A new website for Family Legacy Video!

Family Legacy Video’s website still has the same address, but as of August 18, 2011 it has a whole new look! The Family Legacy Video website team worked intensely over the past month to create a site that’s warm and inviting, informational, professional and user-friendly. The major goal was to create the most effective and informative video biography site possible. I think you’ll find that our new platform successfully shows off our custom legacy video services – as well as our range of do-it-yourself products and services, like guides, music and webinars. Have we succeeded? Please let us know!

Learn "Video Biography Basics" in January 2010

Get ready to dust off your headsets and double check your Internet connection – Family Legacy Video’s next Webinar series is on the calendar!

Family Legacy Video is proud to present “Video Biography Basics,” a six-session Webinar series led by award-winning video biographer and Family Legacy Video president Steve Pender. If you’ve been wondering what it takes to create a legacy video, this series will answer your questions and give you practical and professional tips and techniques you can apply to your own do-it-yourself video biography project. The sessions are designed for beginners and advanced beginners.

Choose from morning or evening sessions. The dates: January 19, 26; February 2, 9, 16, 23. Individual sessions cost $40; sign up for the series and save 10%.

For more information and to register visit Family Legacy Video’s Workshops & Webinars page.

A pilgrimage to a very special eatery

Pizza, spaghetti with marinara sauce, lasagna, eggplant parmigiana – all standard items you’d expect to find on most Italian restaurant menus. But at Spirito’s, a neighborhood eatery in Elizabeth, New Jersey, these dishes are part of an on-going, inter-generational feast.

Spirito’s opened in 1932. Seventy-seven years later, the business is still run by the Spirito family, and descendants of the original customers continue to patronize the place. The restaurant occupies a nondescript stone building on the corner of 3rd Avenue and High Street, a neighborhood of busy, narrow streets and not nearly enough parking. The bar’s in front; dining room is in back. It’s a no-frills kind of place, clean enough and featuring wood paneling and green-painted booths. Hanging on the walls, framed photos and newspaper reviews and articles celebrate the histories of the Spirito family and the restaurant.

My maternal grandparents introduced me to Spirito’s when I was a youngster. We always started with a cold antipasto, featuring celery, peppers, olives, cheeses and meats. Next came the “pizza pie” (as Grandpa always called it), a cheese pie with lots of tomato sauce and a very thin, crispy crust (what Garden Staters call a “bar pie”). The main courses followed. I can still remember the ravioli – large plump pasta pillows with a feather-light and creamy cheese filling. And the eggplant – wow, my mouth is watering as I write this.

The restaurant does have it quirks. Plenty of bread, but no butter. Soda is served by the pitcher, but you can only buy beer by the bottle. No coffee. And if you want desert you can stroll on down to the Italian ice stand at the other end of the street. But hey, these are the things that give Spirito’s its charm – like the wait staff.

The waitresses were, and still are, fantastic. I’ve heard them described as gruff – but to me they’re pure “Jersey” – friendly, no-nonsense ladies who also happen to have great memories. They never write down an order and they never make a mistake. In fact, years after my grandfather and grandmother moved from Elizabeth and my grandfather had died, I remember going to Spirito’s with my grandmother and finding a waitress who remembered them both.

Memories, I think, even more than the food, are what make this place so special. On a recent trip to New Jersey, I returned to Spirito’s for the first time in two decades and enjoyed a meal with my mom, two of my brothers, my sister-in-law, two nieces and a nephew. Nothing about the place had changed – and that was a good thing. I was happy to see a new generation of our family enjoying the same dishes I savored as a kid. And as I worked my way through the antipasto, the “pizza pie” and my eggplant, the tastes brought with them memories of happy times with my mom, grandparents and brothers around these very same tables. We were all part of a wonderful continuity – a very tasty legacy, if you will.

As we got up to leave, I told my mom that, while we had three generations gathered around our table, I’d felt as if my Grandma and Grandpa had joined us as well. Mom nodded and smiled. She’d felt their presence, too.

Video biography Webinars continue this summer: Join the fun!

So, how can you take part in a series of fun, informative and inspirational video biography workshops without flying to Tucson, Arizona? Easy – just register for Family Legacy Video’s “Video Biography Summer Session” – a series of online Webinars offering professional tips and tricks for planning and producing legacy videos – and learn in the comfort of your own home!

