Beyond bricks and mortar: Why a family property is worthy of a legacy film

Beyond bricks and mortar: Why a family property is worthy of a legacy film
Family narrative consultant Jamie Yuenger explains why you should consider memorialising the story of your sacred spaces...
By Jamie Yuenger

When we think of legacy, our minds often drift to the people who’ve shaped our lives: parents, grandparents, or perhaps the founders of a cherished family business. Yet, there’s another element that’s just as integral to our family’s narrative, though it’s often overlooked - the places that hold our shared memories.

Through our work with families, we have come to see that special homes, lands, and retreats are not just physical locations; they’re the backdrop of a family’s unique story. Whether it’s a centuries-old homestead, a sprawling ranch, a cozy vacation cabin, or a piece of land that’s been in the family for generations, these places are imbued with stories that mirror a family’s personality, values, and history. Capturing the stories that surround them can help a family share its values with future generations. 

Family ranch

The soul of spaces
Imagine a film where a family ranch isn’t just a setting, but a vivid character with its own tales of joy, hardship, and triumph. For example, our team spent a week in rural Quebec, Canada, documenting the stories of the Markham family lodge and the life-long guardian of the property, Angus McRae. 

The full-length film captures the interior of their rural lodge, the landscape, and the family’s memories of it. Many of our client families have special homes and properties like this which they treasure. The stories of these places tell the story of their lives, families and values. Or picture a documentary that takes you aboard a fishing boat, where the rhythm of the waves and the vastness of the ocean bring forth stories from the depths of the heart. These are not mere locations; they are sanctuaries where time stands still, and memories are etched into the very landscape.

Creating a legacy film centered around a beloved place does more than preserve memories; it offers a unique lens through which we can view our family’s journey. It’s in these sacred spaces, away from the cacophony of daily life, that people often feel free to open up, sharing stories and reflections that might remain unspoken in more conventional settings.

Family yacht

Beyond the four walls
We’ve had the privilege of bringing such stories to light, capturing the essence of family legacies through the lens of their cherished places. From filming on windswept ranches to capturing the serene beauty of hunting lodges nestled in nature’s embrace, we’ve seen firsthand how a place can become a powerful conduit for storytelling.

But this is about more than just filming in picturesque locations; it’s about digging deep into the roots that anchor a family to a place. It’s about understanding how the soil, the walls, and the air are imbued with the essence of generations who’ve laughed, cried, and lived within their embrace.

Your family’s special place
What are the places in your life that are rich with stories and significance? Perhaps it’s a family beach house where summers are synonymous with joy, or maybe it’s a quaint country cottage that has been the silent witness to countless family gatherings.

By sharing these stories, you contribute to a tapestry that’s much larger than the sum of its parts—a tapestry that weaves together the essence of what it means to belong, to remember, and to cherish.

You can watch an accompanying one-minute clip here.

Jamie Yuenger is the founder of StoryKeep, a premier life story and family history film company. Through cinematic storytelling, she and her team help people pass on values, connect, honor, celebrate and express gratitude to their loved ones.

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