Frequently Asked Questions
About Stories to Keep
Who will manage our project?
What is the Stories to Keep vision?
Nothing is more dear to most of us than our treasure trove of experiences with and stories about our family - spouse, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, children - accumulated during a lifetime. For many with loved ones who are gone, their stories live only in our memories and old photographs. The Stories to Keep vision is to enable families to change that paradigm - to enable them to capture the essence of these relatives and their stories as only can be done in a family video documentary.
What distinguishes Stories to Keep?
Experience, sensitivity, compassion, patience and professional competence.
What types of documentary projects do you work on?
We make documentaries about people - to capture the essence and uniqueness of the person whose story we are telling - their life, their accomplishments and their stories. Some documentaries involve one interview - the person who is the subject of documentary. But often the story may be enhanced by also interviewing people whose lives were touched by that person, such as children, grandchildren and siblings.
About Personal Documentaries
What is a personal documentary?
It is an in-depth video program to capture life long stories about a person or a family.
About the Process
What is the process of producing a personal documentary?
There are several phases as we go from pre-planning to production to post production and then to a finished program. Select THE PROCESS on the menu of this website for a detailed description of each phase.
How long will it take to produce my finished program?
The answer depends on the scope of the production - the number of interviews to be shot, the number of camera angles, the number of shooting days and different physical shooting locations - as well as the work to be done to convert existing photos, video and film to digital. While it is certainly possible that a program could be plannied, shot and edited on an expedited basis, under normal circumstances a project will take about 90 days from start to finish.
How many people will be interviewed?
This is entirely up to the client and determined during the "scope" discussion in pre-planning. There is no rule and there is no limit. It is generally determined by the subject matter of the program.
Where are the interviews conducted?
Interviews can be filmed on location at youir home, at the home of the interviewee, at the person's place of business, at our studio in Mamaroneck or in another studio in proximity to the interview subjects.
Do you use narration, effects, music, graphics and titles?
Elements like these are used when appropriate to the production. If there are sections of the program that are best explained through narration or "voice over" the narration will be recorded during post production. We have the same policy for graphics, effects, titles and music. These elements are used in a production when they add context to the story we are telling and are allowed by budget.
About Family Photos and Videos
Can you scan or digitize our old family photos, 8mm film or old VCR videotapes?
We do not perform this service ourselves but we have compiled a list of several companies who provide this service. We will provide you with a list early in the process so you can arrange to have the photos, videos and other archive material you want included in our program ready for us when we get to post production. This is a good example of something that could delay production if not taken care of early in the project.
How will you know where to insert old pictures or home video into the documentary?
After we shoot each interview, we will "log" the footage - which is where we mark the beginning and end of each new subject discussed. Examples might be, "When mom first met dad", "moving in our first apartment in Brooklyn", or "learning to make Challah with my mother." We will give you a form to note what each picture is about, who is in the picture and to map out which discussion subject each item goes with.