Preserving life stories on video
CINDY SIANO LIFE AND TIMES VIDEO
‘The deaths were expected, yet it was still a scramble to get photos and stories together for the funerals. What was missing, I felt, was their voices, their expressions and their laughter. It occurred to me that people’s stories should be preserved to share at other life milestones, not just for funerals.’
She didn’t realise it at the time, but a tiny bud of a business idea was starting to sprout.
The positive power of video production
Cindy had been looking for a new venture with the power to make a positive difference in people’s lives. Her love of storytelling had been a constant throughout her career. In her role managing tv and radio ad production for a major Perth agency, Cindy had relished the diverse creative process of video production.
She realised her talent for producing videos meant she could help people capture and preserve significant moments from their lives. Her idea grew, then blossomed into Life and Times Productions.
‘The first video I did was for friends of mine – a family of five. Evidently, the timing was perfect as two of the children travel internationally for long periods. It’s rare for the whole family to be together. They were tickled pink with the result.’
With her video production business now in its first year, Cindy is working on three different projects to showcase her work.
Staying connected in a team of one
In a sense, the practical side of the business is the straightforward part. Cindy is skilled in video production and storytelling. She works with freelancers when she needs other technical expertise. Drawing out her clients’ stories and capturing them for longevity comes easily to her. But that’s only a small part of the production process. So, as an introvert at heart, Cindy has to be disciplined about spending too much time alone.
‘I’m happy being by myself, but I miss not having a team. I enjoy the stimulation of meeting others and developing or exchanging ideas. I make a conscious decision to seek out the company of like-minded women. For me, Wise Matildas is all about wonderful, inspiring women.’
‘In fact, Cindy recently stumbled upon the perfect partner to support her business. He was right under her nose all along!‘
Although he maintains a website where he works, my husband has never developed a website from scratch. He’s been working tirelessly to teach himself, then publishing a professional-looking website. He couldn’t even spell SEO, nor had he ever heard of WordPress. I’m so grateful as I have no patience for that kind of thing.’
Making a difference through creativity
Making a difference in other people’s lives is an ongoing goal for Cindy, who is using her creative talents to help Aboriginal elders get their stories out. Storytelling is of great importance in the oral traditions of indigenous peoples around the world. It’s one of the ways to pass on knowledge. Cindy believes that from knowledge comes understanding, which in turn leads to tolerance and empathy.
Away from the lens and screen, she continues to create. Lately, she’s been embracing painting and can easily lose herself in front of a canvas for hours. She’s a bit of a foodie and loves cooking as well as dining out.
Cindy enjoys the new experiences and ideas that travel brings. At home in Perth, her daily beach walks, and regular bike rides help nurture her creativity. Her advice to other aspiring female business owners, particularly those over 50, is to step up with confidence.
‘Of course, there is much to learn. But, trust in your substantial experience and know-how. Take the leap.’
Life and Times Video is now taking bookings for 2020. If you’d like to preserve some of your precious stories – you can get in touch with Cindy.
Cindy Siano, Family Video Producer
Yarn of the Year
Hi, I’m Cindy – Life and Times video producer.
You are invited to submit your stories to publish on my blog. Each month I will feature the best stories – like a ‘memoir of the month’.
Each year we will select a Yarn of the Year based on comments and views.
Your stories can be as short or long as you like, as long as it fits the description outlined on the Storytelling page.
Send your stories in via the on-line form on the Storytelling page, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to include any photos or video content.