Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Have you made your video memoir?

An article published recently in a number of newspapers, including the Fort Wayne (IN) News-Sentinel (link is here), is titled "With personal histories, everyone can star in a memoir." It was written by Marsha King of the Seattle (WA) Times.

The main point of the article is that:
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.

"It's entertainment combined with history," said RJ McHatton, whose Bellevue company, Inventive Productions, is producing the Echelbarger video. "... We're trying to learn about their personalities, the lessons they learned, the family values and ethics, the wisdom and advice."

The article goes on to cover the Association of Personal Historians conference held in Portland OR in early October, and that the membership of the APH has risen from 15 to 600 since 1995. The APH web site is at http://www.personalhistorians.org/.

Read the whole newspaper article for context and some examples, including prices for typical video memoirs.

Have you done this yet for your family? A video memoir would capture your personality, voice inflections, and mannerisms in addition to the memories. In the age of digital video and video cameras, this is probably something I want to do before I lose the rest of my marbles.

My cousin had a videotape done back in 1990 in honor of his parents 50th wedding anniversary that had many of the elements described in the article - memories, testimonials, pictures, home movies, etc. But it was short - only 20 minutes or so. It was excellent - done by a professional videographer and they passed copies to the family, which was greatly appreciated.

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