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Over half a century ago, my grandfather's brother shot a home movie of my parents' wedding. We converted that
16-millimeter film to digital video tape, which I edited, adding titles and
credits, slow motion of key scenes, and still photos of the principals, then
version to DVDs which others can watch on their TVs or PCs.
There is a laundry list of benefits to having such a DVD for family historians. You can see which family members attended, how they dressed, how they walked, even (in our case) how they played with the dog. Video brings people to life in a way that words on paper simply can't. Go ahead, just try to capture in words the twinkle in my grandfather's eye as he proudly escorted the bride.
If you have aging home movies, old VHS video of family gatherings, even old audio cassettes, gathering dust somewhere, why not dig them out and take steps to preserve them for future generations?
But the real purpose of these articles is to encourage you to create new video to augment your genealogical efforts. You really don't have to be Steven Spielberg to pull this off.
Video allows the audience to both hear and see who and what of their ancestry, perhaps even having the principals explain in their own words why they made the choices they did. We're talking the sort of stuff that future genealogists are unlikely to find in the historical record -- unless you put it there.
Having expressed a bias for video,
we realize it will not be everyone's cup of tea. That's fine, to each his or
her own. But those who would like to know more have come to the right
place. This (the list on the right) is our small but steadily growing series
of solutions for genealogy's Steven Spielbergs in training.
Copyright 2006-2007 John Cardiff