Older generations typically don’t like the idea of talking about themselves. “Oh, nobody wants to hear me talk!” “I didn’t do anything special.” These are things StoryKeeping hears regularly. I let the storyteller know that, while the stories are about them, the reason we’re capturing their legacy has more to do with their descendants.
Sending off saliva has become wildly popular as people search for clarity in their legacy. The concept is as odd as it is compelling. For roughly $100 it’s worth a try, isn’t it? Societal struggles fuel the curiosity. Employees are weighing their integrity against their careers. Parents are striving to instill standards in their children. Grandparents are wondering if the latest generation even cares to hear their story. A quick legacy fix is more appealing than ever.
Over three years ago she called me upset that her father had been diagnosed with stage four leukemia, and she needed me to capture his legacy as soon as possible. Her father was receiving treatment at a local hospital, so I loaded up my gear and captured his life story over the next three afternoons.
We have to make peace with the fact that in the case of natural disasters unpredictable things are going to happen. Safety measures will be tested and broken. Containers will cease to contain. Bags will be punctured. Water will rise higher than we imagined. Looters will take what isn’t theirs to take. Where does this leave us?
Our world is changing at an increasingly rapid pace. Families are scattered across the country and even the globe. People have connectivity overload yet lack connection. The work of personal historians is more important than ever, and I’m excited to be right in the middle of it all.
The eyes are the window to the soul, and when we really want to know what someone is thinking or feeling that’s the first place we look. I’m not sure what could be more personal than choosing a counselor, so I positioned the camera the same way I do for video biography productions so the viewers will feel like the storyteller is speaking directly to them. This gives Ysasi the best opportunity to establish a connection with the viewer.
I finished this production on Friday afternoon and not long after I sent the link over the folks in the South Texas Fracture Prevention Clinic commenced sending elated feedback my direction. I love great feedback, but that’s not the end goal.
Last night, my fiancee took me to a performance of Realizations: Tristan und Isolde at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. The show was a collaboration between the Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio (COSA) and Opera San Antonio, and every performer hit their mark to deliver a stirring experience for attendees. I took my StoryKeeping B-Cam along to snap a few stills from my seat (my fiancée is on the COSA board of directors and I like to make her happy), but when I saw they already had a talented photographer on hand (Siggi Ragnar) I figured video mode would have to suffice.
The picture above shows my grandfather on the left, my father in the middle using his hands telling a hunting story, and my mother on the right. Hunting is the most sacred tradition in our family. When the Haby family came to Texas from Alsace they hunted and provided meat for the other families in the Castro Colonies. We still make our own deer sausage today, and it’s fresher and more organic than anything you’ll find in Whole Foods.
I prefer happiness so I enjoy focusing on positive stories, but when I’m helping someone develop their life story I have to put my personal preference aside. For future generations, what is real can be for more valuable than what we wish had happened.