Cory Bretz Personal Historian

When you're looking for a pro personal historian Canada has few.

But Cory Bretz is one of history-lovers, having helped dozens of families and seniors preserve and celebrate their life stories. Cory brings to the field of recording family history skills like genealogy, interviewing, writing, video editing, film production and publishing. And when it comes to finding a professional family history video producer or video biographer Canada also has one of the best. It took Cory years of practice doing photo scanning & restoration, video editing, biography interviews, and consciously choosing to become a skilled family history writer. Now he's happy to fly into your city and interview you and help capture your photos and mementos your film or book. 

Cory thinks in pictures. And's he also a fabulous listener. These two qualities combined give Cory Bretz the ability to help you tell your life story and family history in an interesting, compelling way. As a veteran of the fast paced and demanding marketing communications field Cory understands how to gather and organize the countless details that make up your life story and family history. Being a natural story-teller, he easily summarizes and illustrates your life story so your audience - today and tomorrow - will want to watch it.

We hired Cory to document our 90 year old mother's life history. Cory was able to make a video that taught us details of our mother's life we did not know. The movie was engaging, informative, creative, and visually interesting to watch. If the saying is you get what you pay for, we think we exceeded that maxim.

Jeffrey Goldberg 
Film Client 

A Mission

Years ago, Cory witnessed the power that video has to bring people in touch with their emotions. With the huge growth of internet video sites like Vimeo, Youtube, and Facebook, Cory knows that our society is rapidly arriving at a place where if you're not in video on the web somewhere, you don't exist! It was at a workshop in 1995 that the presenter said it was the job of our society's elders - grandmothers and grandfathers - to bless our children. But with all the distractions of daily life and the way families are spread all over the globe, Cory knew that something was missing.

What I Love About You Most Is...

Almost by accident, he discovered "blessings", often the sweetest part of a life story family history film or video. He had just finished interviewing a senior about her life story when she said, "I really want my grandchildren to know how I feel about them." So, he turned the camera back on and had her speak to each of her grandchildren - eyeball to camera lens - telling each one why she loved them and what she thought was special about each one." We were both in tears when we finished but we knew we had just recorded something that was going to be very significant to those people", said Cory. Blessings are much like a living will video but they contain mostly well wishes and positive message intended to inspire the next generation.

Cory is a hands-on writer and video biographer. For some projects he researches diligently and writes a detailed script in advance, determining what the story is and interviewing people with very focused questions. Other productions require a more open-ended journalistic documentary approach, interviewing all the players without a script and then deciding later what the story really is. Either way, the fundamental questions that inform Cory's making of life story family history films and books are: "What are you trying to say?" and "Who are you trying to say it to?"

Cory also applies his years of print publishing experience from designing and laying out magazines, newsletters, and advertising materials to the art of storybook making. He is able to pull together interview text and scanned and photographed imagery into a rich print, bound book that your family will cherish forever.

His books are designed to make perfect bedtime story books for parents and grand parents to read to the young children in their family.

Cory's main focus is the needs of his customers and he makes sure that your video production or storybook is crafted the right way.

Arrange a free 30 minute phone consultation with Personal Historian Cory Bretz.