Who is the customer?

The customer can be the person that will be interviewed, or the customer could ask me to interview someone else. It is a wonderful gift to give to a grandparent or great-grandparent! The contract will not be created until the ‘interviewee’ agrees to be interviewed.

Can two people be interviewed at once?

Yes! For example, a couple or siblings can be interviewed, or father/mother with son/daughter or grandchild. It would also be wonderful for a young person to interview a grandparent. It is not recommended to have more than two people.

How long are the sessions?

A typical session will last from 2 1/2 – 3 hours, including the 30 minute set-up time and additional break-down time. If photographs will be included in the video, we ask that you either digitise them beforehand, or put a post-it on the back to identify who is in the photo, the location and date. If we need to scan the photos on site, it will take another 1 1/2 to 3 hours, depending on the number of photographs. The final video for this amount of time will be approximately 1 1/2 – 2 hours long after editing.

What if I would like to have a longer recording?

If you hope to capture a person’s entire life history, you may feel that 2 hours is not enough. We offer the Life Story option in both video and audio-only, where we visit the narrator three times for 1 1/2 hours per session and we divide the video into chapters by age or topic. It is recommended that each session session last no more than 2 hours and additional sessions can be added if necessary.

How many hours does it take you to produce a video?

Producing a high-quality video interview takes more time than you think and utilises our two-person team. For a two hour edited video with photographs, music and interviewer’s questions in captions, here is an example of rough times for each task:
1 hour – Discussion and planning time with customer
2 hours – interview planning time
1 hour – approx. round-trip travel time
1 hour – set-up and break-down time of equipment
2 hours – interview time
3 hours – photo scanning of 75 photos, identifying and storing
4 hours – additional photo and genealogical research
10 hours – editing of raw video and removing interviewer’s questions
3 hours – writing captions and inserting into video
3 hours – colour correction, sound sweetening, adding music
2 hours – downloading onto DVD or memory stick
= 32 hours, not including administrative time.

I’ve heard of Life Story books, but not videos. Why should I have a video, instead of a book?

Life Story books and Life Story videos are quite different and it is really a matter of customer preference. We, however, feel that nothing can compare to the experience of seeing and hearing the narrator talk about their lives, in their own words…noticing their mannerisms, accent, facial expressions and intonation. A video can make you feel as if the person is in the room with you. And the cost is much more affordable. Life Story book biographers utilise interviewers, ghost writers, editors, designers and printers and can cost up to £15,000, or more. Whereas, a full Life Story video is a fraction of the cost. Also, books can get damaged by water, damp, fire, or age. We hold your video in a secure cloud location, so if you lose your memory stick, you can simply download the video from a secure location, making it accessible for generations to come.

Where are you located and how far will you travel?

We are based in Winchester, Hampshire UK and travel anywhere within ten miles of Winchester is included in the agreed price. We are happy to travel further, but will charge £1 per mile after ten miles.

Alternatively, we also will do Zoom interviews, which can be quite good quality. Please contact us to discuss the best option for you.

My father is showing signs of dementia. How can your video service help?

Having a video of your loved one as they talk about their recollections can help jog their memories as the illness progresses because they can re-watch it as many times as they like. We are patient and gentle with our narrators and can be flexible with times. And we can take as many breaks as the narrator needs, or break down the sessions into multiple, shorter periods. Please see supporting information on the benefits of reminiscence work on the Alzheimers.org.uk website.

What protections do you use to reduce risk of spreading Covid?

Both Sara and Cameron are double-jabbed and boosted and wear masks whenever inside other people’s homes. When meeting or filming, we stay two meters away from the client and only come near to attach a microphone. We wear masks throughout the interview, but the interviewee does not need to wear one. During the summer months, it may be preferable to hold the interview outside in the interviewee’s garden or have a nearby window open for ventilation.

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