Welcome to the January issue!
Happy 2017! If you haven’t already, I hope this is the year you preserve, celebrate, and share your life stories, or those of a loved one, on video or audio. You may be a do-it-yourselfer, and wondering why it’d be worth your while to hire a pro. If that’s the case, you’ll find some reasons below.
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
Why hire a legacy video pro?
I received a call recently from a prospective legacy video client. The conversation eventually turned to price. Expressing a little surprise at the cost of a professionally-produced custom legacy video, the caller asked me what I “bring to the table.” Good question. So what value do I, as a professional personal historian bring to a legacy video or audio biography? I’ve touched on this topic before, and thought I’d start off 2017 by reprising an article I wrote several years ago.
You own a pretty nice consumer camcorder. You’ve dabbled in editing. You’ve even created birthday videos for family members. AND you’ve decided that this is the year you’re going to create that long overdue video biography featuring your grandparents, or your mom and dad. After making that decision, you’re immediately confronted by another – whether to attempt to create the legacy video yourself or hire a professional personal historian/video biographer to work with you and for you. If you have the financial resources, there are definite benefits that come with hiring a pro.
In order to proceed smoothly, a video project needs to be organized from start to finish. A professional video biographer can bring years of organizational experience to the table. A pro can talk with you about your goals and wishes for your video and then design a production that meets your needs and your budget. A pro knows how to start a legacy video project and then proceed efficiently each step of the way. A true professional treats you, the client, like the executive producer – consulting you and ushering you and your family through the process.
A professional video biographer will be well-versed in visual storytelling techniques. He or she can offer you a number of ways to approach and treat your family stories and storytellers. And a pro will have a realistic idea of the cost and time involved in the different options he or she offers you. A real pro will be able to show you samples of past work so you can make informed decisions about the creative direction of your legacy video.
Your storytellers deserve to be presented in the most flattering way possible. A professional can insure that your storytellers look and sound their very best on camera. This means professional lighting, knowing how to compose a pleasing shot and using a high-end camera to capture the image, along with top-notch microphones to ensure great sound. A pro will also know how to make a storyteller feel safe and comfortable during the interview in order to ensure an effective “performance.”
The final edit is where the magic happens. A video biographer who is an experienced editor can take all the raw elements collected during the production process (interviews, photos, films, music, sound effects, etc.) and turn out a program that exceeds your wildest expectations.
Best of all, a professional video biographer can be working on your project steadily, not squeezing it in during a free moment here and there like you may have to do. This means your video biography actually gets finished, instead of getting put off for yet another year.
True, you’ll have to pay for the service – but in the end, the value a professional can bring to your project may be well worth the price.
– Steve Pender
“The Legacy Video Lounge” podcast update.
In the December podcast, Steve Pender tells a cautionary tale that emphasizes proper labeling and storage of life story interviews and other family history assets. He also sheds light on how he uses transcripts to plan his legacy video edits. You’ll find the December episode, and the rest of the Legacy Video Lounge podcasts here.
Be sure to subscribe!