Cinematic Memoirs™

Cinematic Memoirs are a visual biography of an individual’s life.  For years, people have written memoirs to preserve their legacy.  Written memoirs are wonderful but rarely have the same impact as a story told in a visual medium.  If one picture is “worth a thousand words”, imagine how your life story could be represented.  We have been producing Emmy award winning content for over two decades.  Simply put, we are storytellers. There may be no one more qualified to tell your story than The Invisible Lens.  Byron and Susu are a husband and wife team that work with you one on-one-to create an unforgettable cinematic documentation of your life that will be passed down for generations to come.  

“Life goes on even after we perish. So make sure the legacy you leave behind is full of memories the world can cherish…”


Cinematic Memoirs™ Samples

  Memoirs can vary in length.  Some are an hour or more, while others are shorter with a specific focus.  There are no rules when creating your Cinematic Memoirs™. You are only limited by your imagination.  Here are two examples of memoirs we have created for some pretty incredible individuals.  

Ask yourself this…

In a hundred years, what will your ancestors know about you? How do you wish to be remembered by your colleagues?  What steps have you taken to ensure your accomplishments and family history will not be lost?  What is your life and your legacy worth?  NASA Physicist George Gloeckler understood the importance of legacy and had the Invisible Lens tell his story.  This is an example of a Cinematic Memoir.


Let your family see, feel, and hear your life story.

Generations are leaving this earth without voices and without footprints. Whether you a career-driven entrepreneur or a refugee of war, you have an important story to tell.  Capture your life story with a Cinematic Memoir and leave future generations with something more than fading memories.   

Creating a Cinematic Memoir is extremely rewarding. 

Let us guide you down memory lane.  Uncovering old memories and stories is the ultimate celebration of your life.  Experiences you have long forgotten are often unearthed resulting in strong emotional reactions.  It’s not uncommon that participants find themselves in tears during the interview process.  In addition, creating a Cinematic Memoir reunites you with extended family and often connects you with treasured friends.  Listen to what George Gloeckler had to say about the results of his memoir.

How We Make a Memoir.  

We are often asked how the process works.  To help you understand the scope of work and what’s involved,  We have put together a short outline that explains the step by step process to complete your Cinematic Memoir.  We hope the following helps explain some questions you may already have.  It’s a lot of information, but don’t worry, we are there to help you along every step of the way. 

Step 1:
First we conduct an extended pre-interview, on the phone or in person.  This process takes approximately 3 hours.  The interview covers your life, childhood, family roots, life milestones, your career, and whatever else we can harvest. The goal is for us to become familiar with the subject of the memoir as well as anyone who will be involved with it.  This is very important step to establishing a comfortable and informal relationship, while all along, identifying hidden gems and story points.

Step 2
We then take all the information from the interview and break it down into an outline.  From there we create an initial question list from the outline and send the question list to you to add or subtract questions from the list.

Step 3
We then identify what the goals of the video are:  Who is the audience you wish to reach?   Do you have a biography already?  What percentage of the video focuses on personal content vs career?  What is the general direction and scope of the production?  Who will participate in supplemental interviews?    

Step 4
We then break down all of the information to create a production map and cost estimate based on the information we are given.  Additional factors to the cost analysis depends greatly on you:

  • Number of shoot locations and where we will be shooting, for how long
  • Will this be for private or public viewing? (licensing costs)
  • How much research will be done by us?
  • What is the pool of video, still photography, and other elements that you already have? 
  • What time frame for completion is the client expecting?

Step 5
We conduct a second interview (which will be transcribed) in which we ask each pre-formulated question.  You will then answer the questions in full.  This process forces you to think about your responses and often brings up secondary questions and subjects, which we add to the master list. This process also prepares the client for the on camera interview that will be conducted later.

  •  Once everyone is comfortable with the general direction and topics to be covered, we schedule the interviews.
  •  Depending on the supplemental (guest) interviews, we either research the guest on the internet or conduct a pre-phone interview to prepare them for their questions. We also forward the questions in advance for them to review with a release form to sign and return. Generally interviews take 1-2 hours to film.
  •  We schedule and shoot multiple interviews that revolve around the subject of the memoir.  This usually requires 8-10 hours of filming in multiple locations that represent the subject matter the client is talking about.

