Like StoryCorps, but with more beer.
June 3, 2011 1:01 PM Subscribe
At our upcoming family reunion (the first in a good seven years), my mother wants to run an audio "story booth" where family members can come and tell stories to be preserved for posterity. Can y'all think of any tips -- before, during and after -- to help this run smoothly and get the most interesting stories?
posted by Madamina to human relations (10 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Thankfully, I should point out, I am a journalist with recording and editing experience, so I plan to share my stuff. But I also don't necessarily want to spend the whole weekend in the back parlor.
Attendees: maybe 60. Three branches, mostly a generation of boomers and their 20ish-30ish kids. One branch is coming from Arizona, but the other two know each other fairly well and have frequent contact within their own families. Unfortunately, only one or two "elders" will be there, but they should talk enough for the rest of us.
Setting: the ancestral manor on the edge of town, so I think we can probably leave it set up in a quiet, protected room.
Equipment: MacBook Pro (with a good internal mic) and iPad 2 (also has a good internal mic), as well as an Olympus digital recorder with a USB for quick uploading. I'd probably give a digital recorder to my less tech-savvy mom. Tech-savvier uncles will likely help.
My mom would like to start with a list of common questions/stories (e.g. "the time we went to the Petrified Forest" or "when we left Joel on the side of the road") and get different people to tell their versions or fill in the gaps.
1) There's a big gap between my mom's generation and mine; sitting around and talking about dead people is all. they. do. What can we do to focus the younger folks? We don't have as many shared experiences, and I also think we have a hard time establishing our own identities in the face of their strong generational culture.
2) What could be some good ways to share it once I've gotten it cleaned up -- cds? a blog?
3) Any tips (especially for people who are NOT me) for keeping the stories on track? We are serial meanderers. (As if you didn't know that.)
4) Any other ideas for more compelling themes or ways to edit/reshape it in the end so people get the most out of it?
Other random ideas gratefully appreciated. Thanks!