Academy Award-nominated & Emmy/Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker
Elaine McMillion Sheldon is an Academy Award-nominated and Emmy and Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker. Sheldon is the director of two Netflix Original Documentaries – “Heroin(e)” and “Recovery Boys” – that explore America’s opioid crisis. “Heroin(e)” was nominated for a 2018 Academy Award and won the 2018 Emmy Award for Outstanding Short Documentary. Sheldon has appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Anthony Bourdain’s CNN Show Parts Unknown and Meet The Press with Chuck Todd. She was recently named a 2018 USA Fellow by United States Artists, one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine and one of “50 People Changing The South” by Southern Living Magazine. She’s a founding member of All Y’all Southern Documentary Collective. She has been commissioned by Frontline PBS, The Center for Investigative Reporting, The New York Times Op-Docs, TEDWomen, Field of Vision, and The Bitter Southerner.
Just move the needle a little bit everyday. Bit by bit you will see progress. I am a big list maker. I make to-do lists of my day the night before or in the early morning. I have a monthly task list that then migrates to weekly and daily lists. If things don’t get done I keep moving them forward to the next day. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish if you write it down and create a system that holds you accountable and tracks progress. At the end of every month, I do a monthly reflection that recognizes the positives (went on weekend hike, won an award, got paid) and negatives (too much time spent in meetings, too much time wasted on Facebook) of each month to make sure I am staying on track personally and professionally. It helps me refine my goals and purpose in a real-time way.
I am not my thoughts
Breathe and find inner creativity.
What do you love most about Your City?
I live in a small city in West Virginia. One reason I live here is for the access to hiking trails and forests. It’s the real appeal of this place. Being so close to nature provides me a great balance.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
Greek yogurt with granola, berries and honey.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – Waking up (around 6:30 or 7) to do 10 minutes of stretching and yoga and 10 minutes of meditation.
10:00 AM – Work. Work. Work – either at home or in the field.
12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal?
Green smoothie – spinach, coconut milk, avocado, chia seeds, berries, hemp seed.
7:00 PM – Going for an evening walk with my husband and dog. Preparing to make dinner and listening to a podcast. If we’re in the field, I am doing and documenting whatever my subjects are doing which at times can be super random.
11:00 PM – In deep sleep. I’m a morning, not a night, person.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
I drink way too much black coffee. Sometimes I switch it up in the afternoons to green tea. Water all day. If I am treating myself, I have a glass of red wine at night.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
My favorite apps are my news apps (New York Times and Washington Post), Audible, and podcast app. For my 31st birthday I deleted all my social media accounts, which was the best thing I have ever done for my happiness, time, productivity and health.
What should everyone try at least once?
Live without your smart phone and technology for one week.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
The woods and forests.