The series is the result of May’s successful trial run of “Video Biography 101,” Family Legacy Video’s first Webinar. Thirty attendees participated in this trial run, which was very well received. Now, Family Legacy Video is expanding its Web offerings – and you’re invited to take part.

The online series offers six sessions. The first class, a repeat of “Video Biography 101,” kicks off on Tuesday, July 28. If you’ve already attended this Webinar, you can join the series starting with the second session on August 4. Register for individual sessions, or save some money by selecting either the six-part series (including “Video Biography 101”) or the five-part series (excluding “Video Biography 101”). Choose either a morning or evening session.

Afraid you might miss a class? Don’t worry – all the classes will be recorded. If you miss one, or just want to review, you’ll receive links to the archived recordings. The registration deadline for the six-part series is July 24. For the five-part series, you’ll need to sign up by July 31.

You’ll find complete information on Family Legacy Video’s Workshops & Webinars page. Register now and join us for some hot video biography fun in the summertime!

Our first video biography Webinar: The reviews are in!

On May 19, 20 and 21, Family Legacy Video dipped its toes into the waters of online training – and found them warm and inviting.

“Video Biography 101” was the first in what may potentially be a series of sessions offering online video biography education to folks who don’t have the time and/or budget to attend a workshop in Tucson, Arizona. Family Legacy Video’s Steve Pender hosted the morning, afternoon and evening sessions, which ran between 1 1/2 and 2 hours, depending on the length of the Q&A.

The main purpose was to see if some of Family Legacy Video’s in-person workshop material could be successfully adapted to the online Webinar format, where attendees log-in over the Web and communicate with the presenter either via telephone or chat.
Were there some technical glitches? Sure, a few. And certainly Steve encountered a little bit of a learning curve while getting the hang of the new technology. The good news, however, is that the sessions ran pretty smoothly – and the format shows promise.

Here’s what a few of the attendees had to say:

Thanks for the Webinar last night. I thought this was GREAT! You are an exceptionally gifted facilitator and teacher. You have so many gifts for this work: A clear voice – excellent pacing and tonal variations. Remarkable! You clearly “held” the meeting together by providing the verbal inputs we continually needed – thanks! I got the feeling that you love what you do and are flexible to work with people. You impressed me with your willingness to share. THANK YOU.
Rakesh K., Massachusetts

That was FANTASTIC! Really a great Webinar! I learned a ton and took over 3 pages of notes. It is really wonderful for me whenever I see someone who does things EXCELLENTLY. It makes me so happy when I see someone who has taken obvious care and pride in the work they do and that is so evident in everything I’ve seen on your Web site, plus this fantastic Webinar.
David R., California

I wish to thank you for a job well done!! My motivation for attending the Webinar was to review the information that I learned in Tucson last year. It is my assessment that the Webinar method of conveying this type information is appropriate and so convenient. I believe that participants from all levels of knowledge about video biographies will walk away informed, inspired and empowered to produce a project. I truly hope that you find this will augment your current business model and incorporate it as a regular Webinar broadcast service.
Del M., North Carolina

Family Legacy Video offers its first video biography Webinar!

Family Legacy Video’s hands-on workshops are a great value – but not everyone can travel to Tucson, Arizona. So Family Legacy Video is harnessing the power of the Internet to bring our workshops to you!

Based on the responses to our recent online survey, we’re offering the first in what we hope will be a series of Webinars to help beginners create legacy videos for themselves and their families. If these Webinars are successful, we may plan some more advanced sessions in the future.

What’s a Webinar? It’s a live, online session incorporating two-way voice via telephone (both standard and Voice over Internet Protocol – VoIP) with visuals delivered directly to your computer monitor. The Webinar is led by a host, in this case Family Legacy Video’s president, Steve Pender.

We’ve titled our first Webinar “Video Biography 101” – think of it as a video biography primer. You’ll learn some of the basics, plus you’ll have the opportunity for some live Q&A with Steve.

The Webinar is being offered three times in May – a morning session on May 19th, an afternoon session on May 20th and an evening session on May 21. You’ll find complete details on the workshop page of the Family Legacy Video Web site.