I had the complete honor and privilege of working on my grandparent’s 50th wedding anniversary video. Some ask how long it took to produce and gather all the photos. My simple answer is 50 years. There were so many photos, 8mm tape, VHS tape and other media to go through. When going through the videos and photos it gave me an appreciation of where I came from.
The idea came to me 6 months ago to produce this video and make it a lasting impression for my family’s current and future generations. There was just an idea of getting all the photos and putting them in a slideshow with some music. But I tend to take projects and want to make them 20 times better.
My mom and I began to recon over to my grandparent’s house and sneak out photo books and replace the missing photo albums with fake photo albums. We would get the occasional question why are you looking at the albums. Our response: “Oh, just going down memory lane.”
As a multimedia producer you want to have plenty of images and videos at your disposal. I had plenty of photos to choose from. The golden nugget of this whole project was finding the 8mm film of their wedding. A family member informed me she had it and my eyes got big. The only problem is its film not digital so there were some transferring issues. I scoured Craigslist and found a 8mm projector and bought it for 30 bucks. It’s in working condition and sounds like a helicopter taking off when it’s playing the film. The guy I bought it from could fit the mold for an “Antique Roadshow” person. He had tons of vintage stuff. I used my HD camera to capture the film and imported it digitally into my computer. My wife and I watched the 8MM film as their wedding came across for 10 seconds. We were like Clark Griswold in the attic watching old 8MM film and crying.
The opening shot is what my grandparents talk about all the time. To the outside world they seem like they are fighting but we all know they are discussing. This moment happened on a trip to my mom’s. I had no HD or professional camera in my hands so I had to use my iPhone to capture this moment. Grandpa and Grandma started discussing about something and it morphed into the “nailed” conversation. This really sets the tone for the video. If you hang out with my grandparents for at least an hour they will give you something to laugh at.
I arranged an interview with them under the premise a friend needed a couple that has been married 50 plus years. I sat down with them for a little over an hour talking about their marriage. My grandma bought the lie but after I showed it to them my grandpa told me what I was up to.
They both worked at Holloman Air Force Base and they had some pictures of them working there but I found on the National Archives website some declassified photos of where my grandpa worked. They even had missiles they shot. It was a cool to find that. During my interview with them they talked about the struggles of the 60s and 70s. The assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy made them worry about the U.S.’s future.
During the whole project you can really tell their love has stayed true for 50 years. There have been hard times and rough patches. But they never give up. They are blessed with 4 children, 9 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. I am so blessed to have done this project and have this for future generations.
If you want me to help your family tell their story feel free to contact me. I love being a story teller.