Frequently Asked Questions


What's the first step? It starts with a phone call. Let's discuss what you want to do and the best way to go about it.

How is Family Voices Media different from other companies? Unlike other companies we are all professionals working in the broadcast TV world. Our background is in producing network quality programming to exacting standards. We bring a tremendous level of expertise to a very personal setting.

What does the movie consist of? The DVD is broken into chapters that relate to your family's story. The interview is the core and provides all the narration. Often we will include additional chapters devoted to subjects of special interest to the family. Examples include: ancestral research, slide shows, or home movies.

When do we meet? We strongly recommend that the director and your parent meet before the interview so we can "break the ice" and make a personal connection.

How long is the whole process? From start to finish around two months.

We want to do this for my father's 80th Birthday in six weeks. Can we go any faster? Yes, if necessary we can speed the process.

How do you know what to ask in the interview? In the planning stage we get to know the subject of the film as well as the whole family. Based on those meetings and conversations, we create a list of questions. We encourage you to review them, make any changes and be sure to include your favorite family stories! Those questions form the structure for our interview.

My parents are nervous about the interview. We'll set their mind at ease. There are no wrong answers and nothing to prepare for: its a conversation. We know how to make an interview easy and to keep the mood lively and warm. And if your parent gets tired, we can always take a break.

I forgot to add something to the interview questions and you're just about to start filming. Is it too late? Not a problem. Just let us know and we will be sure to work it in.

Should I be present during the interview? Yes, we encourage our clients to be present during the interview. It's important that we cover all the material to your satisfaction. We will gladly set up a monitor for you to watch.

How much material do you need from the family? The more family material you give us the more personalized the video will be. Depending on the production package we will pick and choose from 100 to 300 items. Examples include: photographs, home movies, passports, licenses, diplomas, identity papers, newspaper clippings, etc.

What if my parent wants to talk about something other than the interview questions? Sometimes the best material is the most unexpected. We are always ready to pursue a new direction if one comes up.

Do you need everything labeled? Yes. Please mark the back of each photo with a yellow post-it. Note who is in the photo, the place and date. If you can't remember, just try your best.

Our photos are old and delicate. Some are in terrible shape. We will treat them with great care and have a professional retoucher work on them. Signs of age, up to a point, make photos more authentic and dramatic. We don't like to over retouch the photos; we want to keep their character.

How do you find the historical footage? We hire a professional researcher to look for images and video that relate to your family story. We search through photographs from the Old Country, movie and newsreel footage, historical societies and books. This additional material adds a whole new level of interest by providing an historical context. Not only will your story look and sound like a broadcast documentary, it will be engaging and fun to watch.

How long does it take once you've done the interview?  Usually the edit process takes four to six weeks.

What do I get at the end?You will receive a DVD with the interview edited into chapters. A second Family Archives DVD will include all your family material digitally scanned and retouched for future use and safe keeping.