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The Personal Documentary: Your Story in High Definition

Posted: Jun. 6th, 2008  |  By JustLuxe Team
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Professional Documentary: If you haven't already experienced the satisfaction of producing your own documentary, there's a good chance you will in the near future.

To more and more people, it simply makes sense. If your life is interesting enough to preserve in photo albums or home movies -- what better way to share your memories and experiences than in a professionally produced documentary complete with narration, music, interviews and high definition video footage of significant events?

So, how are individuals using their personal documentaries? Here are just a few examples:

Personal or Family Histories. It's amazing how quickly family or personal stories can be lost if they're not recorded some way. A documentary allows your grandchildren and their children's children to feel a connection to the relatives, places and events that shaped their world today. Sometimes referred to as "legacy documentaries," these shows incorporate historic family photos, home movies and video footage, press clippings and other memorabilia, as well as interview footage with relatives and friends shot specifically for the documentary. A professional narrator and the right choice of music round out the production.

Shared information about collections, hobbies or passions. Every great collection -- from artwork to automobiles -- is actually two collections: the items themselves and the stories behind each piece. Fascinating documentaries can be created around a coin collection, a garden or greenhouse or other personal passion. Major home renovations have become the topic of a number of personal documentaries. The home is filmed before, during and after the renovation. Interviews with architects, designers, the owners and others help preserve the story of how a majestic older home was given new life.

Capture a Significant Event. An event documentary begins well before the event itself. Film crews capture the search for the perfect location & food. Pre-event interviews with the planners, host, honorees and others are filmed. Then, the event itself is filmed the way a television network would do it: with multiple cameras and crews. After the event, all the footage is edited, narration is recorded and a soundtrack is created to complete the show.

Other popular uses of personal documentaries include travel documentaries that capture an exciting personal or family trip -- tribute films that honor a retiring executive or memorialize a deceased family member -- and philanthropic documentaries that highlight an individual's favorite charity or cause.

A company that specializes in personal films can help you with every aspect of creating your documentary. These companies know how to work with individuals who have little or no experience in film or video production and know how to involve their clients without overburdening or overwhelming them.

Cara Barineau
Principal
Cooper Maron Commissioned Films
JustLuxe.com Contributor
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3 Comments on this Article

Rebekah Epstein commented on November 6, 2009

I just had a documentary done for my mother's 70th birthday and it was fantastic. We hired a team in San Francisco that helped me in each step. The most fun part was gathering all the memorabilia from relatives. Since we all got to participate, my Dad, my Mother's best friends and my uncle were interviewed, then my sister and I, everyone anticipated the final Biopic that was diffused before the party. You should have seen her face, everyone was crying from laughter and joy. I recommend this to anyone. The best gift I could have found for her. I agree with the article, a Biopic really makes an event go down in history! The guys we hired were high standard and had classy European tastes. I think the web address was www.lifelegacy.com. Make sure you talk to Vanessa, she was our appointed director. I don't know about the others but she was very professional. Good luck. It is so much fun!

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Henry commented on August 6, 2008

I forwarded this article too both my parents and the in-laws, I have heard from all. They intend on starting personal documentaries ASAP in order to pass to grandchildren all they have cherished and have yet to share. A great new way to explain the family tree with out the boxes and boxes of old memorabilia spread all over my house thank you!

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Matt Nickerson commented on July 8, 2008

This is a great, updated version of the home movie that may span the lives of everyone in the family. Its the best way to replace the outdated VHS movies for new families.

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