WHAT ARE LIFESTORY INTERVIEWS?
LifeStory Interviews are short oral histories that highlight your life’s turning points, challenges, and significant moments. These remembrances become an invaluable gift that enriches your shared family history and connects you to past and future generations. You may be pleasantly surprised by what emerges! Capturing recollections that may have lain dormant for years can reshape how you think about your life and the people who have profoundly affected you.
RELIVE THE MEMORIES
Much like a trove of letters, a LifeStory Interview offers a way to experience loved ones again. Seeing them as they were in life, hearing their familiar voices, and recollecting and celebrating the times you shared ensures that their memory endures.
The woman in the above photo is my mother, who died when she was 92. I regret that I didn’t record a LifeStory Interview with her. I realize now that I knew her in her role as the mother of six children, but many of the experiences and decisions that formed who she was remain mysteries, unknown to my siblings, her grandchildren, and me.
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN THE INTERVIEW PROCESS?
A Life Interview is really about telling your story. Biographical questions and optional photographs, letters, music, and keepsakes spark the recollection of important events and milestones. Before filming begins, we will ask if you have a preferred set of questions or topics you would like us to cover.
Video is the perfect medium for Life Interviews. Once the session gets going all of your shyness in front of the camera will disappear as you get into a rhythm when the memories come rushing back. Watching a completed session feels as though you are in a sense there. Your face, the sound of your voice, your words let loved ones know you are speaking to them.
POSSIBLE TOPICS TO EXPLORE AND WHAT IS INVOLVED
FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES, GRANDPARENTS, RAISING CHILDREN, PARENTS, GROWING UP, SCHOOL, TEACHERS, LOVE & RELATIONSHIPS, MARRIAGE & PARTNERSHIPS, WORKING, RELIGION, SERIOUS ILLNESS, FAMILY HERITAGE, MILITARY, REMEMBERING A LOVED ONE, JUSTICE, THE AGING EXPERIENCE, PETS
The process begins by filling out the form below. Once we receive your information, we will contact you via email or phone, whichever you prefer. The interview is approximately an hour and includes finding a suitable location to set up our camera, lighting, and audio equipment. Initially, some people feel a little nervous before we begin, but they soon relax. By the time the interview begins, a lot of nervousness fades. If you want to involve a family member to do the interview that is an option. We would just mic you both up.
A basic session starts at $500. This includes a free consultation before agreeing to proceed, a USB drive with the edited version of the LifeStories Interview, and up to 10 photos scanned and added to the video. The finished video session will be 20 to 40 minutes. This will be lightly edited with the conversation between the client and the interviewer included. Adding additional photos costs $10 each, and extra USB copies of the interview cost $50 each. A deposit of 50% is due on the day of filming, with the balance due when you receive your LifeStory video.
A website is an optimal way to share with other family members. Each member can have their own page with video and photos on display. The video could also be broken up into chapters, or shorter segments making it more convenient to watch. The website can be password protected for privacy, so only family or friends have access. Adding a website is optional, with pricing to be discussed, this can be very affordable, but there are costs for web hosting and registering a domain name that need discussion.
Michael has been working professionally in digital media for twenty-plus years as a web and graphic designer and as a photographer and videographer on assignments for clients. He and his partner, Wendy Hebb, have produced three documentary films, one about the local food movement, one about the Alewife runs in Damariscotta Mills, and one about a small group of citizen activists.
His clients have included Tufts University, Washington State University, Portland Trails, and the Maine Arts Commission. See https://michaelpeterrichard.com for more about Michael’s work. We look forward to helping you tell your LifeStory!
Wendy joined the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in 2017 as a consultant on a new initiative, the Tufts Food Lab. During the preceding eight years, she was Program Director for the Washington State University Bread Lab where she organized The Grain Gathering, an annual international conference, and developed a regional and national network to advise, communicate and sustain Bread Lab research and outreach. Currently, Wendy is the co-founder and Director of GameDay Nutrition.
Prior to joining the Bread Lab, Wendy owned restaurants in Idaho and Maine, co-founded Native Studies with members of the Penobscot Nation, and consulted on the concept and design of independent food enterprises. Her essays have appeared in Bread Lines and Kitchen Work.