There are lots of reasons to create a video biography. Some people have a desire to share and pass down stories from one generation to another while others would like to leave behind a family or personal legacy. Whatever your reason is, while creating a video biography can an incredibly enriching and rewarding experience, it can also be a very daunting task.
There are many things to consider before you start your project. Here are just a few:
It is my opinion that if your stories require a lot of details such as time, date, place, clothing worn, and other historically factual data, then just pick one or two stories to tell. Many people bite off more than they can chew and get discouraged when they start to understand the effort truly involved in just putting together their storyline. If you would like to tell several stories that tell of a person’s character or lessons learned than it is probably not necessary to go into a considerable amount of detail.
Who Will be Involved?
Are you working alone on this project or with a group of people such as other family members or friends? The more input you receive from other people the more time it can take to put together your story and content. This is not a bad thing, just something to be aware of.
What kinds of content do you want to incorporate into your production? Photos, slides, video from different sources such as VHS tape, 8 or 16mm home movies, documents, quotes, personal interviews, narration? The list goes on and on.
Who is the desired audience for your project? Is it close friends or relatives, will your Piece de Résistance be passed down to future generations for their viewing pleasure? Sometimes these questions must be answered before any other considerations because they may determine what kinds of stories and how much detail you will add.
The Delivery Method
For many years VHS tape was the standard for viewing video at home. However DVD is now the medium of choice for many reasons. On screen menus and chapters that allow for much easier navigation, superior audio and video quality, and longevity are just a few reasons DVD has become so very popular. However the internet has also become a viable means of delivering video. If you have a personal website then family and friends around the globe can access your video as soon as it is posted.
All of the points above require serious consideration and expertise. A professional video biographer can help you answer these questions and more. They can keep you on task; help you stay focused, craft your project into a meaningful video biography that will be cherished by family and friends now as well as future generations to come.
Jay Corrao is the founder and president of Memory Archivers, a video production company based in Apple Valley Minnesota. His company specializes in wedding and event videograpy, video biographies, and consumer digital archiving.