(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 resurface. For that reason many 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 memories 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. Video Biographies typically involve between 50 to 125 hours. A family member may also lack the equipment, technical knowledge and/or interview skills, all needed to produce an heirloom 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?
No. My focus is on capturing the oral history – the personal memories of the subject about their parents, grandparents and, on occasion, great-grandparents.
I see you list research in one of your packages. What type of research do you do?
I often do light research for images that will enhance a story, such as a photo of the house someone grew up in or of the school, church or temple they attended as a child.
How long does does a project take?
It all depends on the complexity of the project. A fully edited Video Biography with 75 photos typically takes 4-8 weeks. A lightly edited Video Biography, 1-2 weeks, An Anniversary Video, 6-8 weeks. A Family History Video, depending on the number of people to be interviewed, closer to 6-10 weeks.
Do you narrate the movie?
My goal is for the family to feel their loved one is speaking directly to them so I remove my voice entirely. Through a variety of editing techniques along with the addition of titles, photos and more, stories and timelines still flow smoothly. Removing my presence creates a 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?
DVDs are becoming obsolete and clients are now asking for flash-drives so they can watch the movie on their computers. Movie files on flash-drives can also be easily duplicated letting client’s easily share the movie with family and friends.
My grandfather is in Iowa and you are in Chicago. Do you travel?
Yes, but travel expenses are additional.
You used to call your videos ‘Family Documentaries’. Why are they now called ‘Legacy Videos’?
People kept referring to my videos as Legacy Videos so I finally joined the chorus. Which name do you prefer?
Do you have a question? Let me know!
Family Line Video, LLC
Legacy Video Production