FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. WHAT IF YOUR INTERVIEWEE DOESN'T WANT TO PARTICIPATE? This is quite common, there are a lot of natural fears associated with this adventure. One might feel that their life is not interesting or they just don't want to be on camera. In most cases you can convince your loved one that their stories are very special to you and other relatives, some not even born yet, and by completing this relatively painless task they are giving a gift of love to all those who love them. If their appearance has deteriorated due to medical issues they may feel uncomfortable about being on camera. If this is the case we can just record their voice and add still pictures from their past for the visual track. In almost all cases a family elder will come away from the experience with a life affirming feeling of satisfaction.
2. WHAT ABOUT LOCATION? - We usually interview elders in their home where they are most comfortable and are surrounded by things that mean the most to them. The interview process is a delicate journey back into the life one has lived and emotions of the times. We prefer to have the residence empty of others who may be a distraction. We unplug the phones and when possible even turn off the furnace as the air movement causes background noise. We use soft and cool 110v lights to make them look their best on camera. To add more creativity to the project we will offer to shoot in other locations that will enhance the ability to create a true "Portrait" of the subject. Usually these "extra" locations are casual shoots of things like a tour of their garden or surrounded by grandchildren.
3. CAN BOTH HUSBAND AND WIFE BE INTERVIEWED TOGETHER? Of course! We have found the best way is to interview them separately first and then bring them both on camera together to tell the stories of their lives together.
4. WHAT SHOULD THEY WEAR? Wear a favorite outfit, something they feel comfortable in. Avoid bright red, a lot of black or all white and avoid horizontal stripes or fine patterns.
5. CAN THEY TAKE A BREAK DURING THE SHOOTING? Absolutely - we instruct the subject to just wave when they want the camera to stop. Subjects are encouraged to take breaks during the filming. Depending on one's energy level, 2 to 3 hours will normally be the limit for filming in one day before the raconteur suffers mental or physical exhaustion.
6. EDITING - What if they say something on tape and don't want it included? We are happy to edit out anything you prefer not be included, and those things we know should not be in the final cut. We are also glad to send you a proof of the final product content for you to approve before final copies are encoded to DVD. This does not apply to the "Same Day Special" where the DVD is burned live and there is no way to edit it unless you choose to have the master tapes edited and a new DVD produced at an extra cost
7. What if a family
member objects to the possible "airing" the families dirty laundry
so to speak. So far we have been lucky that our video biography projects
have been a major influence in saving families, not hurting them. We will work
hard to present all subjects in their most positive light. In rare cases
when the customer wants to include something that is hurtful to another
family member or other person we reserve the right to be the final judge and
will refuse to publish if it is slanderous beyond the scope of just telling
the story of the family or so hurtful that the pain it will cause is not worth
the documenting of it in our project.
1. WHY HIRE WORLD FAMILY ON VIDEO? I'm glad you asked that question. I have been producing custom video productions of all types since 2000 on a full time basis. Video production is more than than setting a camera on a tripod and hitting the record button. I strive to get my production value's as close as possible to the studios that produce network programming. That means a good lighting and audio set up and skilled camera work. I work hard to insure each customer will be so pleased with the entire process that they will pass on a glowing report to others who may benefit from our services. I am proud to say that since starting this business in 2000 I do not have even one customer who has been unhappy with the quality of my work. Of course not every project is 100% perfect, but that is what I strive for.
2. WHAT ABOUT ADDING OTHER MEDIA ELEMENTS TO THE PRODUCTION? Certainly - we are a custom producer. If you can conceive it we can put it on video. We often procure stock pictures or footage that will illustrate the times the subject is speaking of. We review all the pictures, video, and movies to pick the best assets to insert into the final production. If there is something else you think will enhance your production just ask. We can probably do it. In one of my very favorite family history productions we produced a reenactment of the chance meeting of the subject and his wife to be on the Cog Railway traveling up Mt Washington. The results were priceless.
3. WHAT ABOUT PACKAGING? These days almost all our productions end up on DVD. We can certainly supply VHS tapes if needed. For a small extra charge we can supply a digital master tape (Mini-DV) or archive quality gold DVD's. For each project we custom design a Hollywood style dvd case insert with printing and graphics on front and back. You can advise or help in the design of this artwork as well as the on disc printing for the dvd surface. We always send proof copy's of the packaging artwork for your approval.
4. WHAT ARE YOUR PAYMENT TERMS? For Personal History Projects we request full payment when the completed DVD is delivered. For productions that span several months or more we may opt at our discretion to bill monthly for the hours accumulated the previous month. On all jobs we give you a signed contract before any work begins that outlines the scope of the production and a projected cost. For a project that grows in scope either up or down from the predefined project I will send a change order. This is simply a form detailing the changes to the project and what the financial impact will be. You then need to sign this form and agree to the extra cost, if any, in order for their changes to be incorporated. We strive to conduct business fairly and give you good value and a wonderful production for your investment of time and money. We accept check, cash, M.O. credit cards or Paypal as payment.
5. WHY CAN'T I JUST USE MY OWN CAMCORDER AND SHOOT AN INTERVIEW? Certainly you could do that but we would only recommend it as a last resort and only if you absolutely could not afford to have us do it for you. The reasons are many: Consider that this shoot will likely be the most important and irreplaceable subject you ever shoot. Even if you can come up with some sort of external microphone the sound will be substandard. We use expensive professional balance capacitive microphones captured through a professional preamplifier or a solid state digital recorder. This means crystal clear sound that years later will make you feel as if the person is sitting next to you. For the highest video picture quality two things are important: Lighting and the camera's imaging chip. Our cameras use a 3 chip method to capture each color separately. Unless you spent thousands on your video camera it is likely not a 3 chip imager. Lighting is just as important to make an aged person look their best. We use professional soft lighting and techniques to insure the best look possible look. For a subject this important it really is worth the cost of hiring a professional. If it comes down to not doing it at all or doing it yourself - by all means do it yourself. Call us and we will be glad to give you a few more tips to help you do the best possible job.
6. What about High Definition? This new technology is in the form of Blu-Ray DVD's and high definition televisions. The interim HD format called HDV is not truly HD quality and we have made the decision not to invest in this format. The cost to convert our studio is still quite high and for Personal History work its more about the content than the format it is presented in. Our current DVD's make beautiful pictures and sound and we feel this is the most cost effective for our subject. We do have the capability to subcontract an HD cameraman at a fairly reasonable rate and supply you with the master tapes of the interviews that you could have edited in HD at a later time, while we would still produce the production in standard definition today. With the still pictures we use in your production we always scan them at at least HD quality now so that in editing we can zoom in on a portion of your photo without loosing resolution.
7. STILL PICTURES - Adding your best family pictures to illustrate what is being spoken about makes the production much more interesting to watch. If you are wanting to include pictures or old video in your production that is encouraged. We scan your pictures in house at a higher than video resolution (300-600dpi) , then retouch as needed to make them look their best. This allows us to zoom in on a small area of the picture and still look good. Most pictures we insert into your video will have a zooming or panning motion applied to them to bring them to life. Sometimes families give us a large quantity of stills to scan and we include the picture files in a folder on the interview DVD so that each family member gets a copy of the pictures whether they are used or not. We strive to collect the pictures face to face so there is no chance of loosing them in shipping but sometimes that is not possible and we will then use Fed Ex who has never lost a shipment on our 8 years in business. We are happy to do your interview before you have your pictures together if its a task that will take time to do.
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