Recording an interview with my parents

This is a personal project of mine: I’ve recently recorded 2 hours of interview with my parents. The purpose is to have a record of their life stories, their memories, their anecdotes, told by them. The idea came to me when I heard some friends talk about their parents, who had passed away, and how they wished they had recorded their voices, their stories, their laughter.

My parents have children that are 50+, grandchildren that are mostly 20+, but also two that are very young still (my 2 youngest: 3y and 5y). The video is meant for all of them, and the generations after them.

The setup

Obviously I didn’t want to worry about the technical side of things during the interview, so I purchased a GoPro HERO 11 camera Creator Edition (Media Mod, Volta grip/battery/tripod). I added the Rode VideoMic GO II for better sound quality, some extra SD cards and some extra batteries.

When I asked my parents to set this interview up, their first reaction was a bit startled. Are you preparing for our funeral? But eventually they agreed. My mom was actually nervous the days before it and prepared by writing a full 8 pages of notes. She didn’t really need those, since finding topics to discuss was easy. The interviewers were my sister and me, and we had prepared some questions, but we also let them talk freely.



In the end, I didn’t really need the extra batteries, nor the extra cards, because the Volta grip has a battery that lasts for 3 hours and a video that long still fits on 1 card. The VideoMic was a good choice, because it cuts out most of the ambient noise and makes the voices much easier to listen to.


The interview experience was wonderful. They talked about their youth, how they met, their first jobs, their first house, their children. The time flew by, we paused for a while in the middle to eat some of my mom’s signature apple pie, and we stopped after 3 hours. When I came home, I created a quick edit in Apple IMovie, added some titles, and shared it with my sister. 150 minutes of my parents talking passionately about their past. Mission accomplished. I can only recommend it to everyone. It’s quality time with your loved ones and a dear memory in itself.


Now we just need to make enough cloud and physical backups of the video (22GB full size, 2GB reduced), so that it will still be around in 10-20-50 years. DVDs are not a good option, because already today, we don’t own a DVD-playing device anymore. For now it’s Dropbox and my NAS. I will add some USB sticks later.

This actually made me wonder if it’s at all possible to create a (private) video URL that is guaranteed to work in 50 years. I guess I’ll have to look into that.

💬 idea 🏷 audio 🏷 family 🏷 gopro 🏷 interview 🏷 video