“Every family has a story. Preserve it now. Share it forever.” That’s the slogan for a new business specializing in filming family stories.
Fleischer and her team go to their clients’ homes to interview and film their subjects talking about their lives, providing advice or just retelling a story — all to create a live-action video heirloom.
While not specifically a Jewish company, Fleischer said that Moving Memories’ services are the embodiment of the Hebrew phrase, “l’dor v’dor” (from generation to generation).
“I have a friend whose mom passed away on the young side and she’s a mother herself now, and she was saying, ‘Oh I wish I had something like that to show my son,’” Fleischer told The Journal. “It doesn’t have to be a grim or sad reason, but I do think that’s part of life, so why not embrace it?”
Fleischer directed the 2011 documentary, “Without a Home” which chronicled four years of life on the streets for six homeless people in Los Angeles. It takes a certain kind of talent to condense a combined 24 years worth of individual journeys into a 74-minute documentary. Those particular talents are what Fleischer is putting to use with Moving Memories.
Most people get overwhelmed at the thought of sifting through the hundreds of videos on their phones for a particular one that will be worth showing to future generations.
Although most people can look on their phone for videos of their aging parents and grandparents, Moving Memories creates high-quality, thoughtful video packages. Fleischer said that most people get overwhelmed at the thought of sifting through the hundreds of videos on their phones for a particular one that will be worth showing to future generations.
“This is one of those things people think about all the time, way deep down,” Fleischer said. “They’re like, ‘Oh one of these days I’ll get to that. And then ten years go by.”
Fleischer pointed out that preserving these stories before it’s too late can be a fun, joyful thing to do.
It could be your great-grandparents talking about their memories of their own great-grandparents. It could be advice from your mother about raising a family. It could be your father telling the story about how he and your mother met. It could just be a hilarious story that grandpa tells (over and over again) that nobody else but grandpa can do justice by retelling it. Moving Memories also incorporates clients’ old photographs and decaying film footage into their videos.
“The interviews that we film serve as the framework for the story that we’re going to tell — that time period and the questions themselves,” Fleischer said. “Depending on the type of person, they can pick their top three questions that they want to be asked. The interview itself is customized to each person. It’s not just a template of like, here’s the 10 questions we’re gonna ask you. We really want it to be personal and speak as much to the person whose story is being told.”
In a sense, Moving Memories isn’t a film production company so much as a journalistic social work company. Fleischer and her team provide comfort in addressing what can feel like the somber task of speaking to a generation that you will never meet.
When is the right time to do this? Fleischer suggests doing this while you still look happy, healthy and are sound of mind. It’s not just for the elderly. It’s not just for the technologically unsavvy. It’s for anyone who wants to take the initiative while accepting fate.
“If you have to wait until you’re at your edge, you do it, but there’s something nice about being able to speak about your life when you’re still fully thriving.”
– Rachel Fleischer
“If you have to wait until you’re at your edge, you do it, but there’s something nice about being able to speak about your life when you’re still fully thriving,” Fleischer said.
Fleischer’s mother Sheryl told The Journal her thoughts after making her own video heirloom with her daughter’s company.
“It was such an unexpected surprise to find how much of an actual story I had to tell about my life,” Sheryl Fleischer said. “As I was being filmed I felt very aware of the importance of just what I was doing in telling my story; that one day my grandchildren and future generations would know who I am and what my life’s journey was like. Moving Memories has created a movie of me telling my life story in a way that will be passed on from generation to generation. Nothing could be more valuable than this.”