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Find Inspiration: Interactive Storytelling


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.

Share your resources below!



Just Launched: Disaster Resilience Journal

In collaboration with Helios Design Labs and the Red Cross EU, we bring you The DISASTER RESILIENCE JOURNAL. Over the next 42 days, we will bring you stories from people all across the world. Stories of the natural disasters people face and the steps they are taking to overcome them. Some of these stories are photos and text, while others are video-driven. Micro-games allow you to simulate preparing for a disaster and interviews with experts provide insight into resilience.  We just launched the journal today, but the fun begins tomorrow as new stories and games appear daily. Make sure to check out the site everyday to watch the stories unfold (some of my favorite stories and game wont appear until 20 days in!) To learn more about the project and see "my favorites" list click here.  To read about our process check out Mike Robbin's post on the Helios blog.

Join us for this 42-day journey!



Hollow named Honoree for Webby Awards


NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Hollow an interactive documentary that explores the issues and future of small-town America, was named as an official honoree in the Community Category in the 18th annual Webby Awards. Established in 1996, the Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet. Hollow, which launched June 2013, tells the story of 30 residents living in McDowell County, W.Va., a once-thriving community in Southern West Virginia. The interactive documentary merges cinematic techniques with web-based storytelling to encourage a dialogue about the issues that small-town America faces.

Hollow was created by group of Boston-based designers, editors and developers. The development and post-production team included Elaine McMillion Sheldon (project director and editor), Jeff Soyk (interactive designer and architect), Robert Hall (senior technologist), Russell Goldenburg (interactive developer), Billy Wirasnik (sound designer and editor), Tricia Fulks (associate producer and research), Sarah Ginsburg (editor) and Kerrin Sheldon (editor).

Official Honorees’ work exhibit remarkable achievement that was not selected as a Nominee in the Webby Awards. Out of 12,000 entries submitted from more than 60 countries and all 50 states, the Official Honoree distinction is awarded to only the top 15 percent of all work entered.

Future screenings of the film will be held at Shepherd University (Shepherdstown, W.Va.) on April 11; Wheeling Jesuit University (Wheeling, W.Va.) on April 15; Nyon, Switzerland from April 27 to 29; and Vermont College of Fine Arts (Montpelier, Vt.) from April 30 to May 3.

To experience the interactive documentary, visit

To purchase a DVD, visit

To see a full list of awards and screenings, visit:




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


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



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.


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!