Is this safe during the current Covid-19 pandemic?

The great thing about Heirloom Family Documentaries is that the entire process is done remotely. There are no social distancing concerns. And all of our equipment is cleaned thoroughly and disinfected after every use. 

Will my family member be able to do this on their own?

This is an important question and one that needs to be discussed. This solution is not for everyone. Since everything is done remotely and their is no video crew, this solution does require a small amount of work on the part of the person being filmed. 

  • They will need basic knowledge on how to operate a smartphone. (We do provide video tutorials)
  • They need to know their WiFi network name and password so we can connect our Apple iPhone to the internet
  • They will need some manual dexterity to attach a wired lapel microphone to their shirt or blouse.
  • They will need to attach the Apple iPhone to the supplied tripod and adjust the positioning and framing


The good news is even if these are not steps they are comfortable doing, there is usually a friend or relative nearby who can help them with setting up the equipment.

What if my family member is not tech-savvy?

Heirloom Family Documentaries is a technology based solution so if your family member is not tech-savvy, this could present a problem. 

We have made the solution as simple as possible requiring only a few basic steps to use. The technology is minimal but necessary so if there isn’t a friend, neighbor, relative or nurse’s aid who can help, then this might not be an option. If you have questions, you can email us at david@heirloomdocs.com

How long is the interview?

We offer three different packages. Our basic package includes a 90-minute interview and our deluxe package includes a 3-hour interview and our premium includes a 4-1/2 hour interview. Longer interviews are broken up into separate 90-minute interviews . We usually recommend taking a break between each however the interview needs to be completed in one day. Should you be interested in a longer interview, we do offer custom solutions.

What if I want a longer interview?

If you are interested in a longer interview, we can add additional hours to your package. Just let us know when ordering and we will let you know the additional cost.

Can we interview multiple family members?

Maybe you are looking to make a legacy video as a gift and want to have multiple family members from different locations around the country interviewed for your legacy video. We can certainly do this. It would just be a custom package. Just call or email to discuss the specifics of your project and we will come up with a package price for you. 

What are the topics covered in an interview ?

Each of us is different and have had different experiences in our lives. We can’t cover everything. So we offer a list with the variety of topics and you get to select which ones you want us to cover. Most people take 10-15 minutes per topic so for a 90-minute interview, we can usually cover 4-6 topics and 8-12 topics for a 3-hour interview.

Below is a list of different topics we cover. You can also add your own.


  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Grandparents
  • Childhood
  • Neighborhood
  • Hobbies | Interests
  • Childhood Friends
  • Pets
  • Family Life
  • Family Vacation(s)
  • School
  • Dating
  • College
  • Career
  • Military Service
  • Single Life
  • Marriage
  • Children
  • Raising Family
  • Sports | Hobbies | Leisure
  • Volunteerism
  • Travel
  • Religion
  • Life Lessons
  • Medical History

How does the quality compare to a video created with a video crew?

This is a great question and unfortunately the answer is it depends. 

Granted if you have a video crew on site, they will be able to use professional cameras, lighting and audio so they should get much higher production value. You will pay at least $2,500 if not more. 

The question is do you really need that level of quality? The optics and software built into today’s smartphones allow them to produce high quality HD if not 4K video without much effort. Because there is very limited manual override with these cameras, they perform best when in ideal situations. 

We have seen footage shot with an Apple iPhone that rivals video shot from professional video equipment. In order to get these kind of results all comes down to lighting. With sufficient lighting and from the proper direction, the video looks amazing.

With our solution, we go through some basic concepts so that the smartphone is placed in the best location and direction to get optimal quality.

Smartphones don’t have the best audio quality so we provide a wired microphone to insure high audio quality and fidelity.

What happens if the Apple iPhone is damaged, lost or stolen?

We use an Apple iPhone as part of our Heirloom Family Documentaries. We understand things can happen. 

The phone comes shipped in a foam, reinforced cardboard box that should protect the equipment from damage. Should the box arrive damaged, please call us immediately so we can file a claim with the United States Postal Service. 

If everything arrives in good working order and something happens and the phone is dropped, damaged, lost or stolen, this is your responsibility and the  Apple iPhone will need to be replaced. A replacement Apple iPhone 7 costs between $250 and $300.

How do I know if my WiFi is fast enough?

To ensure your wireless network has adequate speed, we need you to do a speed test. To do this, just click on the Speedtest icon on the iPhone. Click the GO button. The test takes about 30 seconds. We are only interested in the upload speed. This is the second number calculated and is located in the upper right corner of the screen. If it is less than 3.5, please call us immediately at (914) 393-1954. You may need to reboot your wireless network as it isn’t running at optimum speed. This requires you simply unplugging it for 60 seconds and then plugging it back in. Repeat the test and see if the upload speed is now greater than 3.5. If it isn’t we may have trouble doing your interview so please call us back and let us know.

You can check your WiFi speed right now by going to the Speedtest website.