Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Seat To History

Last Friday, U.S. flags flew at half staff in honor of the man who commanded the mission that planted the first U.S. flag on the moon. You, or your parents, might not be the pioneers that Neil Armstrong was. But your, or their, memories of momentous events help shape our history nonetheless.

The Philip Randolph Parker Company's founder, John McQuiston, also works as a reporter and anchor at the ABC affiliate in Sarasota, Florida. Friday, he produced, wrote and reported a story about two local men who played small parts in the big story of Apollo 11 and Neil Armstrong's historic steps on the moon July 20, 1969.

Note: John produced that story in a single day. We spend much longer polishing the documentaries we produce for you.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Brush that Paints Your Self-Portrait

Marc Pachter doesn't make documentary films about people's lives. But in conducting live interviews with some of the most intriguing people in recent American history as part of a series created for the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, he shared our aim of trying for his interviewees to "be the brush that paints their self-portrait."

His interviews happened before live audiences rather than with nothing more than a video camera eavesdropping on the conversation. But he still had the challenge of, as he put it, "trying to get them to say what they probably wanted to say."

He reveals the secret to a great interview and shares extraordinary stories of talking with Steve Martin, Clare Booth Luce and others. "The key point was empathy," he says, "because everybody in their lives is really waiting for people to ask them questions so that they can be truthful about who they are and how they became what they are."


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Your life story video leaves your wisdom behind

A Cornell University professor says that even though your parents might need help operating the remote controls to their televisions, they have expertise to share with you.

"They know how to live through hard times," Karl Pillemer told PBS's Newshour. He gleaned this insight from interviews with elderly Americans for his new book "30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans."

Pillemer's interview on PBS includes excerpts of conversations he recorded with some of his subjects.

This is just another example of the gospel we try to preach: EVERYONE has experiences, memories and wisdom worth recording for their children and grandchildren. We can do productions ranging from simple interviews to full-scale documentary productions.

Please watch examples of our work, and contact us about how we can create a video biography that will preserve their life story for generations to come.