My Mother’s memory is fading. Will that be an issue?
Very few of us remember everything but, often, when the right questions 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 capture your story is ideal but few are able to commit the time needed to actually complete the project, which can run anywhere from 50 to 150 hours. They may also lack the equipment, technical knowledge and/or interview skills needed to produce a quality documentary.
What should I wear for my interview?
Something comfortable. Just avoid tops that have busy patterns or are all white. I typically frame the film from the waist up so feel free to wear your craziest socks if you want.
Can I be in the room when my father is interviewed?
Absolutely – although I generally recommend against it as I find people seem more reserved and their stories more canned 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.
My mother is shy and doesn’t like strangers. I’m concerned she won’t talk much during the interview.
I’ve found even the most reserved person enjoys recounting their memories once they get started. Asking the right questions, making the person feel comfortable and showing genuine interest is key, though – interview skills I feel I bring to each project.
You seem to have a lot of names for a Video Biography.
That I do! I find people refer to Video Biographies by several different names – Life Story Videos, Personal History Videos, Legacy Videos, Video Memoirs, Personal Biography Videos, Video Biographies, Autobiography Videos, and so on. I try to include as many as I can.
What questions do you ask?
While I do have a list a questions, most are open ended so there are many follow-up questions that are based solely on a person’s response. I also encourage families to let me know if they have specific questions they would like asked, topics I should focus on or areas I should avoid (i.e. a divorce).
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.
How long does it take?
It all depends on the complexity of the project. For a Video Biography, filming generally takes about 3-4 hours with 45 minutes on either end for set up and take down of equipment. Post -production (editing) can take anywhere from 50 to 125 hours. For a Family History Video, filming time varies depending on the number of family members to be interviewed.
My grandfather is in Iowa and you are in Chicago. Do you travel?
Yes, but I always encourage families to look for a family documentary producer in their area first as travel expenses are additional.
Do you have a question?
Let me know and I’ll be happy to answer it
as best I can!
Family Line Video, LLC
Family Documentary Production