Dale Says

August 29, 2006

Interviewing for Documentary Videos

Filed under: Videos — Dale @ 2:09 pm

Suggestions for interviewing subjects for a personal or documentary video:

1.  Plan

Think through and write down the expected format, length, timing, process and cost of the end product.  Plan and schedule interviews as early as possible.  Line-up professional help as needed before you start.

2.  Research

Do background research on the subject matter and subjects before you do any interviewing or filming.

3.  Review

Discuss with partners and subjects your game plan for the video, interviews, music, narration, and any additional material that will be included in the video.  If possible, review a list of possible interview questions with subjects before their interviews.

4.  Listen

Pay attention to feedback from your partners and subjects and try to accomodate it.  Stay tuned to verbal and non-verbal clues from subjects during interviews and adjust the interviews as appropriate.

Please let me know if I can help.




August 1, 2006

Tribute to My Dad

Filed under: Family Tribute — Dale @ 12:08 pm

Dear Dale,

I saw your cool Website and wanted to get your advice.  My Dad is getting up there in years, and I’d like to make a video about his life, so my children and grandchildren will know about him.  I don’t want to spend a lot of money on it, though.  What do you suggest?


Dear Joe,

Thanks for your note. 

A video would be a wonderful tribute to your father, and it wouldn’t have to be expensive.  Here’s my suggestion:

1.  Gather up photos and other records of his life that you would like included in the video.  Scan them and put the scanned images on a CD.

2.  Write a list of 5-10 questions you would like your father to answer about his life, review the questions with your Dad, then record him answering them, using a tape recorder or camcorder.

3. Select 2-3 songs that your father likes.

4.  Hire someone to put the recorded answers, photos, and music together on a VHS or DVD video.  Make copies for each of your children.

That’s a quick, easy, and relatively inexpensive way to make a video about your father’s life.  The whole thing can be produced for less than $500.

Good luck!  Please let me know how it turns out.


July 23, 2006

Family Reunion Captured on Video

Filed under: Family Reunion — Dale @ 12:32 pm

Dear Dale,

My mother’s family is planning a family reunion this August.  It “could” be the last of these kind, as her generation is getting up there in age.  It would be nice to capture the highlights of this get-together, but I don’t want to spend a fortune on it.  Any suggestions?

Family Man

Dear Family Man,

A video of an event like the one you described is a wonderful legacy to leave to the next generations of family members.  And it doesn’t have to be expensive.  You can save most of the expense of making a video by (a) filming it yourself (ask one or more family members with camcorders to record the main events), and (b) making minimal edits to the end result.

Much of the cost (and difficulty) of putting together this kind of video is in the editing.

We will do as much (or as little) editing as you want, and will produce a professional video for you, complete with music, and (if you wish) audio voice-over.

You can  give your family a high-quality video for as little as a few hundred dollars.

It will be treasured for many years.

June 29, 2006

Retirement Party

Filed under: Retirement Party — Dale @ 2:28 pm

My brother-in-law retired as a pilot from Southwest Airlines last week, and we were fortunate to be included in his last flight (from Chicago to Oakland).  As we taxied down the runway after landing, fire trucks sprayed a water bridge over the plane, in a traditional tribute on a pilot’s last flight.

Fortunately, we had friends on the ground in Oakland who took photos of the event, and of the party following the landing.

What a great opportunity to create a DVD with the photos and his favorite music!  This event will be preserved forever.

June 13, 2006

Family Interviews

Filed under: Family Tribute — Dale @ 2:53 pm

A friend called the other day and said she wanted us to interview and video tape her great-Aunt talking about growing up.  The aunt is over 90-years-old, and the caller wanted to preserve the aunt’s stories for her children and grandchildren.

This type of project is very low cost and very effective.   We work with the interview subject, ask them what type of questions they would like to be asked, and even supply them with a list of questions ahead of time, if they so choose.   The total cost of a professional, edited video of this type can be as little as a couple of hundred dollars.

Contact us for more information.

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