General Questions

My Happy Memories has been established to help you capture your memoirs in a video format for your loved ones to keep and treasure for years to come. We do this by professionally producing an interview with you and making sure that it reaches your loved ones when the time is right. This is your “Memoirs Film”.

We will sit with you and chat about your life, just as you would relay stories to your family and friends. The only difference here is that there will be cameras and lights present too. We’ll be asking you questions, helping to guide you through you “telling your story” –  the stories you’d like to be remembered for.

You, we all have a story to tell. Many people find it unnatural to talk about themselves, but this is your big chance to do just that. Your loved ones will want to hear all your memoirs and will look back at this for many years to come.

It’s rare for us to see and hear ourselves the way that others do. Because of this, many people feel can self-conscious about the way that they look on camera, how their voice sounds, or the way that they speak. That’s ok, you’re not expected to be perfect, your loved ones will appreciate you just being you.

The finished film will last for between forty-five minutes and one hour, depending on how many stories you have to tell.

The subjects you chose to talk about are entirely at your discretion – these are your memoirs. We suggest that you consider the following principles:

  1. The purpose of the interview is for you to tell stories of your life for them to live on after you’ve gone. It should be a celebration of your life to date.
  2. You may wish to avoid talking about anything which would cause you to feel embarrassed to talk about afterwards, if for example you were to discuss the subject with anyone named in the interview. This is not the best place to settle scores!
  3. Focus on events that mean something to you and give an insight into who you are. Not all stories have to be funny, though it is good to bring some humour into it if you can. 
  4. Be candid and open. Acknowledge past relationships, they’re often a large part of your story… but keep this in context of the above principles.

We have one rule… you may not break any confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements, or break the Official Secrets Act, even if you choose to release your memoirs only after your death. We reserve the right to omit any content we believe is in breach of this rule. 

The more time you spend preparing for the interview, the smoother it will go on the day. Recording should take between 2 and 3 hours.

Yes, they will really help your loved ones see the real you. These will be edited into your memoir film at the appropriate part of the interview, see the package details for the number of photos that can be included within your film.

Please have these available at the time of recording so that we can take a copy without them ever having to leave your possession. 

Yes, absolutely. We will provide you with an initial watermarked draft edit of the film and a final version which will then be archived for future.

Yes you can. When you get to see the draft edit, if there is anything you’ve said which you would prefer to be removed or moved around, those changes can normally be accommodated.

Absolutely! We have a “Top-Up” package available that allows you to add to your Memoirs Film in a few years’ time when you have more stories to tell. It’ll also be very special for your loved ones to see how you change over the years.

We’ll be working with you before your interview to help you think about all the stories that you’d like to tell and then we’ll prompt you about them during the interview, so hopefully there won’t be any stories that get forgotten. If there is something to add to your film we can help you make a note of it for a Top Up interview at a future date.

Part of the editing process involves removing the interviewer from the film so that the focus is solely on you.

Unfortunately we are only able to interview in English at this time. If you would like to include any dialogue in other languages then you are very welcome to do so, however, we will not be able to edit that content or expand on the conversation during the interview.

Yes you can, and if you choose not to use our service then we would encourage you to do just that – record yourself and pass it to your loved ones. Where we add value is through providing a professional quality film. This is filmed to set specifications and professionally edited in a way to keep your viewers interested in your story.

Through our optional subscription package, we will also ensure that the technology is maintained to current standards and kept safe for your loved ones until it’s time to pass it across to them – if for example, you’ve tried watching a Betamax video recently then you’ll understand the difficulty involved in keeping pace with evolving technology.

Logistics

You may have already thought about capturing your memoirs, if so, that’s a great start. Either way, we’ll send you an initial list of questions/topics to consider. These are there to prompt your thoughts and help you remember old tales that you’d like to tell. Some people benefit from writing their stories down while they’re preparing as it helps them to formulate how they will relay the tales.

From the questionnaire we send you, we can start to get a picture of who you are. We then like to talk with you and get to know you a bit before the day. A rapport between us will help you relax come across naturally on camera. If you would like us to, we can also provide further guidance at this point.

The perfect place for us to film would be at your home. This is most likely to be the place where you’re most comfortable and relaxed and therefore most likely to find it easy to talk. If this is not possible, we can arrange a suitable studio location for a small extra cost.

Ideally there should be an area that is reasonably clear which has an open space of at least 3m by 4m (12′ x 16′). This gives us space to set up our equipment without having to pin you up against a wall (which never looks good!). Subject to the weather, this space could in the garden.

Based in Greater London, we cover the South East of England, including London, Kent, Surrey, West Sussex, Sussex, Essex. 

Subject to additional expenses, we also cover the whole of England, Wales, Scotland, Europe and other Overseas territories.

