Welcome to the Summer 2023 issue!
“Everything good, everything magical, happens between the months of June and August.”
Something magical will indeed happen in August, 2023. That month, Family Legacy Video® celebrates its twentieth anniversary! In this issue of the newsletter, we’ll take a look at how Family Legacy Video® has evolved over the last two decades.
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
Twenty years and counting!
Family Legacy Video, Inc. first hung out its shingle when the company incorporated in August of 2003. The twenty years that followed have been filled with experimentation, discovery, evolution, and lots and lots of stories! Here are some highlights:
THE GERM OF AN IDEA
It’s 1998, and New Jersey video producer, scriptwriter, & editor Steve Pender interviews his grandmother on-camera. He creates a personal documentary that’s a hit with his family. The experience leaves him wondering if he might be able to make a business out of helping individuals and families share their life stories and values on video.
Video editing in the 90’s was a very expensive proposition, however. Tape-based video editing at the time was done in studios that rented for hundreds of dollar per hour – not very cost-effective. Steve puts the idea on hold.
DIPPING A TOE INTO THE WATER
Steve and his wife, Halina, move to Tucson, Arizona in the autumn of 2000. A year later, the 9/11 attacks leave Steve reflecting on lives and stories lost forever. At the same time, the introduction of “desk top” editing starts to bring down the costs of video post production. Still unsure whether or not customers would pay for the costs of a “soup to nuts” production, Steve goes the Do-It-Yourself route. He incorporates Family Legacy Video, Inc., and creates the “Family Legacy Video Producer’s Guide” on CD-ROM. He later adds a collection of royalty-free music for use by DIY video editors. He discontinues the products in 2016.
LEGACY VIDEO PRODUCTION TAKES OFF
A member of Steve’s Rotary club tests out the Producer’s Guide and then decides he’d rather hire Family Legacy Video® than do it himself! Family Legacy Video® shoots its first legacy video interviews in 2004 and Steve realizes there IS a market for “soup-to-nuts.” For the time-being, he decides to serve two sets of customers: the DIYers, and clients looking for custom legacy video production. In the years that follow, Family Legacy Video® crews travel across the continental U.S., Hawaii, and Italy. Many of the company’s legacy productions even win awards.
THE CHALLENGING PART: MARKETING
Compared to marketing, video production is easy. Steve’s efforts to promote Family Legacy Video® and communicate the benefits of capturing, preserving, and sharing life stories begins early on and continues to this day. Those efforts include speaking engagements, newspaper and magazine articles, guest appearances on radio, podcasts and TV shows, display tables at various events, newsletters, Family Legacy Video’s own podcasts, print ads, and commercials on TV and radio.
WORKSHOPS & WEBINARS
In 2005, prompted by numerous phone calls from folks who want to know how Family Legacy Video® does what it does, the company holds its first in-person workshop in Tucson. These continue for three years, until 2008. Steve and his team even travel out to Ajo, Arizona, to teach history buffs there how to capture the stories of Ajo’s elders. In 2009, Steve takes the workshop experience online via webinars. These continue until 2017.
ADAPTING TO CHANGE
When Family Legacy Video® began, standard definition video was all there was – and DVDs were king. Keeping abreast of the constantly changing world of video technology, Family Legacy Video® moved to high definition video production. Deliverables evolved too, from custom-printed DVD and Blu-ray discs to custom-engraved flash drives and hand-held players. These days, the company can even shoot on 4K – and obtain gorgeous aerial shots using drones.
BACK ON THE ORIGINAL TRACK
With the start of the new year in 2018, Steve refocuses Family Legacy Video® solely on his true passion, custom legacy video production. In 2020, the Covid pandemic temporarily brings the company’s custom on-location legacy video work to a halt.
With the pandemic largely in the rear-view mirror, Family Legacy Video® is on the road again, doing what it does best – helping individuals, families, and organizations preserve, celebrate, and share their stories and values in custom-crafted legacy video and audio productions. If YOU have life stories you’d like to share, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Thanks to all the wonderful clients who’ve entrusted their stories to Family Legacy Video® over these past twenty years!
Family Stories Are the Ties That Bind Us
Robyn Fivush, Ph.D. is the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Developmental Psychology at Emory University and the director of the Family Narratives Lab there. In her university research and in her blog, she focuses on how storytelling creates our sense of self, our sense of family and community, and our sense of wonder in the world.
A recent post on Robyn’s blog makes the following points:
1. Research shows that adolescent well-being links to family stories and knowledge of family history.
2. Family stories make abstract values concrete; they embody a way of being in the world.
3. Children and adolescents embedded in family stories have a sense of history and belonging.
The post is entitled, “Family Stories Are the Ties That Bind Us.” It’s well worth a read – check it out!
Preserving frontier Jewish history.
In the Spring 2023 newsletter, you learned about Family Legacy Video’s efforts to help preserve the historic Bisbee-Douglas Jewish Cemetery, located in Douglas, Arizona, just feet from the border with Mexico. The video Family Legacy Video® created is now complete, and is serving as the cornerstone of the effort to fund the cemetery’s perpetual care.
A shout-out from a local DJ.
As mentioned in the Spring 2023 newsletter, Family Legacy Video® is dipping its toe into radio advertising here in Tucson with KDRI AM/FM. In addition to Tucson, the spots are heard around the world, thanks to the station’s stream.
Family Legacy Video® pays for the commercial time, of course. But the ads recently inspired KDRI’s morning DJ, Matt Gentry, to provide some free publicity. Thanks, Matt! Here’s his shout-out:
On the Legacy Video Lounge Podcast: Talkin’ Legacy Videos
If you ever wanted to hear a legacy video pro dish about all aspects of personal history videos, from the benefits to the production process and everything in-between, you’re in luck! You’ll find just what you’re looking for in Episodes 22-25 of the Legacy Video Lounge Podcast’s Talkin’ Legacy Videos series. Each episode features a spirited discussion, during which Family Legacy Video’s president, Steve Pender, responds to legacy video-related questions from Tucson-based writer Elena Acoba. They’ll help you to better understand what legacy videos are all about – and help you get to know the guy who is the driving force behind Family Legacy Video®. You’ll want to listen to these podcasts!