Video Services and Costs

taking notes while on phone


Before the video interview takes place, we need to learn a bit about our subject, the family, what visual materials might be available, and how complex a video we are looking to make.

A phone call or two and some emails should suffice to get us oriented and set up the actual appointment.

For this prep work we assume a few hours of work, or $100.


The Interview

Our starting point is a simple interview where we ask questions about the person’s life, often starting with “What is the very first thing you remember?”

From here the interview continues for about an hour.

This simple process, a conversation recorded on video, preserves precious memories.

Later, in editing, we sequence the best moments, neaten things up, and add music.

Then we often divide that interview into a series of 3-4 minutes segments, each about a separate phase of the subject’s life.

Our starting price for a simple conversation on video assumes a one-hour video and about four hours of editing, so the cost with local travel and so forth is $400.

video enhancements


There are endless ways we can enhance a video and expand the scope of the final product. Below we present examples some options. Other ideas can be custom priced.

See additional costs below.

Extended Visits and Walks

In addition to the basic interview, we may be able to add a local walk, a visit with relatives, or a tour of the residence. This addition can greatly enrich the final video.

Let’s assume we spend another hour, perhaps walking nearby, and gathering more video.

This would add another hour or so to the videography and as much as four hours more editing, to find the best moments, clean up audio, and mix with the original interview. 

So additional cost might be $400.

photo inset

Adding in Still Images

The first enhancement is usually to add in family photos and historical images that reflect and illuminate the basic video interview. 

Images can either be set next to the subject on screen or we can fill the frame and then return to the interview scene.

Families supply images from albums or from recent events. Other historical images can be found online, though we go out of our way not to violate copyright.

If an image is valuable enough to the video, we may wish to pay for the use, and add that cost to the budget, with the approval of the our client.

Adding in stills will add about six hours to the project, or $300.

family interview

Interviews with Family Members

From children to grandchildren, brothers and sisters, we can sit down with more family members to get a different set of stories and fill out the family picture.

Suppose we spent another two hours video recording a group of family members. Between video session and additional editing the added cost would be in the range of $400. 

8mm movies

Adding Home Movies

Home movies from the 1950s and onward can add great richness to the video project. Assuming the movies are not yet converted to digital, we will need to get that done.

Then we review the home movies and determine how and where to blend them with the interview.

However, imagine that there is a box of a hundred home movies! The task of reviewing them and finding the best moments can be daunting. In estimating this enhancement, we will assume that the family reviews all the home movies, selects the best moments, and supplies them to us in digital form. (We can direct you to many services that will digitize home movies.)

Integrating supplied selected digitized home movies into an interview: four hours, or $200.

Jon Sachs Teaching

Video Workshops

We also give workshops where we teach people of all ages to make their own video biographies, using everything from smart phones to digital cameras.

We can create a custom workshop that is appropriate for the age, skills, and interests of your group.

Ongoing Video Activities

We can arrange for weekly or monthly video sessions with residents of assisted and independent living communities.

These programs give residents a meaningful activity to look forward to, with a long-lasting product in the form of a short memory video.