Celebrating Life at Milestone Moments
One sunny afternoon in 1826, Joseph Niépce recorded the view from his window with a process he called ‘light writing’. That image – the oldest surviving photograph – immortalised nearby rooftops and distant trees, investing a commonplace scene with immense significance.
We live in the recorded age, and yet all too often images of people that matter to us are damaged, lost or simply go unseen. A Lifetime Film collates and immortalises those moments so they can be revived, recalled, and relived – on demand, forever.
The title picture above is an image of my grandfather I shot at the age of 11 with the second roll of film in my first camera. He died in 2016, but I can – literally – still see him sitting on the sea wall in that sunset at St Malo in 1982, when he was young and healthy – roughly as ‘young and healthy’ as I am today! Digital technology allows us to ‘remember it wholesale’ – to preserve the stuff of which life is made long after our memories have altered and faded, and to pass to our descendants a time capsule more durable than a tombstone. This is the power of the recorded image.
Life is marked by milestones: the first day of school or university; a wedding; emigration – a chapter closes, another opens, and we aren’t the same again. At such moments there’s a desire to celebrate – to reflect and remember; to fix and preserve – to commit to record having been that.
When a loved one dies there’s a profound need to gather all they were and make sense of it. A Lifetime film chronologically charting their life from childhood is a powerfully comforting aid in the process of grieving. More importantly it creates an everlasting document that enables family and friends and future generations to understand who they were and what their life meant. It’s the closest we get to resurrection.
A VIDEO BIOGRAPHY
A Lifetime film is very simple, yet infinitely complex. The first step is to digitise and (optionally) restore historic images: they may have been shot on Super 8 or old cine film; they may exist as battered prints, unviewed slides or camcorder tapes. If captured digitally, they may consist of cameraphone footage or stills that require colour correction or denoising.
Whatever the case, the most vital, but time-consuming, part of the process is gathering and ordering the material. We work with you to offer whatever help you need: we can take care of the whole process, or advise you how to assemble media in a format we can use. We also consult with you to find words and music that were meaningful to the subject, or fitting to the content, and source appropriate interviews.
As in life, the resultant film always follows the same formula, yet is never the same. Sometimes the film is less than five minutes long; sometimes it is thirty. Sometimes the narrative branches into the non-linear – incorporating flashbacks. However, the result aims to portray a life, or a chapter of it, vividly and truly: it’s up to you whether the documentary is ‘warts and all’, or a ‘highlight reel’.
A Lifetime film is the opposite of an impersonal, ‘off-the-shelf’ service. It’s rather more than a DIY slideshow and a lot more than shoving a kid’s drawing on a plate. It’s not delivered with the generic, well-trodden boredom of a memorial service: it’s a celebration of a life. We invest time in understanding the subject and the intent of those commissioning it. It’s not a quick or cheap service, but given that nothing lasts forever – what else can you buy that will last lifetimes?
At its simplest – depending on your level of involvement and the amount of restoration required – a Lifetime film might cost as little as £395. We offer portraiture, wedding and other event photography and a service that allows us to capture images annually or at key moments to build time lapse and morphing sequences for future videos. Some films may call for shooting pertinent B-roll material but please note that we prefer not to document funeral services: capturing lived moments is our priority.
This service isn’t geographically limited: consultation can be via Zoom or other teleconference, material can be delivered via secure post, and your film will be made available digitally. To maintain appropriate privacy, if you’d like to see an example of a Lifetime Film, or to commemorate your loved one in this way, please email Mark or call on 01242 692455.