Process Detail

I will meet with you in person or by telephone to:

  • Plan the scope of the project
    • Determine the interview participants. This can be one person, or any combination of family members.
    • I will provide a cost estimate.
  • Outline conversation topics
    • Some people may want a very detailed outline to guide the conversation, but the best stories are usually related conversationally, not read or recited. I can guide you through the process of creating the outline.
    • Do you have any stories or poems you've written that you would like to read? This is an excellent way to lend your voice to your writing.
    • You may want to consider using chronological, event or geographically driven outlines to give your stories structure, such as grouping your stories into growing up years, school memories, dating and marriage, children, careers; or places that you have lived.
  • Choose at least 6 photographs that you would like used on the disc or flash drive box cover and insert. I'll scan and use them in the design process. More photos are better, and video productions can use dozens, or even hundreds of photos.  
  • Schedule one or more recording sessions – usually 60 to 90 minutes each
. I often schedule 3 sessions a day, with breaks between them.  Some projects require multiple days of interviews. 
  • You'll want to pick a day when you expect to be free from distractions and feel relaxed and ready to talk at a comfortable pace. Think about your best time of day – are you a morning or afternoon person? When is the quietest time around the house? 

  • Place: For audio interviews, think about where you'll be most comfortable. I can just as easily set up my equipment near your favorite living room chair as I can at the kitchen table. 
For video, I like to have a room with at least 20 feet of diagonal space.  More is better! 
  • Noise distractions: Think about noise interruptions you can reduce, such as turning off phone ringers and stopping cuckoo clocks. Remember, I can edit out many interrupting noises, so we don't need studio-quality silence.

On our scheduled interview day, I'll arrive at your home, set up my equipment, and we'll both enjoy a relaxing conversation!

  • Plan on about 30 minutes of time before audio interviews to allow me to set up my equipment, check sound levels and get to know you a bit before we begin recording. 
  • For video productions, I'll need about 60 minutes for setup.  I'm a one-man operation, and getting everything right takes time! 
  • I'll need a standard electrical outlet nearby to power my equipment.  For video productions, we'll have a conversation beforehand about windows, lights, attire and backgrounds.  

Review Draft

  • In a few weeks, you'll be able to review a draft of the audio or video production and cover designs. I spend considerable time editing and producing each interview into enjoyable story segments, but you always have final say on the contents of the production before they are finalized.

Final Delivery

  • When final changes are complete, you will receive the completed and packaged CD's, DVD's or USB flash drives in presentation boxes to share with your family! Consider copies for children and grandchildren – these are gifts that will grow more valuable over time. Also, multiple copies in multiple locations means the digital files stand a better chance of being passed on to future generations.
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