Making Hollow: case study & interview with Elaine McMillion-Sheldon

It has been an exciting few months for Elaine McMillion Sheldon since her session at i-Docs earlier this year, with her interactive documentary Hollow gaining impressive recognition.

Following the teams Peabody Award, they have since been nominated for an Emmy within the New Approaches to News & Documentary Programming: Current News category – competing against mainstream productions including the Guardian’s ‘NSA Files Decoded’ and NPR’s ‘Planet Money makes a T-shirt”. Elaine commented:

“Everyone who contributed to the project, from the residents to the technologists, should be honored,” Sheldon said. “It’s rare to see an independent project, not affiliated with a network or corporation, nominated for this type of award. We would love to see this nomination encourage a dialogue on a national scale about the future of small towns in our country.”

Elaine McMillion-Sheldon interview at i-Docs 2014 from DCRC on Vimeo.

Alongside this honour, Hollow was at Capitol Hill last week for a screening organised by West Virginia’s Sen. Joe Manchin for more than 250 guests including the Hollow team and McDowell county residents.

The Dean of the West Virginia University Libraries, Dr. Jon Cawthorne, also attended the event and announced a long-term agreement between West Virginia University and Elaine, giving the WVU Libraries perpetual licensing rights to the documentary. In order to encourage students and professors to use the film’s material for research, historical and educational purposes, the University will house the film and will make it available to view on the web.

The journey and growth of this project is incredible, as is Elaine’s dedication to the McDowell county residents. This was something that was very apparent during her case study presentation during i-Docs, which we are very pleased to be able to share with you below. An insightful and detailed talk which is a must watch for any independent producers looking to make an interactive documentary, as Elaine outlines the huge scale of work and commitment involved – enjoy!

Elaine McMillion-Sheldon case study: Hollow from DCRC on Vimeo.