Are you looking to record your parent or grandparent sharing their memories? Are you wondering how to make a Legacy Video? Recording a loved one is a great way for future generations to know their story but making an heirloom quality Legacy Video involves more than simply pushing the record button on a camera.
As a Legacy Video producer, below are a few of my own tips on how to make a legacy video.
How to Make a Legacy Video
~ Equipment ~
These days it’s easy to find consumer video cameras to record an interview. As you research, be sure to read the reviews. Key information to look for is how long the camera records, how long the battery lasts and image and sound quality. Don’t forget the tripod, memory cards and an extra battery.
While on camera microphones are getting better every day, they still leave much to be deserved. To avoid picking up sounds other than you subjects voice so you may want to invest in a microphone. I use a lavelier mic that I clip to their collar.
The key is to control the light so film in a room where natural light can be blocked by closing curtains or shades. You can either purchase a professional light/s or try working with your own lamps. Just leave time to make adjustments in case your grandmother is looking a bit flat or night stalkerish.
- The Setting
You may not notice the plant sprouting from grandpa’s head or your own reflection in the mirror until deep into the interview. Be aware of what is behind your subject before you hit record. Also, turn off all phones, reschedule the lawn service and send the dog to the neighbors.
~ The Interview ~
Know your goals as they will help you stay in control of the interview. Otherwise you may find Dad spending 20 minutes on one story and you running out of time.
For a list of questions to ask your parents or grandparents to learn more about their life story and your family history, visit my post: ‘Grandparent Interview Questions’.
Ask your grandparent to pause before answering a question or you may find them talking over you. And give them time to answer as they may simply be trying to remember details.
Have your grandparent sit on a comfortable but firm chair or sofa. If the cushion is too soft, you may see them slowly sink out of the frame over the course of the interview.
~ Editing ~
You have 2 hours of footage. Now what? Editing is where the real work begins. It will be up to you to decide how much time you want to put into editing.
- Editing Software
You can find consumer editing software online for free or for a nominal charge. While these have limitations they may be perfect for your needs. Again, read the reviews. (I use Final Cut Pro, a professional editing software with lots of bells and whistles but one that has a steep learning curve.)
- What to Edit Out
As you review the footage you will see a lot that can be removed. Stories that go off topic, long pauses, interruptions and more. You may even decide to replace your questions with titles to make the movie even more intimate.
- What to Add In
Bring your parent’s or grandparent’s stories to life by weaving in family photos, documents, maps and other memorabilia. Add titles, chapters, music and more for a truly heirloom quality Legacy Video.
Once your Legacy Video is complete, select a special occasion for the big reveal! Upload the movie to a family website and give everyone a copy on a flash-drive as a keepsake.
Give your parent or grandparent the gift of a lifetime by capturing their life story for your family to know!
Here at Family Tree Video we produce Legacy Videos, modern-day memoirs that weave a filmed interview together with family photos, documents, maps and other memorabilia. The result is a beautiful “Moving Portrait” capturing your loved one sharing their life story, family history and memories – a gift your family will treasure for generations to come.
To learn more about giving the gift of a Legacy Video, visit FamilyTreeVideo.com
Family Tree Video LLC
Legacy Video Production