With community members working on the film as well, she said the lines of filmmaker and film participant blurred a bit. That helped people feel more comfortable. She said she was "surprised at how much the people sort of adopted me."
McMillion said another challenge was weaving in the community videos.
Although she said she did not create a traditional story narrative that takes viewers from a beginning to an end, there was no way to work in every video from the community. The films that didn't make the final project are available on a different website, she said.
She can't wait for people to see the film.
"I think it's a project that many West Virginians are going to be proud of," McMillion said. "Being a West Virginian and growing up here, I think it's a really authentic view of the area."
The film's website, www.hollowdocumentary.com, is live today. But it's not the only spot to view a bit of "Hollow." McMillion created a short version for the New York Times "Op-Docs" portion of the website.
People all over the country are interested in seeing the project and learning more about the community, McMillion said.
"I'm not really sure the people in McDowell really realize how may people who have never been to McDowell and never been to West Virginia. . . are so excited for this," she said.
"I think that that's going to be super empowering for the residents, to see that people care, and that people want to see their stories."
The people of McDowell can see the film Saturday in Welch and Sunday in Caretta, at several different locations. The Internet connection in Welch isn't strong enough to run the film live, so the team is prerecording it for the public viewing, McMillion said.
The team is also distributing thumb drives containing the project to libraries or other community centers.
Apart from another documentary that focuses on a particular family in McDowell County, McMillion said she doesn't have any real plans after "Hollow."
While she's ready to work on some short-term projects after the two years of work on the film, she will always have a soft spot for this subject.
"I don't think I'll really be able to disconnect from the people of McDowell," she said.
The website is free. For the full interactive experience, McMillion advised it's best to view the film using the Google Chrome Internet browser.
For more information, go to www.hollowthefilm.com.