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Mark Angelo Askew is the author of "Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Guide Workbook and Keepsake" and the founder and director of the Family Reunion Planning Group that established November as Annual Family Reunion Planning Month.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Shooting Your Family History Documentary Video

A member of our family reunion planning group said they have begun putting together a family history documentary but only have little snippets of information. Fact is little snippets of information mark the path to the bigger story. Here are some tips to help you get as much information as you can.

Ask questions, show pictures and play the music of the era. Questions spark memories, experiences and interesting stories. When interviewing groups of family members and friends of the family ask questions about things in the photos to get the juicy details. Who, when, how and why.  Example: Who is that next to such and such? What kind of dress is that? Did she like that dress? Where did he get that hat? Whose house are they standing in front of? Whose car is parked in front? What did you do there? 

To fill in the gaps of the video spend no more than 1-2 minutes talking about the cosmetics of a house, car or dress and the aesthetics of the artist, designer or builder.  

Finding Pictures. 
Collect old magazines and clip pictures of old movie and music stars of the day. Look for news clippings regarding concerts, festivals, fairs and historic events in the area at the time. Search for archived photos of stores, shops, offices and municipalities.

Finding Music
Finding the music of the times is not at difficult as you might think. Just go to YouTube and enter keyword music of the 20's, 30's etc. You'll be amazed at how much video footage is available regarding markets, news reels and memorabilia of the time.  Link to music and video from YouTube using your tablet or iPad.

Dealing With Camera Shyness
Camera shyness is typical. While some family members may be camera shy, others are not and many friends of family members may actually help them feel less inhibited especially when they want to get the facts of a story right. Interview groups of family members and their outspoken friends. You'll get a wealth of information and a lively and enriching discussion.

Regarding taking video: Aim the camera at the album. As the interviewees turn through the albums get shots of the hands pointing to subjects in the pictures and allow the interviewees to tell their stories behind the picture. 

Instead of taking video of the person face to face as if they are staring into the camera tell them you would like to take video of yourself with the video pointed at yourself from behind the back of the interview.  As the interview progresses slowly bring the camera forward turn the camera slightly toward the interviewee to catch a profile so that the edge of the cheek and mouth shows but keep the camera out of their peripheral vision. 

Follow these steps carefully and you'll likely have more video content than you know what to do with. If that's the case, it's save the extra footage for Family History Documentary Part II.

And what better way to present your documentary than at your next family reunion. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

How To Plan A Family Theme Party

Home Coming - Graduation - Award Ceremony - After Party - Engagement Announcement - Anniversary Party - Retirement Party - Outdoor BBQ Picnic - Family Talent Show

Children grow up. Folks get married. People move. Others retire. That means phone numbers and email addresses change. A lot can happen in a few year. How can you make sure the family keeps up? Much depends on you. How can you get keep up to date? Plan a family reunion. The process of planning is a great way to start getting everyone connected and considering your families cause for celebration. Here are some tips to get started today.

How To Plan A Family Theme Party

1. Update your family contacts (list reasons to get together and celebrate family)
2. Send a theme and activity survey
3. Select your family reunion planning committee from first responders according to skills, talent and experience.
4. Hold a reunion planning committee meeting
5. Read my eBook Fimark's Family Reunion Keepsake or get the web app at for worksheets and details on how to prepare and hold the first reunion planning committee meeting. It's everything you need to plan your next family reunion event what ever the reason.

#How To Plan A Party #How To Plan A Home Coming, #How To Plan A Graduation Party, #How To Plan An Award Ceremony, #How To Plan An After Party,  #How To Plan An Engagement Party, #How To Plan An Anniversary Party, #How To Plan A Retirement 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Fabric of Our Lives

Congratulations. Our Total readership including followers from Facebook, P interest, Twitter, Google Plus and Yahoo Groups is now 9000 and growing.

What We've Accomplished
This Family Reunion Planning blog's objective is to present fresh new ways to celebrate family with good old family values weaved throughout, the stuff of happy family life is made of. The result? Family fun activities everyone can enjoy.

Over the past 5 years we've released two event planning books now published across the most popular book distribution syndicates world-wide.  Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Keepsake and Guidebook and My Keepsake Wedding Planner.

We've released three event planing software versions with the latest Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social web app now accessible from my profile page. We have successfully helped thousands of family reunion planners organize and manage their reunion events throughout North America, Africa, Europe and Canada. We love what we do and we continue to see good for all our hard work.

Keeping It Fresh
We literally spend months developing, writing, editing and and publishing content we find meaningful, uplifting and creative with suggested activities, tips and tools designed to make your event planning successful and your events memorable.

We've kept you up-to-date with our community outreach activities including, plays, public talks and family bubble shows. Our shows have opened up a world of wonder and awe into the life of each attending child and parent. Our shows have had an amazing impact unlike anything we have ever experienced. They've helped families connect to each other in way they might not otherwise have. And what an honor it is for Brenda and I to be a part of that.

The Fabric Of Our Lives
That said, thanks to the 9000 for connecting to this ever growing quilt of family reunion planners and telling us that you are out there loving family life and enjoying our content, books, tools and apps. Thanks for writing and wanting to support this growing movement. This is just the beginning. There is so much more to come.

Our Gift To You
Do you like getting gifts? So do we? And we intend to keep giving. Many often write me and ask how to support our work. I usually respond, keep reading and getting inspired to plan your next family reunion.  And if you read or use something of particular value to you likes us on Facebook or a 1+ it on Google. These acts of thoughtfulness go a long way in promoting and supporting our cause.

To those who are trying to reach out to us with donations, Thank you. Now you can send your donations conveniently and securely using the orange donation button. Thanks to your support we'll keep weaving family fun and reunion planning inspiration into the fabric of our lives right here under the Golden Tree.