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Video Biographies

“Every Picture Tells a Story...Don’t It?”

This picture tells a story

There’s a Rod Stewart song in my head as I write this page. “Every picture tells a story, don’t it?” Rod sings in his distinctive voice.

Indeed—there are so many stories that pictures tell. A video biography can be one of the most treasured memories you own.

Many people have played around with video cameras, especially parents when they have their first child or two.

Not everyone is skilled in putting together a professional piece that chronicles your life.  But life story videos are now in demand and make great gifts.

I am a fan of stories about people that you can see on the A&E Channel or VH-1’s “Behind the Music”. These documentaries allow us to peer into the lives of the famous...and infamous.

The quality of these productions is apparent. You might think there is no way you could have a video production of your family history or personal biography that has the same quality.

But, you’d be wrong.

Preserve your story with pictures or video



Just as there are many people anxious to write your biography or help you do it yourself, there are a number of video biographers. These professionals can put together a masterful collection of memories for you to keep on video, or more commonly, DVD.

"The explosion of interest in tracing one's roots has given rise to another phenomenon. Ordinary people — particularly baby boomers and their elder parents — are hiring filmmakers and writers to immortalize their histories on pricey videos and books that can look good enough for the History Channel or bookstore shelves." - from an article in the Seattle Times (see article here).

What you are looking for is expertise, professionalism and quality.

You should also be able to see some samples, to ask questions and have a firm idea of cost.

Your-Life-Your-Story.com has some suggestions.

Sharing life stories, connecting generations and preserving the legacies of individuals, families, companies and organizations is the focus of Legacy Multimedia. Stefani Twyford is an award-winning personal historian and combines classic filmmaking techniques with the latest digital tools to craft wonderful tapestries of images and sound. She has been providing her outstanding video legacy service for several years. The company is based in Houston, Texas, but they will travel to meet with clients. Find out more by visiting legacymultimedia.com.

Now maybe you have a video camera and fancy yourself as doing the job. Nothing wrong with that! My only caution is that if you want a really nice professional job and don't have the time, expertise or equipment then you should consider hiring a pro.

However, lots of people are doing their own home videos and with digital software it is getting easier to do. BUT - it helps to have some directions.

Enter Family Legacy Video™. Steve Pender is a pro who has been creating professional commercial video projects for many years and has also become successful in the family history arena. He's also created a very good website that will tell you more about creating a life story video.

If you decide you want to do the video biography yourself make sure that you prepare properly. You want to have the proper equipment, a script to work from, someone to conduct the interview (you or a trusted friend or professional), and an idea ahead of time of what you want to cover. If, for example, you are going to video your grandfather be sure to take the time to make him comfortable with the proceedings. Spend some time talking about what you hope to accomplish with the interview. Obviously, do this before the camera is rolling! It is also highly recommended that you "storyboard". You can do this before you record (as suggested above), or afterwards in the editing phase.

A helpful training aid for those interested in producing your own life story videos is available from Dick Liersch and his My Living Legacy do-it-yourself CD-ROM.  The extensive information on this CD-ROM includes what you need to know for creating a successful video life story or video genealogy. His website, mylivinglegacy.net, also has lots of helpful information.

Below you will find more suggestions. As always, feel free to contact me and I’ll be happy to help any way I can.


Check out these providers of video biography services.

Family Legacy Video™
A great site full of tips and helpful products to produce your own video biographies. Steve Pender has done commercial video work for many years and also creates family legacy videos. Be sure to check out his Producer's Guide.

Legacy Multimedia
Stefani Twyford's video life story services include custom crafted and high quality DVD's of individuals as well as corporate histories and legacies.  She is based in Houston, Texas.


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