You’re Gonna Be In Pictures…
Last week NPR ran a segment on their show, Marketplace, entitled “Coming Soon, The Cash Peters Story” which was a look into the world of video biographies spotlighting one Los Angeles firm, Legacy Flicks, that charges $20,000 to put your name on the marquee for 30 minutes.
The segment was humorous and played upon the egotistical aspect of making a movie about your own life. Citing concerns about personal biographies being too gooey or saccharine, Peters poked fun at the vanity of having a movie made about your favorite person, YOU! He also questioned how many people had an interesting enough story to make a movie about. The people who had had Legacy videos done shared their motivation of leaving something about them for the next generation and in some instances, revealing truths about them that maybe successors might not know.
The piece started an interesting discussion on the Association of Personal Historians‘ listserve. Some thought the piece was snide and perhaps poked too much fun at a profession that is only beginning to make some headway with the general public. Others felt that it pointed out the value of telling your story in a way that was funny and maybe got you thinking about finally getting off your duff and doing something to record your memoirs.
I felt the piece was cute. It was a bit cheeky but all in all, a good natured look at something that is gaining ground in popularity. Legacy Flick’s prices quoted in the article are certainly on the high end. We (Legacy Multimedia) can produce an equally unique and professional custom quality video biography for a fraction of that amount, as can many other video biographers.
The one point that I felt was important to distinguish is that your story doesn’t have to have mass box office appeal and sell thousands of copies in order to have value. If I were to walk up to any number of people and tell them I had a copy of their great grandfather talking about his life, I don’t think there would be a single person not interested in it. The opportunity to find out about a long departed relative would have a value that would be difficult to even guess at. How much would you pay? Yet so many people say they have no story, nothing interesting to distinguish themselves from everyone else, not able or willing to justify the expense of hiring someone to do exactly that for their heirs.
Stefani Twyford is a personal historian and video biographer sharing life stories, connecting generations and preserving legacies. To learn more, visit her web site, find her on Twitter as @stefanitwyford, visit the Legacy Multimedia Facebook Fan Page, or send her an e-mail.