Step 6
Once the filming is complete we enter the post production process or (editing).   In many ways this is the most important part of the process because this is where the story is refined and brought to life.  You will get to be a big part of the process!  As we work to complete the memoir, we will send you a rough copy, act by act.  You will then be able to watch what has been completed and give your input.  You can change anything as you please, after all, it is YOUR life story.

We then take all your notes, make the changes and re-submit the changed material to you.  We do this process until you are incredibly proud of your memoir and take delivery.  Its that simple! 


We are often asked how much it would cost to make a Cinematic Memoir.  Not to be evasive, but that answer lies completely with you. Cinematic Memoir costs are variable depending on your personal tastes but typically start around $2,000. Since each project varies so vastly, cost is simply based on time worked. Factors that affect the overall price are:

  • Travel requirements and how many locations we will be shooting
  • How many days of production (filming)
  • How many days of post-production (editing)
  • How much time is spent on research
  • How much spent on licensing (if you wish to use copyright material)
  •  How in depth the web site is
  • How much daily administration and coordinating is required 

Cost per-day breakdown:

  • Production (filming) $1,300 per-day (two people, all cinema gear, lighting, audio and accessories included)
  • Post-production (editing) $800 per-day
  • Administration $350.00 per-day (coordinating travel & interviews, research, follow up calls)


**SPECIAL**  You Can Save $$ By Building Your Memoir “A La Carte”

The Invisible Lens, now offering “A La Carte” Memoirs. Tailor your memoir to your budget. Think of your memoir as a work in progress. Add on as you wish. The more you contribute, the more you can save. Make your memoir a fun family project. Working together will build new bonds and promote a unique family learning experience. Here is how it works.


“LAY THE FOUNDATION” – Start with the BASICS –  $500- $1,000    The first step to creating your Cinematic Memoir is understanding what your goals are, what stories you want to tell, and who your audience is. After an initial short meeting, the client either provides The Invisible Lens with a written biography or coordinates a phone call outlining their history. This process helps us form our topics and questions for the interview process.

INTERVIEW PROCESS:  Filming the participants – $1,500.00 per-day:   Dependent upon your stamina and focus, our interview process can take anywhere between 1-3 days to produce. We conduct a multi-camera, professionally lit, sit-down interview with you at a location(s) of your choosing and digitally record it to hard drive. Many people are happy to simply have their story in this form. It’s your choice. You can stop here or take the next step.

Timecode EDIT:  Cut Your Own Story – $800    We provide you with the entire interview(s) including “TIMECODE”. Timecode identifies, specifically, where everything is on your video and allows you to become the story producer of your own memoir. You can then determine what footage to keep and what footage to discard. The more editing you do, the more you save.

Basic EDIT:  Invisible Lens Edits your cuts-  $800.00 per day-    We will take your timecode notes and sew together your memoir…..

Total BASIC Memoir for as little as: $2,800.00



“A LA CARTE”- Make it sing!

*Once the foundation of the memoir is laid, you now have the option of add-ons to MAKE IT SING. Below is a list of “A La Carte” options for your memoir.  You can add any of these items any time you like!  

**Costs of each A La Carte item can vary depending on personal taste and time spent in the creation of elements   

  • Client Acquired Footage – Photos/Slides/Documents/Awards/Videos provided by client may be added to the memoir
  • Licensed Acquired Footage – Licensed or royalty free supplemental footage from the web to enhance your story. Fees vary
  • Interviews with Family, Friends and/or Colleagues – Additional voices to augment your story and provide different perspectives
  • Specialty “Live” B-roll – Filming of Client with Steady Cam Rig and Slider, making your memoir more cinematic
  • Graphics – Adding professional graphics to your memoir can take it to the next level
  • Professional Narration – Add a trained voice-over artist to your narration, and it’s ready for the big leagues
  • Sound Library – Select from over 3,000 songs to augment and create emotion throughout your memoir
  • Multiple Edits – Additional charges for multiple edit requests


CONSIDERATIONS – All travel expenses incurred by filmmakers are to be fully compensated. This includes all travel to and from filming locations, baggage fees, accommodation, mileage etc.

GIFT A MEMOIR – This is truly the gift that keeps giving. For generations, family histories will live on. There is no better way to honor your family member than giving permanence to their life history. Why not have several family members contribute to create a memoir for a mother, father, or grandparent?


This is a lot of information, so if you would like us to explain it, please give us a call.  We would love to speak with you in person.   Byron: 810-300-2821  -or-  Susu: 810-300-2821