Case Study #2 - A Family Legacy Film

The Result

“The music, sound editing, and photography were choreographed together in such a way that the essence of the 90-year-old-woman and her wonderful memories and stories were truly been captured for all time.”

Thea Jones


Project Overview

What would a soon-to-be 90-year-old woman with a home full of art and treasures from all over the world want or need for a birthday gift? This was the question that our client, Thea, asked herself while searching for the perfect present. Thea envisioned a video that was a cross between a travel diary and personal property insurance video (you know the ones that chronicle everything you own in case something goes terribly wrong – earthquake, fire…). Without much direction, Ezra Productions showed up to the woman’s house and followed the initially camera-shy woman while she recounted her memories in front of all of her most valuable possessions. At the end of the day, the woman was hugging and kissing us.

Project Pre-requisites

The ability to build rapport instantly, and an understanding of what the woman’s children and grandchildren would need to know about her antiques from an estate planning standpoint.

Project Timeframe

One week, from shooting to end product.

Project Deliverables

One 1080p HD 38-minute long film delivered on DVDs and digital files that will stay in her family forever.

Challenges & Solutions

According to Thea, Ezra Productions took her “cryptic and admittedly rather odd request,” and produced a “touching, heartfelt, and visually stunning masterpiece.” We did that by coming in with a true interest in hearing the woman’s stories, and by making her feel comfortable enough to let down her guard and re-live the memories that shaped her life. Having an experienced cinematographer who could film in a location without ever having seen it was also helpful.

Feature Spotlight

Cinematic Music

We matched the music to the overall feeling of the video that took shape in the editing process.

Thoughtful Editing

While going through the hours of footage, we asked ourselves, what will the family want to see and hear in this video? We used the answer to that question to determine the most important parts of the stories and covered up shaky camera movement with B roll we shot of the antiques themselves.

Professional Sound

We wanted to capture the best sound for the video without distracting or inconveniencing the woman, so we used a wireless lavalier microphone that we attached to the woman’s sweater.

B roll Footage

The woman would often roam around the room instead of staying on her mark, so it was important to film B roll footage to use in the editing process.

Reflections on the Project

It was an amazing experience to be able to honor an older woman by creating the space for her to share her stories and actively listening to her. It was clear that the attention we showered upon he while she re-lived her memories made her feel very special. While we didn’t know exactly what the client had in mind for the end result, putting ourselves in the viewer’s shoes led us to create a video that far exceeded the client’s expectations.

“Jillian’s talent, vision, and professionalism made Ezra Productions the perfect choice. I am simply amazed by her talent. I was so touched by many parts of the video and I know that her family will treasure it.”

Thea Jones