Life Story Video

Saving lives through video

New Video Memorial Resource Launched

funeral-quotations-imageWe have been in the video memorial business for over ten years. Our aim is to design and create the most personal, affecting and watchable video memorial tributes in the whole country.

But our commitment to memorable funeral tributes does not stop with our professional services. For those people who are lucky enough not to be pressed for time or who have a high degree of technical proficiency we are also a source of ideas and inspiration. We have been publishing “do it yourself” blogs stuffed with advice and suggestions for as long as we have been making video memorials for people. Our article on things to include in a video memorial has been read tens of thousands of times! 10 things (apart from photos) to include in a video memorial

We love our family – and of course we have suffered losses over the years. And on the passing of our loved ones we have wanted to honor and remember them in a special way. So we know that that is true for other people. And because of our professional expertise, we are in a position to help you properly honor your loved one and are happy to help in any way we can. And now we can reveal a new resource that families with a loss are sure to find helpful.

A Source of Funeral Memorial Quotes

Sometimes the feelings we have about a person, or words that reflect their life or their life’s philosophy, have been said by other people.  One of our personal favorites comes from Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) which helps us see the glass half full:

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

Another quotation we like speaks to the rather unplanned way life often often unfurls.  It was penned by Douglas Adams:

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”

Usually there is comfort in our faith, as Pope Francis reminds us:

“In the face of unjust and painful situations, faith brings us the light which scatters the darkness.”

For a boatload more quotation samples useful in funeral memorials just click on the heading which links to our new website. No tricks or data collection – just a bunch of quotations.


DIY Advice for Memorial Video Tributes

We also have advice for folks working on their own funeral slideshow. If you have the time and just a few computer skills you can easily make you own funeral slideshow for free.

While there is an endless array of “slideshow makers” out there, many not-free, chances are you already have on your computer (Apple or PC) everything that you will need. Think Windows Live Movie Maker available on newer PCs or iMovie available on most Apple computers.

diy-funeral-slideshows-imageAnd if you can’t find the editing program that came with your computer then there are more than a few reputable photo sharing web sites that will let you upload, arrange then convert to a slideshow for free.

But whatever slideshow maker you choose, make sure your photos don;t let you down. You will probably need to digitize some images – that means you need to get them into your computer using a flatbed scanner (or by carefully taking digital photographs of them.) You should, if possible, clean the images up with a simple (free) photo editing program like Microsoft Photo Editor (older PCs), Microsoft Photo Gallery (newer PCs), or Apple iPhoto.
And when scanning, use a reasonably high scan resolution (around 300 dpi – more for very small images).

Tribute Video Samples

If you just want to see a bunch of tribute video samples then you can click over to our sample page.  Some might be a tad sophisticated for first-timers but there are still ideas that you are likely to find useful.

So, good luck with your memorial. We won’t lie to you: they are a lot of work – even for professionals like us.  There is no fast way to create personal, delicate, affecting memorial slideshows and tributes.  But it’s time well spent for those who have earned our love.


Filed under: death, DIY Tips & Advice, Memorial Video, Uncategorized

Photo Repair and Restoration for Family Historians

As family historians, our job is to research and collect documents, information, stories, artifacts and photos about our clans. If you are lucky, you will come across some old family photographs. And if you are very lucky, you will discover grandma’s very own photo album full of all sorts of images and even (be still my beating heart) captions and descriptions.
But discovering old photos is not always the end of the journey. Creating digital copies is the next thing you really need to do. That will give you the ability to share the pictures around the cousins, and it will give you a vital backup should anything happen to the originals. And after that, the question will arise: should you also do a little photo repair and restoration? Is that needed; is it even “right”? Here’s what you need to know. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

Veterans Stories Recorded on Video

Many of our veterans have now told their stories. And some have even had them recorded for posterity. These three Orange County, California residents decided to record their WWII battle experiences in Your Story Here veterans’ videos. If you have a veteran in the family, don’t wait till it’s too late…

Jim Peirano: Firing back at Pearl Harbor
Jim Peirano fired at Japanese bombers from the deck of his submarine USS Dolphin during the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. He remembered with horror as the Arizona blew up scattering burning oil over the water – burning hundreds. Jim remembered the looks on the faces of the young Japanese pilots as they swooped in to drop their bombs. “They had the scarves and everything. You could see them real well because they were flying so low. It was just like you see in the movies!” Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Biographies, WWII

Digital Legacies: The Options

John Giacchino had been collecting information about his Italian American family for years. He had family trees, portrait photographs, immigration and census records, WWII registration cards, historical maps of the Philadelphia streets where his grandfather grew up, photographs from a family visit back to the villages, silent film (converted to video) of his Dad in high school and in the army, detailed biographies of most of his ancestors – and he had audio of his grandmother – now deceased – talking about her trip to America as a little girl.

