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A Good Life

Interviewing Vella

For Vella’s interview, we got the privilege of having her daughter Melanie attend the interview and help with asking questions. This always helps to have a loved one there to guide them and to make sure they’re covering the stories that are most important to them. It also can make it more of a relaxed environment and they are more likely to let loose and be themselves with a loved one in the room. 

This was evident in Vella’s interview as Melanie would come in to help her mom with story details and most importantly make her laugh. We had a wonderful time with both of them as Vella recounted the beautiful life she has lived. 

She told us about her childhood growing up on a farm, meeting her sweetheart who has passed, and how she regretted not finishing high school when she was younger. She talked about what it’s like to be getting a high school degree at this later stage in her life, and the challenges and blessings it has brought to her life. 

Vella’s interview was some of the most fun we’ve had on a shoot and we were so excited to dig into her film and bring her story to life. 

The Follow-Up

The follow-up film shoot is always a fun and nostalgic time for the family. Once we finish the interview, we edit the film down to a rough draft and create a shot list for them to reference as they gather their materials. For Vella, this meant gathering pictures of her and her husband growing old together, getting out her old prom dress, and displaying items from the faith she holds dear. 

When we arrived, we worked together with Vella and her daughter Melanie to gather and display all of treasures we could find of her life that she talked about in the interview. 

vella with bride_1.1.1

Post Production

Media Curation

Once we had all the footage that we needed for Vella’s film, the post-production phase of the project began. This is where we take the raw footage from the interview and follow-up sessions and transform it into a cohesive story. 

Our first step when starting to edit our films is to organize all of our visual assets, including photographs and archival materials provided by the family. We categorize the materials and follow a strict workflow so we don’t overlook any precious moments. This step is a pleasure as we sort through some of the unique and fun materials they’ve gathered of their family over the years. 


The editing process always starts with a rough cut, where we identify and weave together the most poignant moments and narratives from the interview. We prioritized making sure that Vella’s voice stayed clear and authentic throughout the film as we edited, and thought of the moments and stories that would mean most to her family. We couldn’t include every part of the interview, so we sorted through her most emotional and impactful moments to be certain those were included in the film.

This rough cut is what we use to create a shot list that we send to all of our clients. Vella and Melanie were very prepared when we arrived for the second film shoot and this made the film shoot go as smoothly as ever.  We use this secondary footage to enhance and bring the story together and create beautiful seamless cuts, and to enhance the storytelling. 

"Home is Where the Heart is" - Cody Martin

"Set Up Camp" - Andy Ellison


We deeply care about choosing music that narrates the story in the way the storyteller originally intended. Music is an incredibly powerful part in our filmmaking, and we loved choosing music for Vella’s film. 

Throughout her film, we explore times when a more somber tone is needed, as well as moments where the music needed to reflect her happy demeanor and convey a sense of nostalgia. Musicians like Cody Martin and Andy Ellison help brought her film to life.

Final Checks

Once we completed a final cut of her film, a version of the film was sent to Vella and Melanie for final review. This last review gives them the chance to look it all over and make sure there’s nothing incorrect or any other input they have on the film. This gave them one last chance to provide any necessary input into the film before final delivery. We care deeply about making sure family members are identified correctly, and we use the pictures or footage that mean the most to the family.  

Vella's Film Preview

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By downloading this form I agree to receive the EverStory newsletter and get access to stories, behind-the-scenes fun, and tips on how to record my family’s stories.