FAQ  - life story photo/video montage

   Frequently Asked Questions  - life story photo/video montage


Life and family history videos take planning to properly produce. Better organization by you will equate to dollar savings in editing.

The type of family history video that we will produce for you depends significantly upon the amount and type of materials you have collected during your life. Rather than taking on the formidable task of trying to create a single video of your entire family or life all at one time, we suggest dividing it into chapters, like a book. We then will evaluate the amount and type of material you have collected for each chapter and ultimately make a better decision as to what production format to choose. Some chapters will have more photos, some will have more film or video, and some may consist solely of memorabilia. The production format will likely fall into one of these categories:

Chronological:  Start at the beginning of time and follow a timeline.
Segmental:  Produce separate segments, such as high school years, summer vacations, birthday parties, each child, each big trip and so on.


The materials always seem to have a way of telling us which production format is best suited to the project. We are "the custom builder of family history videos" and we will edit the project in any style necessary in order for it to effectively tell your story.

Also, many of the projects which we are contracted to create are made as surprises for others. This makes it a little more difficult for you as the creator because you may not have access to all of the materials that you need. If you are under time constraints to 'sneak' materials out, we can accommodate you with one day turnaround on digitization, (50% surcharge) but you need to make advance reservations for studio time.

The process for planning your project is as follows:

  • Collect all of your materials
  • Put them in order either by numbering them or using a log sheet with numbers and descriptions of items.  Don't use markers on the backs of photos!
  • Drop them at our studio or send them by secure mail services
  • We then scan all of your materials into the computer
  • Scanning does not hurt your materials.  In fact, you will usually get your images back in better condition than when you delivered them because we clean them.
  • You may join us in the editing session to integrate the materials or provide us with specific instructions for assembly.
  • You narrate the video if you like or send a tape or digital file with narration for us to integrate with the visuals
  • You supply music on CD's for the background so that we don't have to violate federal copyright laws and you get to use your favorite music. 
  • You pass on your legacy in a cohesive form to your children, grandchildren...

Depending upon the size of your job, we may be able to finish your job in a few days, but there is a 50% surcharge for 1 week turnaround and 100% surcharge for 48 hour turnaround. Obviously, some jobs are too complex to fit into these categories. We recommend that all of your materials be delivered to our studio two weeks prior to your editing session. We also suggest that you review video copies of your films at home prior to editing. We can supply you with these if we are doing the film to tape transfers for you. The better you know your footage the lower your editing costs will be. If you have film-to-tape transfers done on your own, please be sure the masters are done on MINI-DV tape with time code



We are always ready to help. You'll appreciate our rapid response.


847-498-6360  Illinois, Wisconsin and  Arizona

info@chicagovideoworks.com   |  info@webcastermaster.com  |  info@customphotomosaics.com