Category Archives: Video

Next-gen Genealogy: Using the technology of the future to better understand our past

Did you struggle for years to write your magnum opus, The Family History, only to share it with relatives who just flipped through a few photos? Perhaps you slaved away at your research, collected piles of documents and pictures, and could talk for hours about each aspect of Great-Great-Grandpa Archibald’s life, but you’re overwhelmed by the idea of organizing it all? How can the first researcher hook the family’s attention, and how can the second share all the information they have? The answer is the same for both: family history films. Video technology has transformed the web—with 6.2 billion online videos viewed in July 2011 alone—and now it’s starting to revolutionize the world of genealogy.

Video offers a number of benefits for family history. In this blog, I’ll address five key reasons to get started on your family video today.

1) It’s a great way to tell a story
People will always love to gather to hear a really good story. But, while crowds once circled the campfire for tall tales, we now turn to the mysterious flicker of the television or computer screen. Though times change, the concept remains: a powerful story fuels the imagination. And few stories are as powerful—or as meaningful—as the ones that relate to our own lives. Our own ancestors’ triumphs, loves, and adventures are inherently fascinating, but never so much as when we can see and hear them unfold. Unlike dusty tomes of names and dates, neglected by all but the most savvy genealogists, video draws the entire family into the story behind the research.

2) Video preserves information for future generations
Documents disappear in fires and get pitched in overzealous spring cleanings. What would you do if your work was lost? A video production of your family history is easy to reproduce and upgrade to the newer technology as it becomes available. Books and photo albums may not stand the test of time, but video is one source of family history that will be around after other accounts have long vanished.

3) Video makes genealogy accessible to non-experts
It’s not just the researcher who will benefit from his or her hard work. Streaming videos online is now incredibly easy and video documentaries can instantly be shared with family members and friends around the world. Even busy uncles and squirmy kids can enjoy family history in a captivating film.

4) Video captures so much more than just data and information
You can’t put Grandma’s laugh into a book. You can’t hear Uncle Jim choke up, or see the look on his face when he speaks of his platoon brothers in the war, with a photo tucked away in the filing cabinet. A book can’t fill the home with the tunes that Grandpa John played during his short-lived musical career. Our children learn history in school, but do they feel it? With a family video documentary, your siblings, your niece, your grandchild, will not only learn. They will be inspired.

5) It’s much easier than you think
Making a video is surely worth it when you consider the joy and knowledge that you’ll share with family and friends around the world. Best of all, if you don’t plan on teaching yourself to become the next documentary guru Ken Burns, Reel Tributes is here to help you produce a customized broadcast-quality film. A professionally made documentary is like your grandma’s quilt– precious, irreplaceable, and full of stories. Each family has a unique and extraordinary history. Shouldn’t the documentation of that history be unique and extraordinary, too?

You’re invited: Breakfast with DC-area business leaders (and Reel Tributes)

If you’re in the DC area, join us as Reel Tributes founder David Adelman presents the company to a group of business leaders. The breakfast event kicks off the Wharton Club of DC Entrepreneurship Forum, and will be held at 8:00 AM on Tuesday, August 23rd at the offices of Bernstein Global Wealth Management (800 Connecticut Ave NW).

More information about the presentation, and the Forum, can be found at

We look forward to meeting you there!

Introducing the Reel Tributes Blog

We’re excited to announce the launch of the Reel Tributes blog! Here’s a sample of some of the exciting issues we’ll be discussing:

  • Personal history:  At Reel Tributes we believe in the importance of preserving family heirlooms, pictures, documents, and of course, stories. Every family has incredible stories. Trust us, some of the most fantastic stories come from  “regular” families. Mark Twain once said, “There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility.” This blog will explain why preserving stories is important, how to do it, and how to share it with friends and family. And since we hear so many great stories, we’ll share them with you.
  • Genealogy: Curious where your ancestors came from, but don’t know where to start? Eager to explore the newest tools for genealogists? We’ll tackle a range of issues related to genealogy research, for the expert and novice alike.
  • Technology: Our team will cover the latest in video, film, and editing tips to help you understand and appreciate the world of film. You’ll see why we believe so strongly in the power of film to revolutionize family memories (and so much more!)

We’ll keep things fresh, fascinating, and most importantly, interactive. Tell us your stories. Share your ideas. Ask your questions. We want to hear from you and look forward to a great time blogging. Cheers!

– The Reel Tributes Team
David, Caleb, Lin, and Rebecca