Welcome to the Spring 2020 issue!
I pray this issue finds you and your loved ones safely weathering the pandemic. Those of us who are social distancing and sheltering in place suddenly have extra time on our hands – time that can be used to finally delve into family history projects and celebrate life stories. I’ll touch on this in greater detail below.
I hope you enjoy this issue of the Family Legacy Video® e-Newsletter. Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone toll-free (888.662.1294) with any questions or comments you have.
Cheers! – Steve Pender
Free questions – how have you used them?
Hundreds of you have downloaded the free video biography questions available on the Family Legacy Video® website. I hope the questions have helped you. If they have, would you tell me?
If the questions have proven useful to you, please drop me a line and let me know how. I may include your comments in a future newsletter. Thanks!
– Steve Pender
Book ’em Dan-o: Plan your legacy video now.
During this time of social distancing, Family Legacy Video® has temporarily suspended the production side of our business. But that doesn’t mean we can’t help you plan your legacy video now.
If there’s a legacy video project you’d like to discuss, please give us a call (Toll free: 888.662.1294 / Local: 520.743.4090) or shoot us an email. We’ll be happy to discuss process, pricing, options, and answer any and all questions you have. Then, if you decide you’d like to move forward, we can book your project and save you a spot “in the queue” to make sure we can help you preserve, celebrate, and share your life stories, or those of a family member, as soon as possible after our country is open for business again.
A new way to watch legacy videos.
Years ago, when Family Legacy Video® hung up its shingle and started creating custom personal legacy videos, we had basically one playback option available to send to our clients: DVDs. Then we moved into high definition video and added Blu-ray discs to our repertoire. Shortly thereafter, we introduced high definition MP4 videos on custom-engraved flash drives to play on computers and smart TV’s – still a popular option.
But what if you don’t have a DVD or Blu-ray player? Or you, or others in your family, aren’t comfortable with computers or smart TVs? Or there are times when you’d like a more convenient playback option?
If any of these situations apply to you and yours, Family Legacy Video’s Custom Personal Legacy Video Player is just the ticket.
Weighing in at a smidge over 12 ounces and measuring a little over 8 inches long by 6 inches high, the Legacy Video Player is a perfect handheld playback alternative. The player has a cover that can be custom printed. Open the cover, and your legacy video plays automatically on the 7-inch LCD screen. Built-in control buttons allow you to pause, play, and skip forward and backward between chapters – and raise and lower the audio volume. Close the cover, and the video automatically stops playing.
Each player comes in a black cloth storage bag that also contains a USB cable. You can charge the unit just like any USB device.
For ease and convenience, Family Legacy Video’s Custom Personal Legacy Video Player can’t be beat. Ask us about it when you contact us to plan your legacy video!
Making some time for family legacies.
Time. That’s what this pandemic has suddenly thrust upon many of us. Over the last few weeks I’ve used my hours at home to weed (thanks to a wet winter, a veritable forest of unwanted stuff sprouted throughout my yard); cook (perfected my Irish soda bread and finally took a stab at vegan eggplant parmigiana – very tasty, by the way); and edit a personal history video that’d been waiting for my attention for about twenty years.
You see, back in 2000, my wife Halina and I moved from New Jersey to Tucson, Arizona. It was a real adventure for us, driving across most of the country and living out of our suitcases while one of my brothers and his brother-in-law were driving all our possessions in a rented Penske truck. I figured we probably wouldn’t do anything like this again, so I was determined to document the event on video, which I did using my consumer miniDV camcorder.
At some point I transferred the video to my editing system and organized the footage. Then it sat on one my hard drives in limbo, year after year after year.
When we started social distancing a few weeks ago, I figured the time to finally tackle the project was now – or never. So I dove into it and had a great time putting the final video together.
If you have some long-delayed family history-related projects on your hands, now may be just the time to launch into one or two. This could also be the perfect opportunity to incorporate some family storytelling into your routine. Here are some ideas.
THOSE PHOTOS AREN’T GOING TO ORGANIZE THEMSELVES
Most of us love to snap photos. Organizing and storing them is another matter. In years past, most snapshots got stored away in drawers or dumped into shoe boxes – without any notes as to the people and places pictured. Now that we’ve gone digital, things are probably worse. In the olden days, rolls of film had a limited number of shots – so folks tended to be a little more discriminating about how many pictures they took. Today, the storage capacity of phones and digital cameras is amazingly high. So not only are people snapping tons of photos, most are not curating them in any way.
So, as painful as it might be, you may want to try to make some sense of your photos now that you have some spare time.
If you’ve got old prints, sort through them and group them by date as best as you can. Make notes on the back of each as to where and when the photo was taken and who or what is pictured. If you have a flatbed scanner, you might want to digitize the pics to make them easier to share with your family. Then put the hard copies into protective albums to make them easier to enjoy.
Sort through your digital photos in the same way. First, get them off your phone and onto a computer, preferably onto an external drive that will become your photo archive. You might want to rename the photo files to better describe what they represent and then put them into folders named to make sense to you. And don’t be afraid to delete photos that are duplicative or fuzzy or just don’t deserve saving. Going forward, make it a habit to transfer photos onto your archive drive shortly after you take them.
And if you shoot video or record audio with your phone – organize those files in the same way.
SCHEDULE SOME FAMILY “ONCE UPON A TIME”
University studies show that children familiar with their family stories and family history enjoy greater levels of emotional well-being. Kids who know how their elders and ancestors achieved success are inspired to do as well or better; conversely, stories about how their forebears came through tough times give youngsters the confidence to know that they can successfully navigate life’s turbulent waters as well.
So how about working some family story time into your schedule? Set aside an hour or two every week and allow your children to ask you and their grandparents questions about their lives. If you’re all living together, great – but you can also do this remotely. Record the sessions if you can.
You’re bound to have fun and learn some things you might not have known or that you’d forgotten. And your children will take away life stories and lessons they’ll treasure for years.
Capture your own thoughts and feelings during this difficult and scary time on paper, audio, or video.
Your journal entries will be a legacy to younger and future generations of your family and may inspire and comfort them when they have to deal with future challenges.
Whatever you do, use this time to contribute to your family history legacy in some way. You and your family will be glad you did.
Good luck and stay well.