Hollow featured in “New Digital Storytelling” series in Filmmaker Magazine: The fine folks at the MIT Open Doc Lab asked us to contribute to the series and we’re super excited about the final piece. The series will continue throughout the year!
"Beautiful McDowell County" photo exhibit has moved from Charleston to Bramwell, West Virginia: The exhibit, which features photography by Betty Rivard and myself, will open on March 18 at the Coal Heritage Interpretive Center in the Bramwell Depot. The exhibit will be on display through May 11.Tomorrow (Tues. 3/19), an artist reception with Betty Rivard will be held from 5:30-7:30 PM at the depot.
2013 WVU Short Film Fest: This past weekend I traveled to Morgantown to screen two short pieces fromHollow and take part in a panel discussion about Appalachian identity. It was great to meet Martha Stephens, a talented Appalachian filmmaker and writer/director of Pilgrim Song.
Tribeca Film Fest: In late April, we will be attending the Tribeca Film Festival to represent Hollow. I will provide more details closer to the date!
SXSW Interactive and Film Festival: Last week, I had the pleasure to serve as a digital media and film mentor at the SXSW film festival in Austin, Texas. The trip was an amazing experience and I was so surprised to meet people who already knew about Hollow. It was also great to be able to meet several of our Kickstarter backers in Austin, including Mike Andrick and Dan Mistich.
Our fundraising campaign has launched! We need to raise enough money for production (May-late August), community workshop fees and to buy 5 cameras to give to McDowell County residents to tell their own stories. We will be donating the cameras into the community after production wraps so that storytelling can continue! If you want to see a project come to life that actually gives the community a voice and doesn’t tell them what to think/say about their home, support this project on Kickstarter today!
If you’ve noticed scruffy vagrants armed with rifles walking the streets of Hillsboro in the past week, chances are you were seeing the filming of the new movie, “Child of God”. Production began last week at the Pretty Penny Cafe and My Daughter’s Attic.
"Child of God," based on the book with the same name by Cormac McCarthy, is about a young man, ostracized from society, who slips into a life of crime and sexual depravity while living in a cave in Tennessee.
The movie is being produced by Rabbit Bandini Productions. Producer Vince Jolivette and actor/director James Franco, of the Spiderman series and Pineapple Express, took time from their busy shooting schedule Monday to chat.
Jolivette said the tax credits are what brought the crew to West Virginia, but it’s the old-time feel of Hillsboro that cinched it. The production crew had a scout in the area for two months prior to filming to find possible locations near Lewisburg.
While the interactive designer/programmer creates wireframes for the HTML-5 website that will be launched in Spring 2013, I decided to put this website together as a landing page for information about the project. Check out the site here!
Yesterday I spent the morning and afternoon with the very talented Alan Johnston. Alan is a bluegrass musician and a photographer living in Premiere, W.Va., just outside of Welch. I filmed Alen playing music and taking photographs in the Northfork area. He is on a mission to capture his county in photographs and has so far covered about 20 communities. Alan spoke alot about the role of faith and God in his upbringing and says that “home is where the heart is” and McDowell County is where his heart is.
I have to say I picked the two worst days (weather-wise) to shoot. It hasn’t stopped raining and looks like it’s going to continue and may turn into snow. I will try to make the most of my trip anyway, but I’m worried I won’t return to Boston with alot of outdoor shots of the towns in McDowell County. I guess I have all next summer! Today, I am interviewing Alan Johnston, an amazing musician here in Iaeger, as well as Pete Ballard, Jean Battlo and Tom Acosta.
I added a page to my website that gives a little more information about Hollow. I am traveling to McDowell County on Dec. 27-28 to spend time filming with McDowell County residents Alan Johnston, Tom Acosta, Jean Battlo and Joshua Clevenger. The footage I shoot for this trip will be used for grant proposals and in fundraising efforts. Shortly after my trip I will be launching a simple website that will hold the place of the more complex HTML-5 interactive site that will be built by a designer in the Fall of 2012. Next Summer I will be living in McDowell County (May-September) to gather the many stories of residents and hold participatory community filmmaking workshops. Check out the temporary page here. And stay tuned to tumblr for updates!
MSNBC: Morning Joe, “Low-performing schools in rural county get a new boost”
Gayle Manchin and AFT President Randi Weingarten talk about Reconnecting McDowell a 3-5 year partnership which focuses on instruction, recruitment and retention of teachers, as well as housing, transportation, job creation and social issues. She also talks about the partners of the program including unions, Frontier, Energy companies, Cisco, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, among others.
I am very curious to find out more about their “comprehensive plan.” I will be following this development and hope that they hold all of their promises to the community…McDowell County can’t afford any more false hope.
The timing of this announcement couldn’t be more alligned with Hollow. Ry Rivard and I have been developing and talking about doing a project about WVa’s issue with rural brain drain since 2009. I started doing the groundwork this August and will be shooting all next summer. I hope that we can see some improvements from Reconnecting McDowell while filming for the interactive documentary.