This is entirely up to you… some people prefer to dress up, others prefer to wear something more informal. Perhaps there’s something you may wear to a family gathering that would be suitable?
Don’t forget though – this will be how you’re remembered in years to come, so we suggest presenting your best self.

All our team have received COVID-19 vaccinations and will follow the social distancing guidelines in place at the time of filming.

Packages and Pricing

To see the full details of each package, please see our Pricing webpage. Here is a summary of the packages available:

  1. Basic Package: Single interview filmed, edited and produced to a professional standard. Up to 10 photos included. Film duration to be 45 minutes. Interview edited into Full HD (1920 x 1080) Resolution. A copy of your Memoirs Film will be provided on a USB Memory Stick in a presentation box. N.B. Your Memoirs Film will be deleted from our servers.
  2. Standard Package: Single interview filmed, edited and produced to a professional standard. Up to 15 photos included. Your Memoirs Film will be edited into Full HD (1920 x 1080) Resolution. Film duration to be 60 minutes. A copy of your Memoirs Film will be provided on a USB Memory Stick in a presentation box. Your Memoirs Film is maintained on our encrypted servers for future compatibility.
  3. Premium package: Includes the features of the Standard Package with up to 25 photos included, PLUS: Two tribute interviews with family/friends who know you well, Film duration to be 90 minutes.
  4. Elite package: Includes the features of the Standard Package with up to 50 photos included, PLUS: Five tribute interviews with family/friends who know you well. Film duration to be 2 hours. Your Memoirs Film is edited into Cinema 4K (4096×2160) Resolution.

Some of our packages include the option to include “Tribute Interviews”. These are where selected friends or family members can record  their perspective and perhaps tell their own stories about the impact you’ve had on their lives. These are interwoven at points within your Memoirs Film.

Top-up interviews can be filmed at ad-hoc intervals as an addition to your memoirs, for example, when there is another chapter of your life you’d like to include. The interview is appended to the end of the original Memoirs Film. Only available with the Subscription, Premium Package or Elite packages.

See our pricing webpage for details.

If it is likely that expenses are going to be incurred then these will be agreed in advance. There will be no surprise costs charged and no costs will be charged to release a copy of your Memoirs Film to your loved ones. 

Yes there are for cohabiting couples… although there is likely to be a high crossover, everyone has their own story to tell, therefore we will film your stories independently and create two separate Memoirs Films. A single Annual Subscription covers both of the couple’s films.

Yes, there is a 25% discount for Senior Citizens in receipt of a State Pension from the DWP.

Long Term Access and Data Protection

When you take out an Annual Subscription, we will ask you to nominate a list of up to 3 people you would like to receive a copy of your Memoirs Film. You may update this in writing at any time. 

We will agree with you how you would like to release the film, for example, whether that be on request from one of your recipients at any time, or only after you have passed away.

We wholeheartedly suggest that you speak to your loved ones about the existence of your Memoirs Film and your plans for when it should be released. You could even talk to them before the recording session and ask if they have anything they’d like you to talk about – you might be pleasantly surprised by their suggestions!

If you prefer to leave the existence of the film as a parting surprise gift, you could refer to it alongside your funeral arrangements in your Will. Why not have your film played at your wake?

As a failsafe, if you have not previously told your loved ones about the existence of the film, when your next subscription letter is received, it will include details of how to obtain copies of the film. For this reason, subscription letters will always be sent by Royal Mail and not by email, unless you specifically request otherwise.

When a Subscription, Premium or Elite Package has been taken out, we will store a copy of your finished memoirs film and associated information on our encrypted servers/drives along with an off-premise back-up copy on a secure cloud server. This means that your film and associated information is protected from unwanted prying eyes and also from electronic or environmental disasters such as hard drive failure or fire.

We will retain the film on our drives for six months after release prior to removing it completely from our systems.

Yes of course. We will provide you with a copy of the final version of the film for you to use or distribute as you wish. If you choose not to take up a subscription, you will of course need to ensure that this copy is kept safe and maintained with technology trends.

No, all costs will have been covered at the time of recording the interview and through the Annual Subscription. Your loved ones will not be asked to pay any extra costs to receive the Memoirs Film.

You can cancel your subscription in writing at any time and no further subscription payments will be due. We will retain the film on our drives for six months after cancellation, prior to removing it completely from our systems.

Data protection is very important to us. We only retain the minimum necessary information required to ensure that we can release your film in line with your wishes. The information that we retain is kept on encrypted drives, or where kept as a hard copy, in a secured document store.

There is no monetary value applied to the film, therefore it is unlikely that there are any IHT implications involved. If you hold a complex estate, we suggest that you may like to confirm this with your Accountant or Tax Advisor.