(Frequently Asked Questions)
My mother’s memory is fading. Will that be an issue?
Very few of us remember everything but often, when the right questions are asked, memories resurface. For that reason many of my questions are open ended and designed to bring a person back to a specific time and place, i.e. “describe your neighborhood growing up”. While I may not necessarily be looking for a description of the neighborhood, the process of remembering often triggers memories from their childhood that may otherwise have been lost.
My grandson dabbles in video. Why should I use you?
Having a family member capture your life story is ideal but few have the equipment, time and skills needed to produce an high quality video memoir. A good video memoir or Legacy Video typically involves between 50 to 75 hours of editing.
Do you do interviews over Zoom?
Yes. While the video quality isn’t the same as when a professional camera and lighting are used, the interview and editing still make for an heirloom quality video memoir. In fact, some people are more comfortable being interviewed over Zoom than being in front of a camera.
What questions do you ask?
While I have a list of over 100 questions, most are open ended so there are many follow-up questions based solely on a person’s response. I also encourage families to let me know if there are specific questions they would like asked, topics I should focus on or even areas I should avoid.
Can I be in the room when my father is interviewed?
Yes…though I generally recommend against it. I find people are more easily distracted and their stories more reserved when they know a family member is listening. Sometimes, a family member sits in a room nearby where they can still hear the conversation but can’t be seen. Or they run errands and check in every so often if they feel the need. Most times, though, it’s just myself and the person being interviewed.
Do you do genealogy research?
No. My focus is on capturing the oral history – the memories of a person about their life story, their parents, grandparents and, on occasion, great-grandparents. While ancestry.com is a great resource, a grandparents memories can be even better!
I see you list research in one of your packages. What type of research do you do?
I often do light research for images that will enhance a story, such as a photo of the house the person grew up in or of the school, church or temple they attended as a child.
Our family has a few ‘skeletons’ in the closet that we prefer remain there. How do you handle those if they come out in an interview?
Every family has a few skeletons and while some don’t mind them being part of family lore, others do. Once I start the editing process, you will be able to view the movie online and provide feedback. I will simply edit out any information you would like to keep private.
Do you narrate the movie?
No. My goal is for the family to feel their loved one is speaking directly to them so I remove my voice entirely. Through a variety of editing techniques along with the addition of titles, photos and more, stories and timelines still flow smoothly. Removing my voice creates a more intimate and personal viewing experience for the family.
What should I wear for my interview?
Something comfortable. Just avoid all white tops and ones with tiny patterns. I typically frame the film from the waist up so feel free to wear your craziest socks if you want.
My grandfather is in Iowa and you are in Chicago. Do you travel?
You used to call your videos ‘Family Documentaries’. Why are they now called ‘Legacy Videos’?
People kept referring to my videos as Legacy Videos so I finally joined the chorus. Which name do you prefer?
To learn more about capturing your parent or grandparent’s life story, family history and memories for your family to know, contact us.
A legacy Video is a gift your family will treasure for generations to come.
Family Tree Video, LLC
Legacy Video Production
Legacy Video FAQs
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Capturing Life Stories and Family History
in Video Memoirs
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Video Biographies ~ Video Memoirs ~ Family History Videos
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