The Making of a SilverLife Video

The first video in the SilverLife Decision Time series will be released soon, so we thought an article about the making of the videos might provide an interesting introduction! As with any video, planning makes a big difference in the quality of the final product. We chose to use real people and tell real stories to give an authentic and accurate perspective into the issues around senior living. Here’s the story of the first few SilverLife videos. 

Planning

The initial concept for SilverLife came during a brainstorming session at the beach. Our team members were all in “creative” mode, and we quickly sketched (high level) the concept and vision. Then came the hard part. 
 
A series of videos was planned, so outlining the stories to be told in each video within the series meant outlining the entire series up front. Once the concepts were laid out and a catchy title added for each video, it was time to define the who, when, where and how.  
 
We started with the mother of our executive producer. Grace had moved into a continuing care retirement community two years before, so she seemed like a good place to start. We then added a couple (Mary and Hugh, friends of Grace) who recently moved into their CCRC independent living situation after being on a waiting list for a year and a half; Ruth, a widow living in a townhouse around a five-hour drive from her family; and Julia, an adult child concerned with her mother living alone in a big house in the country. We rounded out the first video with two elder law attorneys to add insight into the process of transitioning to a senior living community. 

Lights, Camera, Action! 

The video was filmed at several locations, and not necessarily in order (we love our editing team!). Our team drove to the law firm’s offices to film them the first day, then returned home to film Grace, Mary, Hugh, and Julia on day two. Fortunately, the weather cooperated and we were able to film a portion of the day outside. 
 
The final video footage of Ruth was taken day three in the small town where she currently lives. The production team and videographer struggled a bit with filming outdoors, since it was overcast and VERY windy. The videographer ended up finding a quiet location behind the buildings on the railroad tracks to film the interview with Ruth. (You wouldn’t guess it watching the video!) 

Pulling it Together

Each of the SilverLife videos tells a story, and it takes some work to distill multiple hours of raw footage into the short video stories that become the final product. Our editing team watched all the footage, marking important points to be reviewed and possibly incorporated into each of the final videos. We bumped into some editing challenges due to the enormous size of high resolution, 4D video files, but quickly resolved them! Once the primary clips were selected and placed in order (this took a couple rounds to get it tight), the team added B-roll footage (general video with no interviews), graphics, music and transition segments, resulting in the final product. As new senior living communities license the videos, the series will be customized to include their logo, images and specific information about their communities. 

And a Good Time Was Had by All

All the individuals in the videos are real people in the roles represented along the continuum of decision making. None had been filmed (or acted) before, and they were not quite sure what to expect. Everyone had a great time! The overall response: it was much easier and more fun than they expected. One person even asked when they could do it again! We hope you’ll watch for the release of each of the videos to learn more about senior living through the eyes of Grace, Hugh, Mary, Julia and Ruth, and attorneys David and Ryan.