Welcome to the April issue!
What would a video biography shoot look like if it was compressed into less than forty-one seconds? This month, you’ll see! I’ll also tell you about two phone calls that really drove home the point about not waiting to preserve, celebrate and share your life stories until it’s too late.
I hope you enjoy this issue of the Family Legacy Video® Producer’s 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
Don’t blink – you might miss it!
Just for fun, I set up a time lapse camera on a recent Family Legacy Video® shoot. From set up to the interview’s end, the compressed version of our all-day shoot runs for under forty-one seconds! Think of how much we could get done in a day if we really moved this fast! But don’t worry – if you hire Family Legacy Video® to create a legacy video for you, I promise not to rush your interview! I hope you enjoy the video.
– Steve Pender
Beating the clock.
One day in March, I received a call from a woman working at a hospice in the southeast U.S. She was anxiously looking for someone to record the remembrances and final messages of a young woman, in her late twenties, who would soon leave behind her husband and young child. Time was obviously of the essence and the hospice couldn’t afford to fly me in. I referred the caller to another personal historian and wished her luck in her search. If she couldn’t find someone, I told her to call me back and I’d help if I could.
Just two days later, another hospice-related call came in, this one from the east coast. A daughter whose elderly mother was in hospice was looking for someone to record her mom’s stories. Time and cost again worked against hiring Family Legacy Video®, and I referred her to someone I knew in her area.
I honestly think these were the first calls I’ve received related to folks in hospice since I started offering professional video biographies in 2003. And to have these calls come so close to one another made them doubly unusual. They got me to thinking, first about the challenge of “beating the clock” and capturing our life stories before that clock stops ticking – and second, about how I could better respond to future pleas for help from hospices, or the families of hospice patients.
DO IT NOW
I recently asked one of my legacy video clients what he’d say to individuals or families who were thinking of capturing their life stories and family histories on video, but hadn’t yet committed to doing so. “Do it,” was my client’s answer. “Do it now, and do it with gusto,” he continued.
He’s absolutely right, of course. One of my biggest and ongoing challenges as a professional personal historian and video biographer is inspiring people to think about preserving their life stories and those of their loved ones before time runs out. Far too many people only realize what they’ve lost in terms of family memory when an elder passes on without leaving behind a legacy of stories, either in video, audio, or print. When this happens, it’s truly like a library burning down. The information and inspiration is gone forever.
Now, the unfortunate young lady who found herself in hospice before she was even out of her twenties is certainly an exception. After all, who at that age is thinking about the need to save their life stories? But her situation underlines an important point: None of us knows what fate has in store for us. So we should be passing along whatever values, wisdom, wishes, and stories we can, while we can. As my client said, “Do it now.”
“LEGACY STORIES 911”
So, what kind of service could Family Legacy Video® realistically offer to hospice patients and their families? Putting together a video shoot with only a day or two’s notice is not easy to pull off, especially if travel is involved, and the cost of doing so could be prohibitive for many. Plus, I have to wonder if a hospice patient would want to deal with a crew, a camera, and lights. Let me be clear, if the family and the patient want video and can afford the service, I’d move heaven and earth to provide it. But what might be less expensive and less intrusive?
How about audio? A professional audio recorder and microphone is all I need to create a high-quality audio recording, meaning it’s a lot easier for me to hop in a car or jump on a plane with my audio equipment than with a video crew and gear. Moreover, I can conduct an interview and operate the recorder, meaning less fuss and less stress for the hospice patient. As you can imagine, travel and production costs are much lower than they’d be for video. Afterwards, the interview can be preserved and shared on audio CDs and/or MP3 files.
Think of this audio option as Family Legacy Video’s emergency legacy story service, or “Legacy Stories 911.”
So remember: The time to preserve, celebrate and share your life stories is NOW. But, if events conspire against you and you need help on short notice, give Family Legacy Video® a call. We’ll do our best to help.
– Steve Pender
Family Legacy Video® is featured on BellaOnline.
On March 12, 2016, Family Legacy Video, Inc. received a wonderful review on the BellaOnline-The Voice of Women website, courtesy of Tina Sansone, BellaOnline’s genealogy editor. According to Tina, “Family Legacy Video® offers an awesome opportunity to share your family history.” You can read the entire review here.
“The Legacy Video Lounge” podcast update.
In March, the podcast focused on the print side of personal history, with a two-part interview with Kristin Delaplane, author of “Storytelling: How to Write an Inspiring Memoir, Oral History, or Family Genealogy,” and “First to Die: The Tragic Loss of the SS Vestris.”
In April, the benefits of video biographies, for both storytellers and their families, will be front and center. You’ll even hear firsthand from a repeat Family Legacy Video® client!
You’ll find the podcasts here. Be sure to subscribe!