Home Process One customer's experience Testimonials About Viva Videos Contact Corporate Videos About copyright: Viva Videos 2018

Valerie Smith 

Director, Viva Videos

If you book a life story video, Valerie will call you and arrange a meeting.

Here’s her story. At heart, I’m an artist, a historian and a great listener. As luck would have it, those are exactly the skills needed to create an interesting video of your life story. I never tire of hearing other people’s stories.  No matter how many times people tell me they don’t have anything interesting to say, I always find that with a little gentle probing, inside each of us lies a wealth of fascinating experiences and happy memories, just waiting to be told.  As a child, I was always interested in art and family history.  But my career path led me to a job in the City. At weekends, I painted watercolours and even sold a few, but never felt truly fulfilled with my work. Then my own mother died. She died before I’d had a chance to record her memories on film or paper. I realised that all her stories were lost, and that my own nieces and nephew, then just toddlers, would never hear her voice or see her eyes light up as she talked. In a moment of inspiration, I bought myself a video camera and decided to record a friend of my mother talking about her own life. I loved filming and editing it so much that I signed up to a documentary-making course run by the Met Film School at Ealing Film Studios. The course was taught by a BAFTA-winning director and I found it completely absorbing and the training top- class. It gave me hands-on experience, editing skills and professional direction. Not long after, I just knew I had to quit my job and launch a new life as a videographer. Now, several years later, I can say that it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I’ve recorded people’s life stories from all over the UK, and travelled to the US with a film producer to record a documentary that was shown at three film festivals. I also work with corporations to produce videos for their websites. I love every minute of filming life stories, and feel so lucky that I get to spend my life meeting fascinating people and hearing their stories. I may not have had the chance to record my mother, but now I’m helping other people celebrate their lives instead.  
“I feel so lucky that I get to spend my life meeting fascinating people and hearing their stories.”
About Viva Videos