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filmmaking

Why Do Only 'The Privileged' Make Films?

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Why Do Only 'The Privileged' Make Films?

Read Original on HUFFINGTON POST

Privilege was one of the topics we explored in a 90-minute conversation about race and media at the 2015 Camden International Film Festival. The conversation was a live recording of She Does Podcast, hosted by Sarah Ginsburg and myself.

In collaboration with the Points North Documentary Forum, we gathered three talented media makers--Sabaah Jordan (co-director "Whose Streets"), Alex Hannibal (Tribeca Film Institute) and Shayla Harris (Frontline PBS)--to discuss how race impacts their professional roles as a filmmaker, film funder and journalist.

LISTEN TO THE FULL 90-MINUTE CONVERSATION

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Story & Heart has launched!

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Story & Heart has launched!

Two months ago I stumbled onto Story & Heart on Twitter. It was marketed (very quietly) as a story-driven stock footage site. As a filmmaker and journalist, who is constantly documenting life, I was thrilled. The idea that I could potentially make money off of work that may never see the light of day was intriguing.  I quickly applied and was accepted. Yesterday, Story & Heart went live. Now anyone can license my footage for their project.

I'm excited to see how S&H grows, but mostly I am thankful for the people behind it who have been so personal and generous during the process of building this filmmaking community. Holding weekly online meet-ups and putting together beautifully crafted and informational PDFs with guest filmmakers are just some of the reasons I feel lucky to be part of this community. The first time I received a phone call from S&H, I was shocked. Wait...they actually care about how I am progressing with creating my profile and uploading stories? It was pretty awesome to have such personal connection in a world full of generic contact forms and unanswered emails.

Also, now as a member of S&H I think about how to spend my downtime a little differently. Why waste time in front of my computer when there is a great, big world out there just full of stories waiting to be captured? The biggest drawback for me is talent releases. I have shot well over 15 TB of great footage that would be fantastic on the platform but because this is a licensing platform, I must have releases for all individuals who appear in the footage. For most of my footage, this is nearly impossible. So far, I have only uploaded five stories so far but plan to kick it in high-gear over the next few months!

Thanks Story & Heart for being so cool.

Also, check out my niece (with sparklers) in S&H's launch video: [vimeo 103090147 w=759 h=427]

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New Awards & Opportunities for Hollow

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Over the past couple days, some pretty cool awards have been announced. Check out the images/links below and thanks to everyone for your continued support of Hollow! HOLLOW is a finalist in the SXSW Interactive Awards in the "Activism" category

Green, governmental and non-profit projects striving to make the world a better place.

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Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 8.14.43 AM

Congrats to the team (especially to our sound designer, Billy Wirasnik, and music composer, Lee Strauss) for winning two Platinum AVA Digital Awards for Creativity (Web Video)/Original Music and Radio.

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Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 8.43.03 AM

Hollow is featured for Eastern Oregon's Film Festival's Online Selection.

The rise of digital cinema has shown that 20th Century exhibition models are increasingly insufficient. Cinema is in constant flux, and without adapting to changes in the distribution landscape, most filmmakers cannot survive. We believe that festivals’ inclusion of online works is progressive, and vital to independent cinema. The Internet also serves as a temporary home for some of the more intimate, experimental works that move us.

I have also been invited to lead a discussion and screening at the following places, this spring:

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

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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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Camden Intl Film Fest

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Camden Intl Film Fest

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What an honor to be able to present Hollow alongside Barbara Kopple and “Harlan County, USA.” Interesting discussion all made possible by the awesome work of Sean Flynn and Ben Fowlie at Camden International Film Festival and the Points North Documentary Forum.

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