Life storytelling project
When people take the time to share their stories, and others take the time to listen, something happens: everyone feels more connected—Richard Seale, Founder, Front Porch Films
The ‘silent’ generation
In days gone by, kids would play on the road outside their home or roll around in an old water tank—banging into trees as they did so.
These are some of the stories told to me by Betty, about whom I made a short film, and a brief excerpt from which is shown here.
Betty’s story seems to resonate with many of the seniors I have met and talked to. They can relate to the values such as resourcefulness, frugality, self-reliance and modesty, which are so typical for anyone born between the wars—the so called ‘silent generation’.
Helping break the silence
The qualities which gave this generation its name can discourage sharing – especially in the public realm. They’re not ones to be posting their every thought on social media!
And yet, their stories and wisdom are very precious to their family.
How can we encourage sharing?
Firstly, we need to create an opportunity for stories to emerge. It often is easier to ask people to tell you about a special place or time rather than about themselves.
Second, we need to reach out to people who feel they have a story inside of themselves , but who may feel unsure about how to express it.
Thirdly, help them develop a story that speaks to who they are and what they want to share.
And finally, package it such a way that they and their family can enjoy it, now and in the future.
Life story workshops & ebook
Workshops are a great way to encourage sharing and can be tailored to a particular group. Starting gradually and gently (using the think — pair — share model), trust can be built up. Participants are under no pressure, and only share with the group if they are comfortable doing so.
A life story e-book (digital story) with contributions from all those who wish to take part, is a great outcome.
It can be easily downloaded from a password-protected site and easily shared with those that matter most. It’s viewable on any mobile phone or tablet (the grandkids will love that!). All that’s needed is a free ebook reader, which can be sourced from Google Play or the App Store
A bit about me…
I have over have twenty years experience in writing and producing video stories for education, information, public awareness and marketing. I have also lectured in visual storytelling at Curtin University.
I truly believe that people’s life stories and history are precious. Take for example my grandfather, who died in a work accident well before I was born (in fact when my mother was just a young adult). How could she have known the morning she said goodbye as he left for work would be the last?
65 years on, all that remains of him in a material sense are some old photos and his wristwatch. But something much more valuable is alive and well– my mother’s memories of him.
I never understood as a child why her eyes welled up whenever I asked about my grandfather. Now, of course, I do.
…and what others say
Project for Careers Count Consulting
Knowing I needed a short video for my website was frightening until Richard came along. His approach was supportive, gentle and calming. With my experience and what he produced, I feel he is an absolute genius in this space
Katie Walker, EFT practitioner
Presentation for Attadale Rotary Club
Richard shared with us a short extract of a movie he made with a woman who was born in 1928. She spoke of memories throughout her life as she was being filmed. This is a wonderful record for family and friends to have, as unless these memories from the past are recorded, they will be lost.
from the Attadale View
Consultancy to MercyCare
Richard guided us through the whole process, giving us the confidence to step into the unfamiliar territory of storytelling through film. His engaging manner, flexibility and collaborative spirit helped all of us relax and perform naturally. His commitment to excellence shines and I would highly recommend Richard to all my not-for-profit colleagues.
Jo Kirker, Service Designer, Family Community Services, MercyCare
Presentation for Applecross Rotary Club
Richard believes everyone has a fascinating story waiting to be told, and there was a great deal of interest in what he had to say.