On the 50th anniversary of the crisis, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum has released an interactive documentary called Clouds Over Cuba. Narrated by actor Matthew Modine, the film vividly explains the events before, during and after the historic crisis. As the story unfolds, the documentary prompts viewers to access an impressive amount of historical documents (photos, documents, audio recordings, etc.) that add real texture to the story. Clouds Over Cubaiseducational. It’s impressively put together.
"On the day I visited, the documentary makers were holding a story telling seminar to better enable the community participants to reflect on their lives in a way that would convey their experiences in McDowell County through its many ups and downs.
Present was a wonderful mix of all ethnicities, including Irish, Italian, Indian, German, and African American that reflected the impressive array of people that came to McDowell County in the past seeking their fortunes.
From ages 13 to 80, the participants all gathered in hopes of learning how they could convey their pride in their community and how to tell that in a format that would be available for all to enjoy.
The more I talked to the people the more I realized they were all community minded, each holding at least one position in their community, if not more, that was directly responsible for insuring and bettering the welfare of the rest of the community.
Participants were from law enforcement, health care, teaching, county government, and the local food bank, just to name a few. More importantly, they shared a real enthusiasm for the project that was obvious in their words and actions.
As work on “Hollow” continues, I am left with this thought; they say one person can change the world. If this is true, we definitely have not heard the last of McDowell County West Virginia, because I recently met a room full of earth shakers there.”
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.
”Most of the thoughts an opinions of our state are formed by outside forces looking in. A project like this gives us the opportunity to do the exact opposite. To let people see West Virginia from the perspective of the people who live here. We can show the good and the bad. And the surprising thing for most people will probably be that the good is awfully good. And that the bad is much more real and nuanced than the clichés and stereotypes.”
Across the nation, 33 members of Congress have helped direct more than $300 million in earmarks to dozens of public projects for work in close proximity to commercial and residential real estate owned by the lawmakers or their family members.
The interactive doc definitely has it’s own aesthetic/scrapbook feel. When I first experienced the piece I felt it was a bit overwhelming and lacked solid storytelling but my opinion was changed after a second viewing. I have now walked away with a huge appreciation for the amazing sound design in the project. Welcome to Pine Point combines photographs, sound and video clips, interviews, music, and narration to explore the memories of people from the town. Experience it for yourself here
I haven’t had alot of time to fully check out this site but from what I can tell it is pretty visually interesting! Check it out. Looks like more of a visual diary than an interactive storytelling site.
Take some time to explore La Zone by Guillaume Herbaut, a haunting digital documentary about the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.This project is very interesting and beautifully shot and executed. The use of maps with photos and video gives it a very sophisticated feel. It recently won France 24-RFI web documentary prize. It has alot of interesting interactive elements. While you are watching a video you can choose to skip to the next image or go backwards, however the audio track continues. The film deals with the “ghost town” effect of this area with contemporary footage, old photographs, and voiceover. There are many documentary portraits, as well. However, some of the videos are composed of just haunting long shots and narration.There are several ways to navigate the website; one way is along the bottom by clicking through the words near the timeline and the second is near the top through an layered icon.