Video Storytelling

Trillium Digital is excited to offer our newest service – affordable video storytelling for individuals, families, as well as business owners.

The Process, FAQ’s, and Pricing

When an elder dies, it is as if an entire library burns down. 

– African proverb

The Process

Personal Histories — Memoirs, Oral Histories, Documentary Videos

Creating a personal history can be a rewarding and enriching experience for individuals and families. From a free initial consultation through the interviews and production stages to final delivery, we steward your project every step of the way. Our process is highly confidential and sensitive to the needs of each person involved. Your stories will be treated with the utmost respect, preserved with care, and will last many generations.


First Things First – Preliminaries


Free Initial Consultation

We’ll talk about the project, what to expect, and how long it will take from start to finish. You decide whether you want to have the interviews in the comfort of your home or remotely, whichever you prefer. We will discuss your goals and how you intend your history to be used, gather family history and background information, and determine the focus of the interview. We’ll also provide you with a list of possible questions that you can use to help narrow down what you’d like to talk about, and give you the opportunity to tell us what you’d rather not talk about as well.
We will also talk about the option to involve other family members in the process. A husband and wife can be interviewed together; a child or grandchild can interview a grandparent; an individual of any age can talk about their life and their most cherished stories; lifelong friends can reminisce together about life in the neighborhood, school days, or special vacations taken together; an adult can tell the stories of their parents’ lives after their passing, saving those precious memories for the next generation. It’s all completely flexible and totally up to you.

The other important topic we’ll cover in the initial consultation is the method of delivery you prefer; digital technology is moving so fast these days the ways you can have your video delivered is mind-numbing. It can be delivered on a standard DVD or a Thumb Drive; uploaded to a  cloud storage system; or uploaded service like YouTube, where it can be stored in your own personal, private account. We can also share it in any of the Legacy Sharing services, such as StoryCorps or Legacy Stories. No worries if you can’t decide right at the beginning, we’ll work with you to see what will be best for you and your family.


Together, we’ll develop a plan for a fun and successful project. We will discuss the questions to be asked during the interviews. Please let us know about any topics that you especially want to cover as well any any you don’t want to talk about. We will discuss the project schedule and how we will work together, whether we will conduct the interviews in-person or remotely. If applicable to the project, you will create a list of questions, a personal timeline, and family tree using forms we will provide. You will also gather photos, documents, and other memory “triggers.” Finally, we will take some time to look at the best areas in your home to conduct the interview, including determining where is the best natural lighting and least sound echo.


In a series of interviews, each lasting about one to two hours, you will be involved in a highly interactive, engaging conversation with your personal historian. We will build in time at the beginning of the video shoot to set up cameras and lights, and do microphone checks before we start the actual interview.  We will guide you to tell your life stories, using the prompts and questions that you’ve already chosen. Each session will be recorded digitally using high-quality equipment.


Next Steps – Post Interview

The next steps depend on the final product—or a combination of products—you have chosen to document your stories: oral history, documentary video, or memoir book.

For an Oral History
Interview recordings will be copied to archival-quality audio CDs and/or a thumb drive. If you choose, the interviews will be edited to remove extraneous material and organized into separate tracks to make it easy to locate individual stories.

For a Documentary Video
Video recordings of the interviews will be edited to your specifications and may, if you wish, include photographs, music, and home movies. The final production will be copied to archival-quality DVDs and/or uploaded to a web site of your choosing.


Post-Production – How Long Does It Take?

After the interviews are recorded, we begins our post-production phase. Depending on your specific project, post-production may include things like interview transcription, memoir writing, audio and video editing, graphic design, and self-publishing.

An Oral History can be delivered within as little as 2 weeks of the final interview; a simple Documentary Video with minimal editing and no extra graphics can take 4 to 8 weeks to complete; a Documentary Video with all the bells and whistles, including scanned photos, opening and closing graphics, background music, and heavy editing is more time-consuming to put together, and project delivery is normally completed within 3-6 months of the final interview. It takes at least 6 months to produce a Memoir Book. Another possibility that we can discuss are some new and interesting online tools to create nearly finished mini-episodes that can later be strung together.

Once you see your video memoir, oral history, or autobiography come to life, you offer your feedback.


A Note About Privacy and Confidentiality

Please be assured that your life stories will be treated with the greatest care and dignity. All materials collected for your personal history project will be considered private and confidential until you choose to share them with family and friends. You will always have total control over the topics you choose to discuss and how they are presented.

How Much Does It Cost?

We craft custom personal histories that become treasured family heirlooms and will last for generations. Because each project is highly customized, prices vary and can accommodate nearly any budget. Likewise, business histories can range from an oral history archive to a comprehensive project including books and videos. After our initial free consultation, we will will submit a personally tailored project budget after determining with you the scope, format, and approximate length of your project. Each project proposal also includes standard oral history agreements regarding copyright, confidentially, and our commitment to the ethical standards of oral history. We are committed to our agreements and keep you apprised every step of the way. 

