Today we’d like to introduce you to Whitney Myers.
Whitney, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I love people and stories. I come from a family that valued healthy conversation and relationships. These values have led me to work with people of all ages, to teach and lead others with compassion, to grow as a mom and community leader, to discover populations of people needing specialized care, and even to journey with people nearing the end of their life. My whole life has been filled with a love of asking questions, listening to stories, and leading others to do the same. In 2017, I decided to interview a special nonagenarian in my life. I took a film student along to work the camera, and I conducted the interview. It was a day I’ll never forget, and I left that day knowing that this was something I wanted to do for others. I started my business, Sacred Stories, in 2019. I want to produce beautiful legacy films, and I want to encourage in others this important work of story-sharing and listening that enriches our world. I’m inspired by professional journalists, captivating biographies on television, and honest well-written memoirs. But mostly, I’m inspired by the stories of everyday people.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Not only have I had to learn some hard lessons about film and editing through mistakes I’ve made, but I’ve seen firsthand how reminiscence isn’t easy for some and is a vulnerable thing for most everyone when it’s shared out loud. It can be challenging to remember and think about our lives because there are painful memories along with the happy ones. I’ve heard some difficult stories in this work, but I also know that a lot of healing takes place when we share. Anyone can “press record” when someone is speaking, but there is a real art to helping people feel comfortable enough to share their stories. There are good questions, good ways of asking questions, and important ways of being a compassionate listener that are critical to how I approach this work. There’s also an art to how the final film is presented — the timeline, the flow, and the way it all comes together. I tend to think of myself as more of a producer than a video specialist, and there is a lot of thought that goes into how we put the stories we capture into a film that people want to view.
Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Sacred Stories?
We specialize in video biographies. We record people’s life stories on film. Most often families hire us to create a Legacy Film to honor someone special in their lives. We are proud every time we complete a project and hear from someone about how grateful they are to have this keepsake. I have studied the science of reminiscence, and I bring that knowledge and my unique skills of drawing out stories to each interview we do. I’m grateful for the encouragement from friends and family, coaching from some wonderful mentors and leaders, and professional networking with other life story professionals around the world.
We love surprises, fun facts and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
I mentioned a favorite nonagenarian earlier. Many people think of someone in their eighties or nineties when they think about this work, but a Legacy Film is not just for older adults. Reminiscence, capturing our stories, and using these as tools to create meaning in our lives is a useful practice for all ages. Often a Sacred Stories Legacy Film is commissioned as a gift for a holiday, special birthday, anniversary, or other milestone life event.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://sacredstoriesfilms.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sacredstoriesfilms/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sacredstoriesfilms
Casey Chapman Ross / CCR Studios