John also had relatives spread across the United States, as well as back in Italy. And he knew it was time to do something with all this stuff for all these people. But what? Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Biographies, DIY Tips & Advice, legacy video

Creative Considerations For Your Tribute Video Production

There are only a few great ways to honor a life, celebrate a career, or just say “thank you”. And one of the best is to create a tribute video.

Tribute videos are really just another kind of life story video, but are made with an audience in mind wider than just the subject and their family. Often (but not always) the tribute video will be screened at an event coinciding with an anniversary or a birthday or a retirement. So it will be important to tell the story of your subject’s life. But you will need to do it in a way that is informative as well as entertaining and – if you are up for it – humorous.

In this article we are going to give you some ideas about the kind of material you should think about including in your tribute. And we are going to give you some suggestions for themes that will make the video more interesting, and possibly even funny. And we will talk briefly about pacing… Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: DIY Tips & Advice, tribute videos, Videos and films,

Life Story Lessons From Bilbo Baggins

The rise to prominence of one Bilbo Baggins has thrust genealogy and the recording of life stories into the limelight. First, it was Lord of the Rings – now on video – and then came (and continues to come) The Hobbit (itself now out on video). Because Bilbo is, right down to the soles of his hairy, oversized feet, a family man and a personal historian.

True, Bilbo has no wife or children of his own (that history records) but Bilbo adopts a son (Frodo) and is as devoted to his kith and kin as ever a person was. No one knows their lineage better, or throws better parties for the relatives, or struggles to get right the dictates of etiquette, or gives better presents to nieces and nephews than Mr. Bilbo Baggins.

Speaking to his assembled cousins on one famous occasion (his Eleventy First birthday in point of fact) he says, “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”

Which, if you can tease it out, is a statement of regret that Bilbo doesn’t know his relatives as well as he should—and has judged them a little too harshly in the past. Sounds about right, doesn’t it? Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Biographies, Videos and films,

Leave Something of Value: Life Stories

We spend a lot of time worrying about money, don’t we? First, do we have enough for ourselves? Should we work more or work longer; are we saving enough; can we afford that trip; and how much should we spend on ourselves and on gifts?

Later, the questions change. We start to reflect on our mortality and our legacy and we think about preplanning for the inevitable. Have we made our funeral or memorial arrangements; do we have our wills and estate plans in place? And how much will we be leaving to the children and grandchildren? Very often these are dollar and cents questions.

But is money our greatest and most important legacy? Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: family history video

Lincoln, Death, and the Family History Enterprise

You would be excused for thinking that Abraham Lincoln – whose life has lately been the subject of a critically successful and popular motion picture from Steven Spielberg and starring Daniel Day-Lewis – had no interest in family history and genealogy:

“I don’t know who my grandfather was”, Abraham Lincoln famously said, “I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.”

Being as how us folks at Your Story Here LLC create family history videos, this comes as a disappointment. But is it true? Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: death, family history video, Videos and films,

Life Stories on Video from the Inland Empire

The recent special exhibition entitled “When I’m Sixty Four” at the Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art at Chaffey College in San Bernardino County, California gave a chance for local seniors to recount some of their life stories on video. And how astonishing those stories turned out to be!

Originally conceived as an oral history project involving Storycorps, life story video specialists Your Story Here LLC stepped in to video record twelve remarkable stories from locals 64 years and older… Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Biographies, Personal Documentaries, , ,

Tribute Videos: Audio Tips

Huh? Audio for video tributes? I thought you were the video guys!? Well, yes, but we also do oral histories. And, there is an audio track (or three or four) in all our life story video projects and there are audio issues in every project. So, for those of you thinking about your own foray into video biography and related genres, I thought I would offer these audio tips. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: DIY Tips & Advice, tribute videos,

Welcome to the Life Story Video Blog!
This blog features stories about ordinary people and their experiences with life story videos.
Us? We are professional family historians creating custom-made, life story video documentaries!
Take a poke around and if you need help with your life story video just click the picture!

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December 2017
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Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Arthur C. Clarke

Memory is the mother of all wisdom.

If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.
Carl Jung

A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
Albert Einstein

In feature films the director is God; in documentary films God is the director.
Alfred Hitchcock

The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship.
William Blake

Success is like death. The more successful you become, the higher the houses in the hills get and the higher the fences get.
Kevin Spacey