington Post:

Anyone who saw promise for the future of web-based journalism after watching/reading The New York Times’ highly innovative "Snowfall," will positively be drawn to the work produced at "Hollow." It is next level. Maybe the most magnificently presented, web-aware journalism I’ve ever seen. But more important than the visual achievement is what it does — documenting the lives of people who live in a mostly ignored rural community, far from the traditional media bastions and bubbles.

TWEETS FROM VIEWERS:

I can say with confidence (Hollow) wins the Internet for 2013.Beautiful documentary execution of both film and interactive. Put down the #netflix and watch this. #hollerhomeExploring the greater tensions of modern America.Everyone–historians, students, designers, developers–drop everything you’re doing and watch this interactive doc.Hollow, the story of the American 20th century; the opening interaction is worth the price of admission (free) alone.Beautifully arresting. Stereotype-busting. An interactive documentary about people and a community.Hauntingly beautiful web-based storytelling@hollowthefilm is a game changer for interactive storytelling. Stunning!

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Storytelling 101

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Storytelling 101

I traveled down to McDowell County, West Virginia yesterday to hold an intense (yet small) workshop for two high school students. Cody and Josh were chosen for the Opportunity Launch program, supported by  Scott Widmeyer and WVU's School of Journalism. I taught Cody and Josh the basics of what makes a story newsworthy, compelling and the process to research and develop your story. They practiced their interview skills and learned how to use the Canon 5D. I was very impressed with the quality of their work and the amount of dedication they brought to the workshop. Over the next week, we will be working on their video segment and interview with Linda McKinney (featured in Hollow), photo gallery with caption, and press release. You can download my Storytelling 101 presentation here.

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