We will be at The Family History Show South West 2020 - Come and say hello!
I will record your own or your loved ones’ most cherished memories and stories through a professionally produced short film. Using my skills as an ethnographic filmmaker and by asking the right questions in thoughtful enquiry I will capture a portrait of you, or the people closest to you, to be kept by the family for a long time to come.
We’ll have an initial chat so I can get to know a bit about you and your hopes for the film, and you can ask any questions you might have. We can work together to identify a focus for the film – for example a couple’s long-lasting relationship, an interesting career or hobby, or childhood memories. We’ll then arrange a filming date, and I’ll come to you or your family with my kit (which is very portable and discrete). A minimum of three hours is best for this, to give us time to get to know each other and for everyone to feel comfortable, but we can discuss shorter times if this might be overwhelming.
What we film is up to you – we can go through photo albums together, prompting memories; you could recount how two people met; you could talk me through a treasured family recipe; we could focus on a significant object and what it’s meant to your family over the years; we can even make a ‘how to’ video to pass on a skill for future generations!
I’ll then spend two to three days editing the footage, and combining our conversation with other visual aspects you’d like to include to create a portrait which captures the moment in time. We can also talk about including elements like music or old family videos. Once everything is put together you’ll receive the film in a format of your choice, ready to share with the family.
How many people can appear in the video?
As many as you want! If you’d like something which features different generations of your family or friends we can discuss what the overall project might look like, and I’ll help you think through the logistics of what and where to film. More people means longer filming and editing times, so the price will be higher for a more complex film.
My relatives are camera shy!
Lots of people are! I specialise in making interviews with the camera relaxed and un-pressured. I don’t expect people to ‘perform’ – my job is to find what works for you. I treat the process like a normal conversation, and edit carefully to bring out the best in your or your family’s contributions. I self-shoot, which means it’ll just be me doing the recording, so there won’t be a crew of people and we can work at your pace.
I/my family member gets tired very quickly – could you work with this?
Absolutely. We can discuss in detail any specific needs to take into account, and work with you to make sure the process is relaxed and unpressured.
How much does it cost?
The price will really depend on how complex you’d like the film to be, but a rough starting price is £650. This will cover a morning or afternoon filming, two and a half days of editing, and my costs such as equipment, software and travel.
What are your qualifications?
I’m a professionally trained documentary filmmaker working on projects in the South West, and have an MA in Ethnographic and Documentary film from UCL. I specialise in creating comfortable atmospheres for interviewees – no one will shout ‘action’! I also have further training from the National Film & Television School in narrative-led sound design, and a BA in Music from Durham University, which gives me a rounded approach to film and enables me to make sure your film sounds as good as it looks. I’m fully insured with a full, clean DBS check.
What form will I receive the film in?
I can deliver the film in a range of different formats to suit your requirements. It can be made available online for any of your friends and family to view with a private link, and to share via social media and/or group chats. I can provide a hard copy in the form of a DVD, computer file or older formats such as VHS. Electronic films will be produced in the most up to date file format to ensure the film is future-proofed.