Everybody has a story

How many times have you passed a homeless person on the street and tried to avoid looking at them, or crossed to the other side to not have to be near them?  Did you think “Why don’t they get a job?”  Did you even wonder how they got to that place?

There are lots of reasons for homelessness.  They include job loss, drugs or alcohol use, argument with a family member who asked them to leave, eviction, incarceration, mental illness and more.

I spent a year getting to know members of the DownTown Streets Team, an organization that works to help homeless people get jobs, get transportation so they can get to work or job interviews, get supportive services to help them in this transition, and finally, to get housing.

The members wanted to share their experiences and kindly allowed me to videotape them telling their stories.  So I created a series called “This is My Story.”

When you see a homeless person do you wonder what their story is?


This is My Story Series
This is My Story Series

As You Digitize Your Family Memories They Are Safe with Legacy Republic

Do you worry that your family memories won’t be safe if you give them to someone to digitize? One of the reasons I decided to join with Legacy Republic is because of their excellent security and care of people’s precious Family Memories. For years I’ve hesitated to take my clients’ memories on VHS tapes, reel films, or photos and send them off somewhere to be digitized. When I got a tour of Legacy Republic’s memory factory I was very impressed. I felt I would be very comfortable helping families digitize and save their memories with this company.

When your family memories arrive at Legacy Republic they are tracked throughout the digitizing process. Your VHS tapes, reels of film, or other family memories are assigned a bar code and signed in. As they move through the digitizing process they are tracked with their bar codes. Then, when they leave the facility, they are still carefully tracked until they are safely returned to you with your DVD and online account.

The video below shows you the process.

Legacy videos let survivors enjoy the happier memories

There were tears when Barbara Bardak’s three young children first started watching the video she’d made for them about her life and what she wanted for theirs. It wasn’t long, though, before they were nudging and kidding each other in affection for the mother they’d lost to breast cancer five months earlier at age 43.

“It was such a beautiful moment,” said Nora Bardak, Barbara’s mother-in-law and caregiver for the children — 10, 11 and 14 — in Rocky Point, N.Y. “What a gift this was, and it couldn’t have been easy for her — she had to think, ‘maybe I’m dying,'” even though she looked healthy on the tape made six weeks before she died in July.

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An infographic to help you Create a Family Legacy Video Your Family Will Love

Legacy Video Your Family Will Love

“As a mobile videographer, Judy Blair, owner of Keepsake Pix, helps families tell their stories and preserve their legacy for younger generations. Scrapbooks of photos become meaningless if no one remembers the family stories that are tied to those photos. Family legacy videos keep those stories–funny, silly or sentimental–alive for the youngest members to view.

Judy and C K Wilde sat down together recently to talk about her recommendations for creating a legacy video of a family member. If you own a low cost camera or a smartphone that records HD video (most newer models), you can shoot a family legacy video.

We created an infographic to help you plan, prepare, shoot, edit and share your legacy video with your family.”

Planting Seeds

I’ve been pondering the results of my day at the Senior Resource Fair earlier this week.  It seems the majority of my activity during the day was planting seeds–talking to people who visited my table about family legacy movies  and how important they are to help families preserve and remember special family memories as well as family history.

Many people have good intentions but they wait, and wait–until it’s too late!  I’m a “do it now” kind of person but I’m seeing how many people aren’t.  You can lead a horse to water . . . .  So, I’ll just be a “Judy Appleseed” and continue to plant seeds, hoping some will take.

Family Legacy Movies - Do it Now!




Sample Family Legacy Movie

This family legacy movie was created in stages. We first converted an old VHS tape to DVD. Next we recorded Meredith talking to her family explaining what was in the movie, describing some of the history of San Jose and pointing out family members in their younger years. Then we put it all together! As you can tell from the movie Meredith is talking to her children and grandchildren. She is preserving and sharing her memories.

This is just a sample of the longer movie.

I’m visiting my Mom and want to take video of her. What should I do?

A friend recently told me:  “My Mom is getting up in years and I don’t have any videos of her.  I was so inspired by my conversations with you about family legacy movies I went out and bought a small video camera to take on my vacation to visit her.  Now what?”

So, I gave her a few tips.

1.   First, use a tripod for your camera, or set it on a table with a stack of books or anything to stabilize it while you are recording.

2.  Set the camera height so you can see her face head-on.  Don’t place the camera below her face so her double chin shows.

3.  Make sure lighting is good.  Have her sit in front of a solid wall–no bright windows or doors behind her.  If the room is dark, bring in extra lights and place them around her so light shines on her face.  Use halogen lights or blue-toned light bulbs, not flourescent or yellow-toned bulbs.  Sometimes bright shop-lights work well.

4. Turn off all television, radios, music, and use a room where outside traffic noises or other loud noises won’t be heard.  If you have a microphone, use it.  Most likely you won’t, so place the camera as close as you can and still get good shots.  Sometimes if using a mic is just not possible, I will place a second camcorder near her for the sound and later sync movie and sound together on the computer.

5.  Change the position of the camera from time to time to vary the views of her and make the final product a little more interesting.

6.  During your videotaping, ask her questions about her memories:  favorite stories told to her when she was growing up, favorite family times, good times, hard times, friendships, other family members.  Think of questions you have and things you want to know about your Mom.

7. If you will be with her for several days, don’t exhaust her or yourself by doing it all in one day.  Maybe some of the shooting can be done outside in a quiet garden or on the front porch.  Just keep in mind lighting and sound.

8.  Finally, make sure you know ahead of time how much video your camera can hold.  Get extra internal cards if necessary.  If your camera doesn’t have cards and if you have limited space on your camera you might want to subscribe to a website where you can upload your raw footage for safekeeping until you can access it when you get home.  And check it to make sure you can see it before you delete footage from your camera to make more space.

9.  Most important, make it fun for both you and her.

Sunnyvale Art & Wine Festival 2012

Save the date! June 2 and 3, 2012.

The Art & Wine Festival is sponsored by the Sunnyvale Chamber of Commerce.

Enjoy this year’s 30-second video:

You will see hundreds of the country’s finest artists and crafts people. Enjoy delicious wines, local beers, margaritas, sangria, and champagne.

This year’s live stage music features the Peelers and Moonalice.

Don’t miss the great selection of food, and kids carnival rides. It all happens on Murphy Avene in downtown Sunnyvale.

TNT Provides Drama

TNT Takes Improv Anywhere Approach To Video Advertising: Push for Viral Drama

A few days ago, cable’s TNT unleashed a “We Know Drama” ad that, ironically, is really funny.  You may have seen it by now, but it’s well worth an in-depth look as an example of branded entertainment.  In the world of online video, it’s not enough to simply display a bunch of dramatic TV shows and movies that your brand specializes in, you have to grab the viewer’s attention with something special, perhaps original, and definitely something that people will talk about later.  TNT’s ad takes the “Improv Anywhere” model and runs with it very successfully.


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Source: TNT Takes Improv Anywhere Approach To Video Advertising: Push for Viral Drama http://www.reelseo.com/tnt-takes-improv-approach-video-ad/#ixzz1sVRe4KFp
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