The clients of Heirloom Films and Storybooks are so proud of their life story family history films that they want us to show them off here! Each film project is unique but these samples will give you ideas about how your own film could be.
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Personal historian Cory Bretz gives you a backroom tour of the Coleman film. In this short clip Bob tells the story of his father coming to Canada from Poland just after World War I. You can see the actual video editing timeline to get an idea of how these projects are assembled. It's literally thousands of bits like photos, interview video footage, audio, music, narration, and titles sequenced together.
Your life story family history film can be made the exact same way so you can inspire the next generation!
This short film is a good example of our "Film In A Day" package. It was shown at the Celebration of Life event for Margaret, AKA "Skumpy". Skumpy was dealing with serious illness and was having difficulty breathing. But nonetheless she wanted to tell her story so her grandkids and future great grandkids would know her and her already deceased husband. Her scrapbooks and photo collection were filmed on the same day and all of it was edited together with beautiful royalty-free music. She passed away six weeks after this interview.
All About Anita Cohen
On the occasion of a visit with her sister Kiara, the two tell the story of their parents, growing up in Winnipeg, and then Anita coming to Vancouver as a young woman.
Families Of The Land
Ralph is a lawyer and a farmer. He comes from a long line of farmers. He and his father and grandfathers and uncles have all had land appropriated by local authorities to build highways. Ralph became an expert in agricultural law and stood up to city hall. But his life story family history film is also about his ancestors going back several generations. And Ralph made sure to we did video interviews with all the surviving elders in his family, including his own father Norman who was a pilot during World War II.
The Billie Davids Story
William Benjamin Davids, AKA Billie, is a 90+ cowboy who took his savvy out-on-the-range smarts into business in Lethbridge and Calgary, Alberta. He ran very successful and profitable food and beverage businesses producing pet foods, soft drinks, rental cars, and golf courses. His children Shelley and Perry commissioned this film for their own grandkids.
The Luber-Seligman Connection
It could be said that the marriage of Ben Luber and Eva Seligman was the merger of two corporate families in Canada’s early 20th century textiles industry. But the story of their lives, family, and exploits is much more. This film was commissioned by their daughter Dolores who wanted to give her grandchildren a special gift at her 75th Birthday Party.
Dolores Luber is a retired psychologist, and now a writer in her own right, creating interesting and insightful columns for a seniors network in Vancouver and for other publications. She loves telling the stories of the interesting people she meets.
When it came to communicating her own family story to her grandchildren she partnered up with personal historian Cory Bretz at Heirloom Films and Storybooks to make a movie about her parents, grandparents, and her own life.
Parts of the script were written by Dolores and read on camera with the use of a teleprompter from Heirloom Films. Other parts of the dialogue were recorded as interviews or while flipping through photo albums or reviewing old film footage digitized and displayed on a laptop.
A Saskatoon Story: Bea Goldberg
The Story of Bea Goldberg is about a family that was always part of community. It’s about strong women who have always been community leaders. And it’s about caring and giving and doing for a greater good, no matter how challenging life is. For Bea, the most important thing was to share something for her grandchildren that inspired them and helps them understand where they come from. Bea Goldberg had just turned 90 when this film was made.
For Bea, the most important thing was to share something for her grandchildren, something that inspired them and helped them understand where they come from.
Initially Bea's son had started to interview his mom but discovered that the challenge was helping her relax into her story, about triggering memories. He asked Personal Historian Cory Bretz to interview Bea and to capture her photo collection to create a film that would become not only bring them all together to remember the life of her and her husband but also but also be an heirloom that would be passed down for generations.
Ed’s War and The Walsh Family Legacy
These are two clips from this one hour life story family history film featuring Ed Walsh as he tells the stories of his life, his two sisters, and his deceased wife Beverly Ilott.
Ed shares about the first part of his World War II experiences as a 21 year old Corporal serving with the Regina Rifles in Holland and Germany. This is a great example of how simple video interviews and old photos can be brought together to make an interesting documentary film. A Grand Classic Deluxe film package includes some basic research and image gathering.
A Visit With Erika
When Erika came to Canada from Germany in the 1950’s she couldn’t speak English. Now she speaks better than me. In this heart-warming film Erika made specifically for her grand children, Erika shares the story of her parents, surviving World War II, meeting her beloved husband Otto, and living an amazing life in Canada. Using “Finger-Tip Naming” Erika points out her ancestors in the photos that have been in her family since the early 1900s.
The Sawle Story: A Plane Crash
For twins Linda Redmond and Leslie Lutes, their father Captain North Sawle was an adventurer - a bush pilot legend. But the tragic crash of the Comet Mark I jet airliner in 1953 took their father when they were only 10 years old. Was it “pilot error” as the manufacturer claimed or a defective airplane design? Fifty eight years later, Linda Redmond commissioned this film to tell the stories of her father and her family for her grandchildren.
The Story of Dr. Hellmut May
Being one of the youngest competitors in the 1936 Olympics in Germany was only one of Dr. Hellmut May’s many accomplishments. He also coached some of Canada’s top Olympic figure skaters: Karen Magnusen, Toller Cranston, Brian Orser, to name a few. In between, he found time to teach hundreds of young, hopeful skaters from Moncton to Vancouver.
See more sample films in the playlist below
Click the icon on the top right corner of the above video to see the whole Playlist of sample life story family history film video clips.