Frequently Asked Questions
Do you offer payment plans?
Yes. As this is a big investment in your family or business for many of you, we only require to be paid ½ upon the day of the initial interview, and ½ when the biography video is completed. If you prefer different terms, we can develop a payment plan to fit your particular budget to tell the life story you wish to be told.
How long does it take to produce a video biography?
It depends on many factors, but generally it takes anywhere from two weeks for a Bronze Biography to a few months for a Gold Biography. Of course, we can make exceptions and speed up the process should the completed video biography be needed for a specific event.
What can I include in the video biography?
You may include any photograph, slide, award, certificate, drawing, painting, film or videotape which helps to illustrate the person’s life story. These are what will best help to document and paint a thorough picture of the person you wish to portray in the documentary. Do remember that some materials may not be able to be included due to third party rights issues and concerns.
Can I suggest a song or music to include in my biography?
Famous songs and music are protected under copyright law, and are typically unable to be used in productions such as these. However, I am able to license thousands of appropriate pieces of music that are available for lower-budget productions such as a personal video biography.
What is the process for producing a video biography?
QUESTIONNAIRE: First, we will have the person whose life story we will be telling fill out a short questionnaire to give us an initial understanding of what the story is they would like to tell. This may include a short timeline of events they wish to cover.
MEETING: Then, we will either sit down or talk on the phone with that person at our pre-production consultation. Here we will go over what they can expect on the day of the interview, as well as the complete production and editing process. We will also ask them to begin to gather together all the photographs, drawings, film, tape and other mementos from that person’s life they would like to include in the film to help illustrate their life story. And we'll be available to answer any questions they may have.
INTERVIEW: Next, we will come to that person’s home or another location to interview and film that person at a pre-arranged, convenient time. Depending upon the type and length of video biography desired, this could take a few hours or as long as all day. We'll be bringing some lights and camera equipment, and we'll need to record somewhere fairly quiet.
EDIT: Finally, we will edit the video together with the other mementos which have been gathered together, and add appropriate music, voice-over narration and title cards to the documentary. This is the part that usually takes the most time--ranging from a week to a few months depending upon the type and length of video biography desired.
FINAL REVIEW: You will have a chance towards the end to review the video biography and suggest changes or revisions specific to the life story you wish to be told.
OUTPUT: The final step of the process involves outputting the video to various formats so that you and your family may watch and share this unique life story on your computer, over the Internet, on your television or even on your tablet or smartphone.
What if I want a video biography produced about someone who has passed on?
This is always a wonderful way to honor a loved one’s legacy after they have left us. The process is much the same, however, we would interview family and friends to help shape the life of the person we are documenting. And we can often speed up the process as necessary to be able to finish it in time for a celebration of that person's life.
Where is Biography Productions?
We are located in Portland, Oregon, but will gladly travel outside of the Pacific Northwest to interview subjects for their life story. At this time clients will not be charged for travel expenses to interview subjects in the San Francisco Bay Area or in Los Angeles. However, other locations may incur minimal travel costs.
Will you travel to a hospital to interview a sick relative?
Yes. However, be aware that many hospitals have strict rules regarding filming on their property. Every effort will be made to work with the administrators of the hospital to allow us to shoot on their premises. This usually ia not a concern once they discover the nature of the filming.
What if I want a biography produced about my life?
What a wonderful idea! The best gift you could ever give to your loved ones is a video biography documenting your life story.
What happens to all the photographs, mementos, film, videotape, etc. I give you to use in the production?
Typically, we will make a copy of many of these on the day of the interview, so we will not need to take possession of them. For those items we do take with us to integrate into the documentary, such as film or videotape of the subject, we will return them to you in the condition in which they were received. We realize how precious these are and promise to take the best of care with them.
Do I have to be present at the pre-interview meeting or during the interview if I'm not the subject?
No, you do not have to be present at any of the meetings or interviews, only the person we are portraying in the documentary. However, we encourage you and other family members to be as active as possible in helping us produce an accurate representation of your relative’s life story.
What if the person whose history I want you to document doesn’t want to be involved?
We realize it may make people uncomfortable to be interviewed on camera, but there is no greater gift a person can share with a loved one than his or her own life story. However, with their permission, we can still produce a film of their life without interviewing them. Instead we would interview others who can assist us in the telling of their story.
May I contact someone you've produced a biography for already?
Yes, indeed, we would be happy to put you in touch with one of our satisfied clients and their family.
Can you put the biography you produce for my family on a website?
Yes, once the biography is uploaded to a video hosting site such as YouTube.com or Vimeo.com, you will be able to link the video on a website, and share their life story with whomever you wish.
What if my biography ends up on the web somewhere I don't want it to be?
We will not allow any unauthorized use of you or your family's video biography or life story without your written consent.