Q: We want to tell our grandmother’s amazing life story on video for her 100th-birthday party. Where do we turn for help?
A: Most videographers shoot for the stars, but Reel Biography (212-867-7287; reelbiography.com) documents those whose fame may not extend past their own kin. Founder Marco Greenberg says, “People are a little burned out on hearing Madonna’s life story on E!, so they’re looking for something that’s more relevant to their lives.” For those in search of such relevance, Reel uses Emmy-winning producers from outfits like CNN, ABC’s Nightline, and the History and Discovery channels to create polished A&E Biography–style videos. The Reel biographers ferret out information like Granny’s life motto or regrets and mix it with new and archival footage, music, documents, photos, and interviews with family members. They have media coaches for the camera-shy and genealogists who can track down everything from birth records to immigrant-ship manifests. Your final DVD or VHS cut will be delivered in one to six weeks, run 20 to 60 minutes, and cost $2,000 to $15,000, depending on complexity. We just hope you can get past Granny’s velvet rope at the premiere.