When I started going through “Hollow” (can’t find a better verb, “watching” is not what I did) I was amazed with the amount of elements it has. Imagine a dynamic collage of audio, stills, images, data and video, divided in six different chapters, each one including short but deep, well crafted video stories.
In a nutshell, it’s a story about the rise and fall of McDowell County, West Virginia, USA. The remaining inhabitants of this now decadent area show their lives in this empty land, while making ends meet and trying to resurrect their towns.
Its makers, Director and Producer Elaine McMillion, Sound Designer Billy Wirasnik, Technical Director and Senior Developer Robert Hall and Art Director/Designer and Architect Jeff Soyk, held a Hangout where they talked about this project, their sucesses and failures.
I’d like to highlight Billy Wirasnik’s advice : “Don’t forget about sound!”. This project relies a lot in natural soundscapes and music tracks, which adds a whole new dimension to the story. Try it without sound and you’ll see what I mean.
Another thing you should notice is that you have to watch some videos to unlock extra features. It’s a way to reward the users who explore the most.
There is a lot to learn from the mechanics and looks of this interactive doc, especially the mix of still and dynamic visual elements, pushed forward by html5/css3/js cogwheels, and the awesome video narrative. A must “scroll through” (?!?).
Check out Elaine McMillion’s blog to watch the Hangout videos and access the links they mentioned and other assorted tools and tips for storytellers.
Here’s the trailer for “Hollow”: