Friday, August 8, 2014

Editing Tricks for Amateur Video #134: Prepare NOW to Make a Memorial Video

MEMORIAL VIDEOS:  Take the time today to interview your loved ones!

Thirteen years ago I was inspired to create a video biography of my Mom.  When I suggested the idea, she became excited and looked forward to being interviewed on my next visit.  (She lived on the East Coast, I live a continent away.)

On an overcast morning we turned her favorite easy chair at an angle to the picture window and began talking.  Equipment was minimal and non-threatening, just a MiniDV camcorder, tripod, and lavalier microphone.  I sat next to the camera and asked a lot of leading questions; we were both exhausted after an hour.

During the next two days we took the show on the road.  Mom arranged for us to visit her best old friends.  That was a lot of fun, and I was able to capture recollections of how they met and all the good times they had together.

Later that year, my mother started to lose her ability to remember simple things.  Though she kept her personality and sense of humor, a long, slow, heart-wrenching process had begun.   I began to create her movie many times, but the video always presented me with too much reality, too many emotional memories.

When Mom was admitted to Hospice care in 2010 there was no choice, I began to assemble the edit in Final Cut Pro X.  The movie is possibly the most meaningful work I've ever done.  It was projected onto a screen at her memorial celebration; relatives said "It's as if she was in the room with us!"  The forty-minute video held everyone speechless and spellbound, laughing and crying at the same time.


Mom's memorial video is intensely personal.  I've selected two short clips to show publicly; they will be the subject of my next two blog posts.

Thanks for reading!

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