The Personal Documentary Company | Digging out forgotten stuff
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04 Oct Digging out forgotten stuff

Personal Documentaries are based around interviews with the client, but they rely heavily on the client’s old family photos and, sometimes, cinefilm.

When I’m filming the interviews it’s often helpful for the client to have their family albums to hand, or on their laps, to trigger memories and stories.

And in the editing process we can use scores of such photos to create music sequences and turn the project into an engaging film.

But that assumes the photos are available – and quite often we have to press the client hard to dig them out.

People will often have a few framed photos on display – but I need much more, and that can involve the client digging around in bottom drawers, old suitcases and even the attic.

But the good news is that clients often don’t realise what they’ve got – so unearthing ancient photos of Granny that haven’t seen the light of day for a generation not only helps me and the film, but gives the client another opportunity to enhance the sideboard.

The best example was a client who I nagged endlessly to dig out what she had – whereupon she discovered that her son had a treasure trove of old family films from the 1930s of her parents in Hong Kong – which she’d never seen before. So I showed the films to her and filmed her reactions. Magic moments.

And these old photos can look great. Even if at first sight they look faded, it’s remarkable what can be done to bring them back to life. Photographs Forever are brilliant at fixing damaged photos – no matter how bad they look, Richard Haines can fix them.