1. Stars, Cast and Audience
A good film always has a clearly identified cast and audience. The cast depends on whether it’s a story of one person, a family, your business, or an organization. Your intended audience might be your grandchildren, your spouse, or perhaps the public.
2. The Plot
All good stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. We work with you to create the framework, identifying the key events, pivotal moments and your most cherished memories. A film can be big or small in focus, from a crucial period in your life, to your entire life’s work; it could even be a living book, with chapters for each stage in your family’s life. Wherever possible, we encourage storytelling by the person who lived the stories. However, filmmaking is a wonderfully creative medium. If the central character has passed, there are still many ways to create a rich and compelling legacy on film.
3. Research and story preparation
Pre-interviews with the cast and contributors are the most important part of the research phase, as they provide the detail and colour that turn facts into flesh and blood. The interviews are then transcribed and used for preparing questions for the actual on-camera interviews.
We also conduct historical and archival research for the images and information that will bring to life the times and events that shaped your life journey.
Personal photos and memorabilia, supplied by you, are a critical part of creating an intimate portrait.
Lastly, we assemble the right production team for your project, scout locations and create a shooting schedule.
4. Creating the Storyboard
The film is then laid out on paper, showing how the story will unfold: the interviews, locations, techniques, and other components that will be used to aid in the storytelling. We ensure you’re in complete agreement before the camera rolls.
5. Lights, Camera, Action!
A full production team consists of a director, camera operators, sound technicians, lighting technician and makeup artist, although not all members are required for all shoots. Locations can be as simple and comfortable as your living room– to just about anywhere your life’s journey has taken you. Our crews are true veterans who know how to put you at ease by ensuring there are no surprises, and to provide you with a truly enjoyable and memorable experience!
6. Post-production: Stage One
It’s here, in a dark room full of high tech computers and monitors, where the editor and producer will spend the next weeks: inputting video, selecting clips , creating sound effects and graphics, and assembling the first draft of the film, called a “rough cut”. At the same time, the editorial team is transcribing the interviews, writing the script, and pulling archival footage. Music is also researched or commissioned to enhance the emotion the film seeks to convey. Once the rough cut is ready, we review it with you, frame by frame, to ensure that the finished product will accurately convey your message, sentiments, and vision.
7. Post-production: Stage Two
Once you’ve signed-off on the rough cut, the film is finalized and polished with professional narration (if desired), full graphic treatment and music. A custom opening is created with graphics, sound and menu. Your film is then compressed as a digital file ready for uploading as well as transferred onto DVD or Blu-ray, as requested.
And now, all that’s left is to plan your Opening Night!