Since 1982, I have been asked to
tell the stories of individuals, couples, families,
clans, and organizations of many kinds to preserve
the faces, voices, and values that matter most
Your Story Matters uses family storytelling,
interviews, conversations, and all the mementos
you can provide such as photos, home movies,
music, poetry, and artwork to create your Memoir
Video. We offer as much guidance as you would
like to clarify what you want to include and
what you want your Memoir Video to express.
My passion for creating a visual
and audio record of rituals, celebrations, and
conversations from every stage of life from
giving birth to the end of life grew out of
an early interest in anthropology, spirituality,
and ways of life that differed from my own.
I am now a seasoned documentary
director, camerawoman, editor, personal historian,
and life story writing coach. Memoir Videos
have become my specialization for two reasons.
Creating them allows me to use all of my skills
with the greatest subtlety and gives me the
"Carlyn, words cannot
express what it means to have my father in his
beloved garden in the Memoir Video you created.
His voice, his smile, his very presence - all
right here. I can't imagine grieving now without
A daughter, Northampton,
Every project that Your
Story Matters takes on is as unique as
the story it tells or the event it captures.
For this reason, I design every story
project to suit your tastes and priorities.
Please call me for a free
initial phone consultation and estimate.
Member, Association of
Memoir Video themes are described below. Feel
free to invent your own.
Preserve and pass on traditions and crafts such
as quilting, specialty cooking, and artistic pursuits.
A Day in
A typical day or fond routine of a loved one is
chronicled by Carlyn's camera and by the featured
Features the life and loves of a member of the
family who happens to be an animal.
Give voice to the stories behind cherished homes
and belongings by giving an informal tour of your
living or work space.
Do you have more video or old home movie footage
than anyone can watch? Your Story Matters can
create edited versions based cutting priorities
set by you. Even create chapter headings that
can be accessed instantly on a DVD.
Ethical Wills come from an ancient tradition for
expressing what a person has learned about how
to live an ethically good life. Over 2000 years
later, Your Story Matters is helping the ethical
will make a comeback by producing them in a lively
video form that young people are more interested
in watching and learning from.
But the young aren’t the only ones who benefit
from the creation of an ethical will. Those who
make ethical wills report a sense of calm and
completion that signing a legal will cannot hold
a candle to.
Like a legal will, an ethical will can be created
at any point in life and updated as necessary.
The similarity ends there…
• A legal will only passes
on your valuables.
• An ethical will insures that your values
...don’t get left out of your legacy.
How is an Ethical Will
We start with either the voice or the images,
whichever one feels easier. In an in-depth consultation
with the person making his or her ethical will,
I find out what scenes or backgrounds will resonate
with the messages they want to convey. Will you
be on your favorite bench in the garden? Wrapped
in your mother’s handmade quilt? At the
library or the agency where you volunteer? Then,
we explore the question, what do you want to say
and how do you want to say it? Long experience
with my own autobiographical story writing helps
me assist the client, often on paper, to clarify
the thoughts, feelings, and core values they want
When clients prefer that only their voice be recorded,
we make this possible by editing their ethical
will as the voice-over to photos and images that
they feel will resonate with their message This
technique yields a strikingly poetic effect.
In an awareness that they are probably in the
last chapter of life, some clients of Your Story
Matters have asked us to create a personal documentary
that captures a loved one's unique presence and
character, including his/her voice, humor, facial
expressions, and physical gestures and activities.
An Epilogue Video is created very similarly to
an Ethical Will Video but without the focus on
core beliefs and values.
Epilogue Videos also offer a sense
of completeness or closure to those who participate
in them. Later, they become an enduring resource
for the family's journey of grieving.