Welcome to the December issue!
Thanksgiving and Hanukkah are behind us and Christmas and the New Year will be here soon. As I’ve said before, if you spend these holidays with family you don’t often see, use the occasion to capture some family history. Way back in December of 2005, I posted some tips on videotaping holiday get-togethers. You’ll find the post here. Good luck! I wish you and yours a Joyous Solstice, a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Kwaanza and a Healthy and Prosperous 2014.
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
Family Legacy Video helps celebrate mining industry legacies.
It was Saturday, December 7, 2013. Evening had just fallen and I was sitting in a line of cars on the approach to the Marriott Starr Pass Resort in a very scenic area of Tucson, Arizona. Up ahead, I saw car after car turning around, directed away from the filled-to-capacity parking garage to a satellite lot where shuttle buses waited. I made it to the front of the line, rolled down my window, and flashed my VIP parking pass to the attendant. He smiled and waved me through. The piece of paper entitled me to a spot in a lot just steps from the resort entrance. It was a perk I was happy to have this night.
After leaving my ride with the valet, I headed inside, making my way past numerous banquet rooms hosting a variety of holiday parties, to my destination: the 31st Annual American Mining Hall of Fame banquet, a fundraiser sponsored by the Mining Foundation of the Southwest for its educational outreach program. This was my second year creating the videos that would be played at the night’s event. The pieces ranged from a “razzle dazzle” opening that introduced the event, the outreach program and the night’s sponsors, to video biography-style clips ranging from two to five minutes that celebrated mining industry luminaries from centuries past on up to the present day.
I settled into a seat at my table and accepted a glass of wine from one of our servers. While my work was over, I still had two concerns: that the video and audio playback to the big screens flanking the head table went smoothly, and that the audience of five hundred enjoyed the clips.
Luckily, the technical crew was on their game and the videos were overwhelmingly well-received by the attendees.
Later, after receiving thanks from my client and kudos from others for my work, I made my way back to the parking lot. As I waited for my car, I looked up at the constellation of Orion hanging in the cool, clear Sonoran sky and gave thanks for the video biography skills that helped me contribute to this grand event and that continue to help me create videos that preserve, celebrate and share folks’ legacies of life work and life stories.
“Our American Family” features ordinary families telling extraordinary stories.
During his November 9 keynote address to the annual conference of the Assocation of Personal Historians, producer Steve Young described how his effort to capture his father’s family story on video led to what has become a multi-documentary project for public television. Steve’s focus is on capturing the stories of family members who lived through the first half of the twentieth century. His first effort resulted in “The Youngs,” a half-hour program that weaves together recollections from a variety of his relatives and paints a vivid portrait of the life of his family.
Steve described his production process as well as the challenges he encountered bringing his program to air. He and his team have completed a second installment featuring another family and are currently at work on others. You can learn more about the series here. And since many PBS outlets have yet to pick up the program, be sure to let your local station know if you’d like it to carry the show.