The Final Frontier

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At the risk of sounding macabre, I have to say that some of my best work can be seen at funerals. I consider it a privilege and an honor to produce a memorial video to commemorate the life of a loved one who has passed.  When handled with care, compassion, and respect, a memorial video can help the grieving process by reminding us that even though a life has ended, our memories of that life don’t have to.

The first memorial video I produced was for my older sister Allison (pictured above) who died far too young after a long battle with cancer. This occurred before I opened my studio so the resources I had available to me at that time were limited and yet the rudimentary video I produced was still able to capture her essence and remind us all of the wonderful life that was hers.

Since then, I’ve been able to perfect my techniques and streamline the workflow so the process can be done quickly and cost-effectively without affecting the quality of the work produced. A few things to remember if you find yourself in a position to need this service:

  • You’re grieving so there is no need to feel pressure or undue stress to deliver to me a polished, scripted video idea. I will work with you at your comfort level. And I will do the work needed to give you a video that you will treasure.
  • All I need is whatever photos you are able to collect and some songs that have a connection to the one being honored.
  • You can figure that 100 photos will result in a 10 minute video but many memorial videos that I do are “looped” so they play continuously as people come and go during the service. There is no right or wrong as to the number of photos to be included.
  • I keep the “bells and whistles” to a minimum. The video is not intended to showcase my abilities, but to give tribute to the life of the loved one. I try to keep the editor’s hand out of sight.
  • There is no limit to what is available. I have included audio tape, video tape, film footage, slides, photos, negatives and more to build the proper tribute.

Because I know first hand the healing properties contained within a memorial video, I always assign priority to these projects. I  am not usually given a lot of time to produce the finished product, so when an order is placed it goes immediately to the top of my queue. I have never missed a deadline and to my knowledge, have never disappointed my clients.

And recently, a new phenomenon has begun; more and more clients are coming to me with the request that I work on their own memorial video so their family isn’t burdened to handle that task when the time comes. I am happy to work with you so that when the time comes, you can be remembered the way you wish to be remembered.

Whatever your need or request, know that we are able and willing to deliver to you something that will not only give a proper sendoff to the one we’ve lost, but also deliver a timeless keepsake to the ones left behind. 

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com/mtd.

Countdown to Christmas X

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#It’s just three days till Christmas… I hope my true love gives to me…

A fix to faded photos…#

Doesn’t it make you a little sad to find one of your fondest memories has begun to show signs of age?

Slides and photos, even when fastidiously cared for, will all begin to deteriorate over time. Colors will fade or bleed. The photo paper will crease or crack. And that’s just through the normal aging process. That doesn’t include the damage that can be caused through accidents or outside forces.

While our digitalization process for photos and slides includes image enhancement and color correction, there are times when a full photo restoration is needed. We have the tools to help digitally repair or modify an image so it can be reprinted, reframed and proudly displayed again.

Ever had a great picture ruined by an anonymous and annoying photobomber? He can be removed from the scene. Miss a family reunion? We can insert your image into a group photo to make it look like you were there.

This is the time of year we all feel a little magic in the air. More and more that magic is coming from digital technology.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories. For more information call 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com/mtd.

Countdown to Christmas VII

#It’s just six days till Christmas… I hope my true love gives to me…

A special video portrait.#

Looking for that one-of-a-kind gift for someone special? Our Face to Face video portraits will be sure to delight your loved ones and be the standout present at any holiday gathering.

Here is all it takes:

  • Select a series of photos featuring the same individual.
  • Headshots or annual school photos work the best
  • Organize them in chronological order
  • Choose a song
  • Bring everything to us

We will deliver back to you a “photo/video” where the subject will seem to grow into his older self in a matter of seconds. Instead of cutting from picture to picture, each photograph will morph into the next one.

We’ve made these for various occasions:

  • Graduations
  • Birthdays (sweet sixteens especially)
  • Engagement parties
  • Anniversaries
  • Celebrations of life

Whatever the occasion, a Face to Face is a special way to commemorate the passage of time and a loved one’s journey through it.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories (and can help create new ones). For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com/mtd

Countdown to Christmas IV

#It’s just nine days till Christmas… I hope my true love gives to me…

A perfect photo keepsake…#

I can’t explain it. There’s no logical reason. It doesn’t even make sense. Take a photo that you’ve seen every day… maybe it is framed and sitting on your dresser and you pass by it every morning for twenty years without giving it a second thought. But if you set that same picture in motion and put it to music along with other photos, suddenly these familiar pictures will take on such a new life that it is like seeing them again for the first time.

A photo video keepsake uses photographs, video clips and music and, through the magic of video editing, is able to tell a story that touches the heart, triggers the mind, and enriches the soul. It is quite unlike any other media experience I know.

If you are planning to gift someone with a photo video keepsake here are some tips to remember:

  1. Cull through the photos. Eliminate the duplicates. And remember that something a little too short is far better than something way too long.
  2. Strike a balance between posed shots and candid shots.  Remember we want to tell a story that resonates. Too many photos of people behaving like mannequins won’t tell much of a story.
  3. Figure on approximately 10 photos per minute so a 100 picture photo keepsake would run about 10 minutes long.
  4. Audio is in some ways more important than the photos. Spend some time picking the perfect songs to accompany your pictures.
  5. Songs will typically run between 2.5 to 4 minutes so for a 100 photo keepsake, you would need between 3 and 4 songs to use as a soundtrack.
  6. As a rule, landscape oriented pictures work better than portrait oriented pictures – although any editor should be able to work with portrait photos as well as landscape.
  7. Spend extra time deciding how to open and how to close the keepsake. The first image and last image sets the tone for all that comes after or before and is what people tend to remember.
  8. Title slides can be effective as can narration if they are planned and properly done.
  9. Don’t forget humor. These keepsakes tend to become emotional and humor can go a long way towards releasing emotional tension in a positive way.
  10. Don’t tackle the project alone. It may seem that it should be easy but it can quickly drain your time and your resources and cause unwanted stress. Besides, professionals have a few tricks up their sleeves that will help enhance your project to the enjoyment of all.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories, including creating photo video keepsakes that bring both joy and tears to those who choose to trust us with telling their family members’ stories. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com/mtd