• Can I do this myself?

Maybe.  With technology becoming more inexpensive and easier to use, there are many ways to preserve your personal and family legacies on your own that would be comparable to our Mini Personal Documentary package .   But there are many elements and skill sets required to create a Mini Documentary and if you don’t have the time to master them all, Story Crafters is at your service.  We have devoted a section of our website to help people take many of the easy steps and we can then help you complete your personal video.  You can more about our Mini Documentary services here.

If you want a professionally produced oral history or full-length custom documentary of your personal history or family legacy, then you really should work with a professional who has a technical and research experience to pull all the elements together.

Also, the “art of story telling” is just that, an art. Your story needs to be crafted in an interesting, succinct way that achieves the goal of educating and/or entertaining people. That is easier said than done.

In summary, we have the technical skills to turnkey a project from beginning to end; or to offer assistance where you need help to get your project completed. And in all cases, we are your Story Crafters who can organize tell your story in an interesting and compelling manner.

  • Can I pick my favorite song?

Sorry, we will only use licensed music, in which the artist has been compensated and has given permission to use their work. We have access to an extensive library of music that will capture the appropriate mood or emotion you want to convey in your personal documentary or family legacy video.

  • Who owns the rights to the video?

You do. We recognize that these are highly personal stories and you must be able to have complete control over who views them, so our “work-for-hire” model surrenders any copyrights to our work, insuring you will be the only one that controls YOUR story.

We have been given permission to use personal videos that we showcase as samples by our customers (and may have been edited at their request to insure privacy). We will retain a copy of your video and if you need a new copy, we will charge a nominal fee for copying and distribution. But we will NEVER charge you a licensing fee similar to reordering print photos from a photographer.

  •  How can we insure privacy?

As stated above, we understand that you are asking us to re-create your personal stories and therefore we will not never distribute your video without your permission.

We would also caution you with regards to the type of information you put into your story, how and to whom you want to share it with. For example, if you are telling a family history, you may reveal your mother’s maiden name, which is often used as a security question with banks or credit cards. This will not be a problem if your video is on a DVD or marked private on a video site like Youtube.

During our consultations, we strive to be mindful of this and may ask how you plan on using this video and suggest ways to protect your privacy.

  • What is the difference between an Oral History Package and a Custom Legacy Documentary?

In general terms, a Legacy Documentary is a polished Oral History Project. Both start with consultations to learn more about the history and background of the person(s) being interviewed. We will conduct additional research and then prepare questions for an interview designed to fully tell their story. Once the interview questions are approved, we conduct the video interview.

In an Oral History Project, you will receive the raw interview, lightly edited to omit any interruptions in the interview. We will also add a limited amount of photos to the Oral History Project, but basically, what you see is what you get.

With a Legacy Documentary, there will be more extensive pre-production consultations and research.  In addition, the interview will be edited extensively—to succinctly and concisely tell the your story, transforming a two- or three-hour interview into a 30-minute to one hour “less is more” finished product. Extensive family photos or restored Super 8mm film or old video clips will be used. Additional background video (“B-Roll”) is shot so that the documentary is not one long talking head interview. In addition, additional archive research is done to find photos and video to give the project more historical context. For example, someone maybe describing the 1964 World’s Fair and our research could find photos or converted video of the event and it is used in the project.

In addition, there is extensive post-production time adding titles, special effects, choosing and adding licensed music, perfecting the audio levels, colorizing old video and photos and working closely with you to revise and tweak the project until it fulfills your vision.

Based on a client’s needs, after initial consultation, a hybrid between   a Oral History and a Documentary can be customized to fit individual needs for a video biography.

  • What is a biography video?

A biography video is the third-person account of a person’s history, using the medium of video.  Until recently, video technology was so costly that biography videos were driven by commercial appeal.  Today, the cost of video and post-production software has created narrow markets for people to commission a biography video about an ancestor or a current family member.

  • How to make a family video?

Today there are several options to create a video that tells the story or a family.  Story Crafters offers three options.  The first combines family pictures, with a voice-over, music and titles.  This does not require video recording family members and is the most affordable option available.  The second option is an oral history interview, which blends a video interview of someone tracing family history, with photos and the interview is largely unedited.  The third option is a full length documentary style project that has very high production quality.