Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Personal History Awareness Month - May 2015

Society and culture have changed dramatically over the past few generations, mostly due to limited inter-generational contact. Many people only hear snippets of their heritage during family reunions or at holiday time. Children rarely hold interest in knowing the depths of ancestor's lives until they themselves are much older, and therein lies the difficulty. How to capture these stories before the holders of the stories are gone?

Photos are great, but tell no tale on their own. The stories behind the photos need to be saved, or else one ends up with a box of faces / places and no facts. That's why the genealogical business exists today. To help those without a continuous stream of family history to uncover what can be gleaned from scattered archival records. So, what can be done?

The future of our own history starts now - it's up to each one of us to save it. In making our motion-biographies at TimeStories, we typically sit with the eldest member of a family and guide them through recalling their family lineage, their own upbringing, their marriage, kids, work, favorites, fears, loves, beliefs and values. All they need is a good night's rest and a willingness to remember. No other preparation aside from exhuming those photos from the backs of closets and myriad photo albums. In a few hours, our one-on-one filmed sessions capture all the facets of a life and its reminiscences. Back in our studio we scan those family photos, (and can add home movies and relevant archival imagery from the internet) and edit it all together creating a motion biography to be enjoyed now and for descendants to come. 

Some clients come to us with tales of parents long gone or tales shared amongst the family, looking for a way to put them in one place for all time - what we call a DocuMemory. For others, we take valued images and weave them into elegant printed photo story albums with narrative captions that can be given to relatives and children to know the stories behind these photos. The stories saved now are the heirlooms of the future.

3 Generations

We are proud of our ability to provide "time-capsules" of lives lived. But this business turned out to be more than just a way to preserve heritage. After delivering over 45 feature-length filmed biography movies and dozens of photo storybooks we discovered numerous additional benefits experienced by our clients. The process of being asked to summarize one's experiences, feelings and beliefs, of reviewing photos and revealing the tales within, and then to see them presented back in a concise manner is a tremendous validation of one's life. 

Even the simplest of life stories, told with earnestness and edited for conciseness, conveys a sense of accomplishment and personal value. Just surviving the rigors of daily life, having witnessed and participated in the changing times of fashion, music, art, politics, trends and technology over the years provides a retrospection that may be overlooked otherwise. This knowledge can also be an immense aid for younger family members struggling to determine their way forward in conjunction with their familial and cultural lineage and their place in the world.

So, take the time to reach into the future by make a present of the past. Allow us to help you help your descendants know from whence they came! We love what we do...

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