(Frequently Asked Questions)
My mother’s memory is fading. Will that be an issue?
Very few of us remember everything but, often, when the right questions are asked, memories can resurface. For that reason most of my questions are open ended and designed to bring a person back to a specific time and place, i.e. “describe your neighborhood growing up”. While I may not necessarily be looking for a description of the neighborhood, the process of remembering often triggers stories from their childhood that may otherwise have been lost.
My grandson dabbles in video. Why should I use you?
Having a family member preserve your story is ideal but few are able to commit the time needed to actually complete the project. Video Biographies typically involve anywhere form 50 to 150 hours. They may also lack the equipment, technical knowledge and/or interview skills needed to produce a quality video memoir.
What should I wear for my interview?
Something comfortable. Just avoid tops that have tiny patterns or are all white. I typically frame the film from the waist up so feel free to wear your craziest socks if you so desire.
Can I be in the room when my father is interviewed?
Yes – although I generally recommend against it. I find interviewees are more easily distracted and their stories more reserved when they know a family member is listening. Often, a family member sits in a room nearby where they can still hear the conversation but aren’t visually present. Or they run errands and check in every so often if they feel the need.
What questions do you ask?
While I have a list a questions, most are open ended so there are many follow-up questions based solely on a person’s response. I also encourage families to let me know if there are specific questions they would like asked, topics I should focus on or even areas I should avoid.
Do you do genealogy research?
I see you list research in one of your packages. What type of research do you do?
I often do light research for images to enhance stories, such as a photo of the house someone grew up in or of the school/church/temple they attended as a child.
How long does it take?
It all depends on the complexity of the project, my workload at the time and your availability to review and provide photos. A fully edited Video Biography with 75 photos generally takes 4 weeks and involves about 75 hours of editing. A Family History Video, depending on the number of people to be interviewed and other factors mentioned, closer to 6-8 weeks.
Do you narrate the movie?
No. My goal is for the family to feel their loved one is talking directly to them so I remove my voice entirely. By using a variety of editing techniques along with titles, photos and special effects, stories and timelines still flow smoothly. Removing my presence creates a much more intimate and personal viewing experience for the family.
Our family has a few ‘skeletons’ in our closet that we would prefer stay there. How do you handle those if they come out in an interview?
Every family has a few skeletons and while some don’t mind them being part of family lore, others do. Once I start the editing process, you will be able to view the movie online and provide feedback. I’ll simply edit out any information you would like to keep private.
Why do you offer Flash drives in your sample packages?
Two reasons, DVDs are going the way of VCR tapes and clients are asking for flash drives so they can watch the movies on their computers. Flash drives also allow the client to easily duplicate the movie file so it can be shared with family and friends.
My grandfather is in Iowa and you are in Chicago. Do you travel?
Yes, but I encourage families to look for a Family Documentary producer in their area first as travel expenses are additional.
Do you have a question?
Family Line Video, LLC
Family Documentary Production