We create life story films made up of ten chapters showing the best memories from birth to present for people living with dementia
It features images from family albums, interviews with the person and their family members, and their favourite music tracks. Improving their quality of life and the quality of their care.
We offer this service completely free of charge.
Step 1 - Preparation
Whilst you are waiting for a filmmaker to be assigned it is really useful to start preparing for the film, below you can find some guidelines to follow.
The family should start discussing stories and collecting the material which can be used in the individual chapters throughout the film. The chapters could be organised by significant life events to the star. Chapters could be: Childhood, Youth, First Love, Job, Sport, Travel, Marriage, Children, Grandchildren, and Hobbies.
Create a timeline of key events within the person living with dementia's life (our star) with paragraphs explaining each chapter of the person’s life, this gives the filmmaker a useful outline to work with.
The star and the family should talk about the material and try to trigger memories ahead of filming.
Music tracks are also important and need to be chosen, as they create emotional context for the images; personal favourites or classics from the period tend to work well.
Step 2 - The Initial Meeting
We meet and their family at home, ideally at an early stage of the illness. We have a conversation about the star’s life and what they want in the film.
The star of the film should determine themselves what parts of their lives are most worth remembering. There needs to be a sufficient amount of photographs and video to cover these chapters; the filmmaker will look at the material you have collected with you and check that there is a sufficient amount.
The star and the filmmaker agree on up to 10 chapters covering key aspects of the star's life.
Step 3 - Filming Days
The Filming Day is planned carefully with the family, all depending on how active and fit the star is.
The collected material needs to be scanned and recorded by the filmmaker first. This can take several hours and does not need the presence of the star. A family member should assist the filmmaker.
The next step is to interview the star. The main interview should ideally be the star speaking on their own, but they might feel more comfortable having a family member with them.
Further interviews with spouses, children or other family members and friends will be done afterwards.
Scanning the material and filming takes meetings over 1-2 days depending on the number of interviews.
Step 4 - The Edit
Once all materials are collected and interviews are done the filmmaker will go away and edit it into a unique My Life Films package.
The film package contains two films with multiple uses:
1. The Life Story
A 30 minute biographical film in ten chapters, featuring all photographs, home footage, interviews and with a strong focus on music. This film can be watched by the star and their family regularly to enjoy reminiscing with. It improves the star's mood and helps them to feel proud of their life.
2. The Short Film
The short 3-5 minute film is watched by care workers as a quick, engaging introduction to the person’s life, helping them to look beyond the illness and see the unique person. It helps care workers to communicate better with the person, improving their relationship and improving their quality of care.
Both films provide a wonderful, lasting memory of the person for family and friends that can be enjoyed for many years to come.
Step 5 - Delivery
The films are made into DVDs and delivered at the premiere roughly two weeks after filming. The premiere is a great opportunity to bring friends and family together to celebrate the star's life and watch the films for the first time together.
Furthermore, each star has a password protected digital space containing their films. This means that the films can be downloaded and watched on any digital device.