For those who are Millennials and Generation X’ers, there is a good chance a portion of their lives were caught on a device older than what is now available in the digital age — VHS tape. But being able to preserve those tapes, or even watch them when VCRs are becoming a rare commodity, can be difficult.
For Lisa Parker and her daughters, Emily Brown and April Parker, Our Story Video Creations began as a personal project to preserve their own taped videos and provide videography services for weddings, births, church plays and other monumental occasions.
The videography began about 10 years ago, Lisa Parker said, when she began working with her church on videoing Bible school, church plays and other events. That developed into the commercial videography portion of the company.
More recently, she has begun producing birthing stories for families, either through cell phone and video footage captured by family members and friends, or through her own videography service.
“The video transfers are what I’d really like to build up,” Parker said of the VHS-to-digital production.
“I started doing transfers of 8 mm reels of film for my parents. There is no sound, but to see my mom and dad with babies in their arms that are my siblings and me,” she said, adding she can add music and sound to the videos.
The VHS tapes disintegrate more quickly than the reels of film from the 1960s and 1970s, Parker explained. “We can do all sizes of VHS tape,” she said. “If you want to keep them, you’ve got to transfer them. People don’t have VCRs or adapters for smaller ones, so they just sit in boxes.”
Transfer services have been available for a while, but in this area, it has been through mail-delivery. Parker, when getting her own tapes transferred at Walmart before she bought the equipment to do it herself, worried about the originals as they had to mail them off for the process.
“Your movies are irreplaceable,” she said. “You don’t have to mail it with me.”
Customers can request a straight transfer, or they can order transfers with editing, additional music, text on the screen. The more time-consuming the request will mean a higher cost. Transfer of a finished tape is $25 an hour. For the 8 mm reels, it is 30 cents a foot.
“It is from your hands to my hands and back to your hands,” Parker said of the security of not having to mail off original tapes and film.
“We can’t do copyrighted videos, but we can do home videos,” Parker said.
Our Story Video Creations purchased the transferring software and devices about two years ago.
“I enjoy it,” she said of the videography and transfers she’s able to do. She and her daughters each bring a different skill set to the company, Parker said, adding that they enjoy working on projects together.
The company has a booth set up in Key City Antique Mall in North Wilkesboro as well as a Facebook page. Customers also can reach the company at 336-984-8616.
Parker works in Elkin, so she is able to meet with customers in centralized locations, and on Sundays she’s at the Key City booth.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.