How We Make a Memoir.  

We are Byron Goggin and Susu Hauser.  We are a husband and wife team who has made a career of producing documentaries and unscripted television for National Geographic, Discovery Channel, History Channel and the BBC.  We pride ourselves on creating a friendly, private, and collaborative environment for our clients.  We have worked with everyone from “A” list celebrities, to pioneers of space exploration, and to those whom give their efforts to making a difference to villagers in rural African communities.  It is safe to say we enjoy working with people from all walks of life. Our goal in working with you is to make you as comfortable as possible and to treat you like family.  Actually, all of our clients end up becoming like family and the relationships we build last for… a lifetime. 

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.   

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?   Does the client 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 –  $200- $500:    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 – $1,300.00 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 –    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: $2000.00


*Once the foundation of the memoir is laid, the client now has 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! 


“A LA CARTE”- Make it sing!

  • 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



SAMPLE:   FULLY LOADED MEMOIR  (With all A La Carte Items):


SAMPLE:   BASIC MEMOIR  (With Sound Library, Licensed Acquired Footage and Client Acquired Footage)



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