toast them, roast them, thrill them Your Life Productions

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FAQs

Process — FAQs

Over the years, Your Life Productions has been asked many of the same type of questions. To follow are some of the more common ones:

You're based in Toronto, Canada. Can you do a tribute video for a client far away?

Yes. We've done many. In fact, in December 2006, we completed a roast video for a wedding party in Beirut, Lebanon — without ever leaving Toronto. The key is to plan carefully, be efficient and make cost-effective choices — for example, whether to use a local cameraman, or fly in one of our own. Once we hired a freelancer in Scotland to shoot a simple greeting from an honouree's 90-year-old mum. Didn't cost much and was the hit of the show. Often, we can do all the primary shooting in one city, then have a few out-of-towners send us camcorder greetings.
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How do you produce a surprise biography on a person you know nothing about?

The short answer is we do a lot of research to become an expert on the subject. For a more complete answer, click here for '12 steps.'
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What role does the client play?

The client identifies key interview subjects and people who should appear in the video; helps source important photos or other visuals; helps determine the tone of the video; steers us clear of sensitive areas, and directs us into key messages, achievements, etc.
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I'm rather busy. Can I commission a video and not devote days or weeks of my valuable time to such a project?

We do virtually all the work. But a client should expect to spend a minimum of a day in total to stickhandle the project — it's too important not to. But we don't waste a client's time. Using e-mails, couriers, phone calls, etc., we do everything possible to keep the client's work to a minimum and to operate within his or her busy schedule.
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Do you ever do videos that honour more than one person?

Yes. We create videos for wedding anniversaries that honour a couple; and we produce videos that honour a group of individuals — for example, a group of people retiring or a group of employees being honoured as top producers. And when we do a corporate anniversary documentary, the company or organization is the honouree.
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Are all your tribute videos done in secret?
   
Many are. Part of the thrill is having a life story video 'sprung' on the honouree. But we have had videos commissioned by the subjects themselves — people who want to create a biography of their life as a family heirloom. Other times, a CEO is informed that a video will be shown at his or her retirement party — we just don't relate the details!
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The person I am thinking of honouring isn't particularly zany or quirky. In fact, this person has led a relatively conventional life and career. Can you still produce a really entertaining video?
   
A hearty yes. We dig deep to find the material we need to tell a person's story — and that story is never dull. A great anecdote here, a personality quirk there, career zigs and zags. But we are mindful that everyone has his or her own comfort level; the tone of every video is suited to the particular honouree and audience. 
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How long does it take to do a video properly from start to finish?
   
That depends on the elaborateness of the video, whether the client is out of town, and so forth. Generally, though, we need at least four weeks for a substantial project, and prefer a much longer lead time. But we have worked within really tight deadlines. 
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Do you only do tribute videos?
   
While we specialize in all sorts of tribute, roast and recognition videos for special events, we also do other types. For instance, our skill with humour enables us to do really effective, funny training videos. And, sometimes, companies don't wait for a special anniversary year to produce a promotional documentary about their organization.  
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How much does a Your Life tribute video cost?

 We offer a wide range of budgets to suit your needs. The cost depends on the length and sophistication of the show. To receive a rough cost estimate for a video, click here to fill out the send-in form.
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