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

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,

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,

DIY Family History Video Pt 3: Post Production Choices

OK, this is the third part of our series on DIY life story, tribute video and family history video. Today, we are going to tell you how to handle some of the bigger questions that will arise in the post-production phase of your family history video project.

Part 1 of this series covered a slew of choices that you will face in the pre-production phase of your personal documentary. And Part 2 of this blog series took you, dear reader, through key choices that are likely to present themselves in the production phase of a tribute video. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: DIY Tips & Advice, family history video, ,

How to Make a Tribute Video Pt 2: Production Phase

This is the second part of our series on making your own life story or “tribute” video. The first part – DIY Life Story Video: Preproduction – looked at some of the major choices as you plan your tribute video.

Now, we move on to the main course: location, make up, sound and lighting, and video recording! Also known as the “production” phase in the film making process. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: DIY Tips & Advice, tribute videos, ,

DIY Life Story Video: Pre-Production

You will find a number of great tips and pieces of advice on this blog for making your own life story video – just browse “Recent Posts” or search the archive using “DIY”. Today we are going to go a little deeper and give you part 1 of a 3 part series on making your own life story video. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: DIY Tips & Advice, video transfers, , ,

Family History in the Digital Age: Fine China and Lace Doilies Begone!

family history video imageLet’s be honest. Family history used to be the preserve of the maiden aunts. To hear the stories we had to suffer through best china and arm chair doilies and endless digressions on medical procedures suffered by even older and more distant relatives (or worse, totally unheard of acquaintances).

The stories would come – between polite sips of tea and in a miasma of perfume and powder. As a means of enlisting the interest of the younger generations, it didn’t have a lot going for it.

Today’s younger generations are more interested in family history than ever before. The whole country is. But they are demanding that those maiden aunts (and all the rest of us who fulfill the function of family historian) get with the times. They want their family history accessible and they want it compelling. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: DIY Tips & Advice, family history video,

Talking about Life Story Video “Genres”

Life story video is the kind of thing that you can write about, and talk about, but you really have to see it to know what it’s all about. Because each project is going to be different – different in terms of subject, treatment – and even genre.

“Genre”? Life story video has genres? Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: DIY Tips & Advice, genres, , , ,

Personal Documentaries Explained & Simplified

Lights, Camera, Personal Documentary!

What is a Personal Documentary?
Personal documentaries are life stories told on film or video. They typically present a life from beginning to end, and often cover ancestors as well as progeny. Personal documentaries combine interview footage with photographs, historical images, documents, music, archive footage, voice-over, objects and artifacts, captions and titles, personal or home movies, maps and animations, and other media as available. Normally, they are divided into chapters and most usually they are output, or delivered, to DVD.

There are 5 rules for the would-be DIY personal documentarian. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Biographies, DIY Tips & Advice, Personal Documentaries, ,

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