Please contact us to discuss your project. All initial consultations are offered at no charge.
Please call (802) 263-9556 or email us at

When you choose to work with us, you will receive: 

  • Professional, friendly, and caring service
  • A keen sensitivity to the needs of each family and narrator
  • The highest standards of quality in writing, editing, and production
  • High-quality audio recordings and video
  • Beautifully produced video recordings
  • A complete guarantee of satisfaction
  • Treasured gifts for family and friends that will last a lifetime—and beyond

The truth about stories is, that’s all we are.

– Thomas King, 
Novelist & Essayist

Frequently Asked Questions


How long are projects?

Recorded oral history interviews usually run anywhere from 2 to 12 hours in length and are scheduled over several days or weeks at a location of the narrator’s choosing, normally at a client’s home or at our home office in Madison, Wisconsin. However, during this age of global pandemic, we are currently offering remote interviewing through various online platforms or by using digital recorders that we send directly to you. Within a project, interview sessions normally run 90 to 120 minutes. Post-production and project delivery are normally completed within 4-12 months of the final interview.

How much does this cost?

Budgets range greatly depending on the scope, format, and amount of production involved. After determining with you the scope, format, and approximate length of your project, we are happy to provide you an estimate for your project, free of charge. If our services do not match your available resources or specific wishes, we will do our best to point you towards other services and resources. For a general price list or an individual estimate, please contact us.

Who holds the copyright?

Explicit oral history agreements regarding copyright, confidentiality, and standard use and distribution are discussed in our preparation phase and defined in our service agreement with you. You decide who will receive copies and access to your archive.

Where can I meet you?

As our world emerges from the global pandemic with widespread vaccinations and safe ways to meet in person, Trillium Digital will resume providing face-to-face interviewing services at the local and regional level. Reasonable travel budgets will be included in project estimates and may include air and ground transportation, lodging, travel time, and miscellaneous expenses. We will conduct interviews using Zoom as needed.

What formats do you recommended?

Permanency, durability, and accessibility of oral histories for generations to come are essential to any successful oral history project. Since one cannot go back in time and improve the quality of an original recording, the best-case scenario involves using the highest archival-quality media available today. After extensive research and experience with numerous recording formats, Trillium Digital recommends the following video, audio, and print options. See what we offer for specifics on the deliverables for audio, video, and print productions.


Broadcast quality digital audio recordings (44.1kHz, 24 bit, wav & mp3 files),  transferred to audio CDs and hard drive devices for listening and storage.


High definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) digital video, edited, authored, and transferred to DVDs and hard drive devices for viewing and storage.

Print and digital

Transcription of all interviews in hard copy and digital formats. If requested, development of well-written organized and compelling manuscript from oral history transcripts, organized into full-length, first-person memoirs or shorter, third-person biographies. Professional graphic design to incorporate photos and other archival documents.  Print-on-demand book publishing for private and/or public distribution.

Virtual and hard storage archiving

We deliver all interviews and produced materials to you on a project hard drive. Cloud-based storage systems are also recommended and offered via a project website or archive, accessible privately or to the public, per your request.

How much do you edit?

All oral history projects are delivered to you in their entirety, with some basic editing. Light video editing incorporates music, titles and credits. Audio editing may include subject indexing and sound mastering. Transcription of interviews involves light editing for grammar, clarity, and readability. Print manuscripts are developed from interview transcripts and involve several rounds of review with the narrator(s).  A list and explanation of all prices and services will be furnished upon request.

MORE QUESTIONS? Please contact us for answers!

For a free consultation, references, samples of our work, and preliminary pricing, please call, email or fill out this form. ADD FORM HERE
We look forward to hearing from you! 802-263-9556

Memories fade. Memoirs are forever.



Video & Audio Services

  • Video Interviews with 1 or more family members
  • Audio Oral Histories
  • Memoirs/Personal History/Family Stories
  • Remote Interviews via Zoom
  • Business history interviews
  • Memorial Slideshows



Other Services We Offer

  • Photo Scanning - Photos, negatives, slides
  • Documents - heirlooms, love letters, articles, certificates, honors, awards, professional resumes 
  • Photo Restoration
  • Memorial Tributes
  • Print Services

Other Story Sharing Services we offer

Every day, people come up to me and say, I wish I had interviewed my father or my grandmother or my brother. But I waited too long.
Now no one has to wait anymore.

–  David Isay, StoryCorps founder  

Every step has a footprint. Every footprint has a story.

– Ruben  Blades

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