The creators of two exhibits on display at West Virginia University’sDowntown Campus Library want their works to open up conversations about life in Appalachia.
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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?
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
I have spent the last three days with my family (distant and close) and was thinking about how quickly the places and people you leave behind transform. For some odd reason, you expect things to stay the same. I'm not sure why I have that perception, my life changes quickly. But I have always assumed that when I return home it would feel the same, it would look the same. But it never does. It always changes. The kids from up the holler are now in college. The dark-haired ones have greyed. The "little girl" I grew up with is pregnant with her third child. The names we once heard announced for prayer requests, have been laid to rest. Some have lost their vision, and others have found their voice. I'm glad things change, but sometimes you have to accept that keeping up with that change is impossible.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Downtown Logan, West Virginia.
Williamson, West Virginia.
Morgantown, West Virginia.
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.
There really is nothing like a West Virginian sunset.
It's nice to take a moment and see the details.
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.
Great Uncle Roy (said uncle of story above).
I'm named after this sweet woman. Great Aunt Eva Elaine Russell. Known in the county as a fantastic school cook for decades.
My Paw Paw Doy's woodstack.
Silver and blue.
Paw Paw Doy taking a break from the swarms of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The newest grandchild.
One day I will learn how to play the fiddle from this man.
My favorite view.
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.
Blue skies and green grass for Easter weekend on the Sheldon farm.
Two of my favorite things: 1.) My niece, Emeline Jane
2.) Evening light and lens flare
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
WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING ABOUT HOLLOW?
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.
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!
2013 has been an amazing experience. I am extremely grateful to all of you who have supported, shared and helped bring Hollow to life. There is still work to be done, but I can safely look back on 2013 with full satisfaction and gratification. I feel so lucky that we have been invited to screen and present Hollow 23 times in a 5-month period. We have traveled from California to NYC and from Appalachia to Amsterdam. We have won several awards and were most recently chosen for IDFA's DocLab. Nearly 80,000 people all around the world have experienced Hollow online since June 20. We're looking forward to experiencing what 2014 has in store for the team and community. We have several more Kickstarter-backer screenings to hold, but here are some university and conference screenings that are already lined up (starting in January): OSU, Davis & Elkins, Shepherd University, Wheeling Jesuit University, iDocs, Appalachian Studies Conference and Vermont College of Fine Arts.