Out of the Shadows – Andy Zett’s story

I decided to take on a challenging project: the story of my grandfather, Andy Zett. “Challenging” largely because Andy’s death, by suicide, relegated him to the backwater  and shadows of the family history.

Also, since Andy died in 1935, most who would have known him are also gone.  There’s only one cousin still living who remembers the event.  Since she was a child when it happened, she admitted that, “I don’t remember him or details of his death, but I do remember the look on my mother’s face and her reaction.”

The video was supposed to be short, but, as I soon realized that I had to explain my grandfather’s Carpatho-Rusyn ethnicity, which added a few minutes to the video. But it was worth it.  The result was “Andy Zett – from Olsavica to Johnstown.

My favorite genealogy podcaster, Lisa Louise Cooke (Genealogy Gems), often extols the  glories of creating videos to showcase family history– she says that videos are a great way to interest younger people in genealogy.

Not just younger people.

My family tree has become huge and rather unwiedly. Some have said that it’s too easy to get overwhelmed and lost. It happens to me, too. I’m hoping that this and other videos about the family bridges the gap.

And, nearly everyone will watch a video.  So, on Veterans Day 2017, I decided to make a short video, honoring my Dad and his brothers who served in WWII and Korea.

Although I have high-end video creation software, I wanted something easier to work with and discovered Filmora from Wondershare.  Since I wanted to get the video out quickly, I didn’t take time to go through the tutorial and instead decided to wing it.

While there are a number of snafus as well as things I’d do differently, I’m glad I wasn’t tyrannized by the ghost of perfectionism that has haunted me periodically. The trouble with perfectionists is that we seldom get anything done because it’s not “good enough.” That’s a tough one to get around.

Also,  I worked as a video producer several years ago and worked with teams of scriptwriters, actors, animators, and videographers to create corporate videos. I also hired people to do extensive post-production work so my videos were award-winning ready (and many did win awards!), so I do have some rather high expectations for my creations.

That was then, this is now. My “team” now consists of me and a software package.

Creating the Veterans Day video helped me get up to speed with the software. And, when I was stumped, I’d reach out to Filmora’s customer support who were terrific!

Fellow genealogists: try your hand at making a video. You might just enjoy the experience and the end-product!

To learn more, start with Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems podcast and website.  She and her team are the authorities on just about anything related to genealogy from records to DNA.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s