Oral History Interview
Oral interview and video will focus on the client's life story; capturing the facts, and figures, to illustrate those facts, while also promoting the sharing of stories, remembrances, family lore and history, memories and traditions.
While I believe the filming of the interview to be best way to truly capture an individual's complete story, there are options.
Recording the interview without filming is one of those options, a recording of our conversation. Also, for future reference, the gradual integration of Skype technology into the process is anticipated.
I believe it important to add that I strive to make the interview environment a comfortable one - I would suggest the interview should take place in your home - to promote both relaxation AND reflection. I want our time together to be a pleasant experience for both of us - one built on trust, communication and respect for your story.
Video & Audio
When considering whether you would like to do an oral history interview (focusing on your life events - people, places and memories - answering the "when and where" questions) or an Ethical Will ( preserving your personal wishes, bequests and lessons learned), the one aspect ofthe project that I consider a necessity is the filming of our talk.
I believe the physical presence of you in what we are creating is too important to the effort to ignore, so the visual recording is always a part of what I do for you at You, the Storyteller. With that said, please let me briefly explain what it will consist of - I film using an IPad with added audio recording ability via the use of external microphones to properly record the spoken word. My "equipment" is fairly low key - no bright lights etc.
I also believe it best to conduct our discussion at your home - primarily for your comfort and ease. I want you to feel free to discuss what you consider important or pertinent - I have no agenda to cover. Areas off limits for you can be determined prior to the interview.
Remember: our time together is all about you, and your life.
"In this bright future you can't forget your past."
Ethical Wills, also referred to as Legacy Letters, are a centuries old tradition with roots in many different cultures. Employed in the past as a way of expressing an individual's beliefs and values, the practice today still aims to do much the same thing - however, because of the multi-media tools available to Personal Historians, Ethical Wills are enjoying a new recognition and appreciation in the world of today.
Much like an oral history interview, your Ethical Will will be videotaped in a similar format. How-ever, the difference is that I will focus on your thoughts concerning your personal values and gained wisdom. As Susan Turnbull wrote “An Ethical Will says who I am - it’s what you want your loved ones to understand.”
Again, the importance of preserving your thoughts and your sense of what IS important, cannot be understated. Sharing expressions of love and blessings, or a statement of pride - hopes and dreams for your family - communicating your cultural and spiritual values, or even sharing a re-quest for forgiveness - the Ethical Will gives the individual the freedom to organize and share their deepest convictions and thoughts. As Barry Baines wrote, “…today we don’t take the time to self-reflect…an Ethical Will…helps you live life with more intention.”
Connecting yourself to the future by providing a link to the past via your stories and reflections, gives you, and those who know you, a foundation on which to move forward - a legacy, by which to know yourself, and a way of saying “this is who I am” to those who are part of your world.