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How to write an autobiography and produce a video that will make you and your family proud. Use it as an autobiography - use it as an eulogy or use it as a "This is My Life Video" to promote your business.
List key dates and events from your birth up until now. Then write a paragraph for each of those dates and events to describe what makes them significant. This can also be a useful exercise to sort your memories into a chronological order. This then becomes a brief autobiography. (See my autobiography)
You might start the autobiography in the same way that you would an eulogy. For example, My name is John Smith, born on 1st January 1955, in Sydney, Australia. Son of Bill Smith and Mary Jones. I have two brothers, etc.
Then ask yourself the following types of questions. This will prompt your unconscious mind to deliver you the information to write down. If you have difficulty writing then record the conversation with yourself on your mobile phone and get someone to transcribe it. Always start by asking a question and then answering the question. For example:
Where did you live? Where did you grow up. What did you do as a child? Where did you play? Who did you play with? What was life like for you as a child? What was different about your childhood compared to children today? This is what people will find interesting. Were you a member of any clubs, etc?
What was life like for you as a teenager? How did you spend your time? Who with? Mention significant relationships, things, people and events. Significant for you but not necessarily others.
What was life like for you through each decade of your life? Jobs, careers, businesses, relationships, etc.
Focus on you. The challenges that you faced. Your aspirations and goals. Did you achieve what you set out to achieve? Do you have any regrets? In retrospect did you live your life the way that you would have liked to? If you could have done things differently then what would you have done. If you could have another chance at a new life what would you tell yourself?
Organise your notes into chapters then rewrite the paragraphs so that they follow logically on from each other.
If you plan to make a video then either you or someone else will have to narrate it - that means you need to write in a conversational tone so that it sounds natural.
Spell check - then check for grammar - then check for punctuation. Then spell check once again.
If you plan to make a video of your autobiography you will need to number every paragraph. It may be a good idea to number each of the sentences. So for example, if paragraph 2 has five sentences then you would label them as 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4 and 2.5. This might seem a lot of work but it will save time and money when the film editor compiles your video.
Next step is to organise your photographs and video clips. Start by sorting them into chronological order - then choose photographs and video footage to illustrate the autobiography. If you want a segment of a video then take note of the time markers. That is, 23 seconds into the video until 32 seconds. This will save time and money in post production. Number the photographs and video footage using the numbers you used for the sentences in each of the paragraphs.
Your video autobiography can be as short or as long as you like - though you need to keep in mind that it has to be compelling for your audience to keep watching and listening. Thirty to ninety minutes would be reasonable.
Since you will be narrating the autobiography you need to keep in mind that it takes about four minutes to read a page an A4 page in 12pt Times New Roman. This means you may need to write an abridged form of your autobiography.
One method to shoot and edit the video is for you to sit or stand in front of a teleprompter and read the autobiography. The film editor will then uses pieces of that video footage of you interspersed with photographs and video footage that you compiled earlier. And there you have it - a professional video autobiography of yourself.
If you want a hand in writing and producing your autobiographical video then feel free to contact Abby Eagle. Use the contact form in the top right of this page. And I look forwards to working with you.
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