Even if you’ve never been within 1,000 miles of McDowell County, West Virginia, you’ve driven through it. McDowell is a stand-in for thousands of American counties, once prosperous communities beat down by plant closings,natural disasters, technology shifts, or changing times. Its population, which peaked at 100,000 in the 1950s, is now down to about 22,000, but its remaining residents hang tough, camouflage aging storefronts with bright, cheery murals, open new businesses, keep faith, and savor the surviving pleasures of small-town, slow-lane American life. The website Hollow is an ingeniously constructed, interactive collage of McDowell County, an immersive experience, a digitized diorama. Visitors can meander at their own pace, track the county’s fortunes over time, see residents’ photographs and art, hear their stories, remembrances and hopes, and contribute their own comments and ideas. For combining imaginative story-telling techniques with web-only capabilities that allow visitors to experience life itself in both specific and universal terms, Hollow is honored with a Peabody Award.
Producer: Elaine McMillion Sheldon. Director: Elaine McMillion Sheldon. Art Director, Designer and Architect: Jeff Soyk. Associate Producer: Tricia Fulks. Technical Director and Senior Developer: Robert Hall. Interactive Developer: Russell Goldenberg. Cinematographer: Elaine McMillion Sheldon. Editors: Sarah Ginsburg, Kerrin Sheldon. Sound Designer: Billy Wirasnik. Composer: Lee Strauss. Community Outreach: Michelle Miller. Participatory Cartographer: Eric Lovell. Writer and Researcher: Jason Headley. Project Manager: Nathaniel Hansen. Production Assistant: Rheanna O’Neil Bellomo.
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