Still River Films Case Study

Family History

Our lives on camera

What to do with your home video footage?

A lot of our family history is a constant work in progress. You may not have realised it, but you’re already capturing many magical moments through photographs & home video, and you may even be posting these to social media. The memories that you capture, whether you are aware of it or not, is contributing to your family history records. Given the opportunity, what would you do with all that media? We decided to make a short film utilising some of our family’s photograph’s and home video footage. We then edited this into a narrative about the importance of cameras in our lives. The simple fact is that without cameras, we would not be able to capture our most precious memories in life.

Create stories from your home video

This short film was made almost entirely from home video footage. Much of it was captured on 8mm cine film from the 1960’s and the rest was recorded on various consumer video camcorders. The photographs came from our digital family photo album, which contains over 19,000 images, and some date back as far as the 1890’s. The big question is – What do you do with all that material? We think that telling a larger story in the backdrop of your old photographs and video footage reveals a few opportunities. In this film we decided to focus on how cameras play a part in our lives. But alternatively, we could have told the stories behind the videos and photos; or put in into a context about someone’s life story or experience; or perhaps a story from a wider family perspective. Either way, all these possible opportunities are moments not to be missed.

Storing your home video

The problem is that many of us keep the files randomly stored on a computer or mobile phone. In some cases there are so many video files or photographs that its hard to find the ones that really matter. By making short films like this one, you can put the material into a context (a story) that will be cherished in time. We believe its better to have those memories alive in a form that you can share and enjoy with others.

This topic also bring up how to start your own catalogues. Of course, we’re familiar with printing photographs and putting them into a photo album, but its more confusing when it comes to video. That’s why we think creating stories is the way to go – and creating a collection of films that become part of someone’s lifetime portfolio.

Home video ideas

So what do you do with all that home video footage? That is the big question! Here are some ideas to inspire your imagination on the types of things you can do:

  • Recreate the wedding day using old wedding video
  • Tell the story of important family moments, reunions, birthdays and festive holidays
  • A retrospective look at someone’s lifetime portfolio – this is your life
  • Stories about your children growing up
  • Use your family’s old photos to pass down stories from the past
  • This is your last year type stories
  • Relationships with pets – fond memories
Recording home video

Note that some of the aforementioned ideas include current home video. So many of us now record impromptu moments on our mobile phones. This is fantastic news for your home video catalogue, because so many more treasured memories will be captured giving even greater opportunity to do make something special over the course of time.

Other family history film case studies

Old home video stories for the future

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