Most interviews are conducted in a quiet room in the subject’s home. We want the subject to be as relaxed and comfortable as possible.
The set-up takes approximately one hour. The interview can run from several hours to several days depending upon the desired program length. We also shoot b-roll of the subject doing their normal routine should some of that video be needed to enhance the production. We want you to be 100% happy with the finished program so we discuss this at some length beforehand.
The questions and the detailed follow-up questions will vary depending upon the length of the production. We will ask about your parents, grandparents, and family that preceded you and then trace your life history: childhood, schools, relationships, children, travel, work experiences, life’s challenges, significant historical moments, interests, politics, religion, etc. We will paint as complete a biographical portrait as time allows.
You have absolute editorial control. If there is anything that you would not like in the finished production, simply say so at the time of the interview. Interviews that are spontaneous and lack a high degree of self-censorship are the most engaging.
Each video varies in length depending on what type of production you want done and how many subjects are involved. To best tell a person's unique My video life story, a minimum of 30 minutes is recommended with 45 - 60 minutes being the ideal length.
The preparation process involves the selection of photographs, movies and slides that cover the topics discussed in the interview then writing captions to identify the people and places in them and finally instructions for any other custom touches you may want included in your production.
Try to avoid similar photographs and slides (for example two different poses or angles of the same subject) and photographs and slides that are out of focus. We can use printed photographs, negatives, slides or photos on CD.
If you live in the Orlando area, you can arrange to drop off your photos, movies and slides with us. Otherwise we recommend you use a reliable, traceable courier.
Basic color and brightness adjustments are always included. We will also retouch and crop if necessary once the image is imported into the computer. We will not retouch the actual photograph or slide.
We accept your home movies on DVD. We are not able to accept VHS, 8mm and 16mm film so please get these VHS tapes and films converted to DVD before the start of the project. We can help you find the right company to do this for you.
Other items such as plane or transit tickets, maps, postcards, certificates, wedding invitations and many other paper items can be included in your video.
The choice of music goes a long way to enhance the ‘mood' of your presentation. We will make the most appropriate selections from our diverse music library. If you have a particular song that has meaning to you, let us know and we will try to include it in the video or slide show.
We digitize your photos with a high quality scanner then assemble them and the video on Apple Macintosh computers using Apple's Final Cut Pro X editing program.
Yes, if your computer can play high definition DVDs. The DVD is a Blu-Ray DVD which is used for high definition 1080 video. You will need a Blu-Ray DVD player to view the video on your HD television. We also give each client a digital version which can be viewed on your computer or mobile devices.
We suggest that if you have a specific event that you're preparing the DVD for, you plan ahead and allow plenty of time prior to the date in case questions or problems with the materials arise.
For longer, more elaborate productions like a full-length My video life story multimedia production, you must allow adequate time for all the additional elements involved in the project like research, scriptwriting, pre-production planning, importing of all the photos, slides, movies, etc. into the computer and retouching if necessary, on-location interviews, choosing music and extensive editing. An hour-long production could take as long as a month. An interview or a photo to video slide show multimedia presentation would take much less time since these are not as labor intensive.
It is our policy to keep your photos, movies and slides and project information on file for 6 months. That gives you the opportunity to order more copies of your DVD presentation at minimal cost. If you would prefer, we will not keep your photos, movies and slides on file. Just notify us and we will delete all the files upon completion and delivery of your final DVD.
Your originals will be returned to you with your final high definition DVD.
No, you can pay us in two payments: 1) Half payment before we shoot the video 2) Remaining balance once your video is complete. You may want to consider splitting the cost of the video with other family members.
We accept cash and checks payable to Diane L. Hirsch.
We provide four copies but we will provide up to ten at an additional cost for the other six copies. If you need more than ten copies, we can arrange to have them copied at a local duplication company.
Frequently Asked Questions