So you've decided that 2011 is the year you're going to create that long overdue video biography featuring your grandparents, or your mom and dad. You own a pretty nice consumer camcorder. You've dabbled in editing. You've even created birthday video DVDs for family members. Who's to say you shouldn't take on that long-awaited video biography project yourself, instead of hiring a professional video biographer? Who indeed. But before you decide, you might want to think about what a professional has to offer:
In order to proceed smoothly, a video project needs to be organized from start to finish. A professional video biographer can bring years of organizational experience to the table. A pro can talk with you about your goals and wishes for your video and then design a production that meets your needs and your budget. A pro knows how to start a legacy video project and then proceed efficiently each step of the way. A true professional treats you, the client, like the executive producer - consulting you and ushering you and your family through the process.
A professional video biographer will be well-versed in visual storytelling techniques. He or she can offer you a number of ways to approach and treat your family stories and storytellers. And a pro will have a realistic idea of the cost and time involved in the different options he or she offers you. A real pro will be able to show you samples of past work so you can make informed decisions about the creative direction of your legacy video.
Your storytellers deserve to be presented in the most flattering way possible. A professional can insure that your storytellers look and sound their very best on camera. This means professional lighting, knowing how to compose a pleasing shot and using a high-end camera to capture the image, along with top-notch microphones to ensure great sound. A pro will also know how to make a storyteller feel safe and comfortable during the interview in order to ensure an effective "performance."
The final edit is where the magic happens. A video biographer who is an experienced editor can take all the raw elements collected during the production process (interviews, photos, films, music, sound effects, etc.) and turn out a program that exceeds your wildest expectations.
Best of all, a professional video biographer can be working on your project steadily, not squeezing it in during a free moment here and there like you may have to do. This means your video biography actually gets done in 2011 - and doesn't get put off for yet another year.
True, you'll have to pay for the service - but in the end, the value a professional can bring to your project can be well worth the price.