by Michelle Miller, HOLLOW’s workshop coordinator
Saturday we hosted the first of three Community Workshops for HOLLOW. There were about 15 participants, as well as volunteers and team members from around the state.
This workshop provided a chance to discuss the various roles community members could take in the project and provide feedback to the team on what has been shot so far. In part one, we talked about the ways McDowell County has been portrayed by other filmmakers and journalists, listing the negative or frustrating words we’ve all heard.
Words that describe how McDowell County residents are portrayed on the left and words that they feel identify their community on the right. (from @hollowthefilm workshop #1)
There wasn’t a single community member who talked about these negative words without immediately providing the counterbalance—words like pride, warmth, diversity and resilience. With those concepts in mind, we reviewed the first clips of footage and talked about what to shoot next. They were happy to see a visual montage of themselves that no one had created before—images of everyday life in restaurants, fishing holes, church Sundays and fairs.
Many people talked about how they wish their others from the community, specifically local leaders, would have joined them for the workshop and agreed to take responsibility for turning them out in July.
In the afternoon, HOLLOW team member Eric Lovell explained balloon mapping. He showed some test images he’d taken of Linkous Park, talked about his plan to bring young people into the project through balloon mapping and asked for feedback about places to map.
We closed the workshop with some video camera training, reflection on the experience and discussion of what to do for our next workshop. Community member and volunteer fire fighter, Ron Serino, took a camera home with him that day to start shooting and everyone committed to bringing three others along with them for our July meeting.