How Family Voices Media Works

Germany, 1950

Germany, 1950

A Family Voices Media biography takes from six to eight weeks to create.

In the planning phase, we begin to ask some of the important questions: what time periods do you want us to focus on? What special family stories should be passed on? Are there memorable journeys, periods of struggle, immigration, and triumphs that future generations should know? We count on you to point us in the right direction. We would like to meet your family before the shoot to establish a good rapport and to hear some of their story in advance. Based on the initial meeting, we create a set of interview questions, which you can revise as you see fit. These will act as the framework for the interview when we shoot.

Meanwhile you and your family collect the family archives- photos, home movies, documents, and memorabilia - for us to weave into the film. This material is crucial to make the biography unique to your family. Just gathering these can be a great experience for everyone, from children to grandparents. Depending on the package, we will need anywhere from 100 to 300 items.  All the items will be well cared for and safely returned to you.

Depending on the package you choose, the film takes from either one or two days to shoot. Usually, the interview day is a full 8 hour day, including set up and breakdown (with frequent breaks). We keep it casual and friendly; this should be a fun conversation. It's filmed in the comfort of home, surrounded by familiar objects that serve as a background for the interview. We use high-quality HD equipment and a small, handpicked professional film crew, skilled at creating a relaxed atmosphere.

We edit and organize the interview footage to reflect your narrative. Meanwhile, our professional researchers pore through historical archives for the right material to add to the movie. We have unearthed rare clips of forgotten villages, scenes of war and peace, remote landmarks and even mug shots!  We search for whatever enhances the story with a sense of history. We find period maps to accompany travels and make it easier for the viewer to follow along. Music is selected according to time period. Then we weave together all the elements: interview, family photos, archival material, maps, music and graphics. In four to six weeks your completed personal history video is ready.

When we deliver your 60-90 minute Family Voice Media DVD, we also provide a digitized Family Archives CD of your material.