About Personal Story Films
The idea for this venture began as I was making a documentary about my father, Henning Pontoppidan. I found a deep sense of purpose as I was recording his stories, collecting old photos, and choosing music that is meaningful to him. I realized that the finished film would be watched by not only my generation - sisters, cousins, those he had taught - but also by his grandchildren, as well as those young doctors who honor his seminal work in critical care medicine and want to learn more about him as a person. His full personality comes through, with his dry sense of humor, love of nature, forests and sailing, his knack for building and woodworking, and his steadfastness as a husband, father, and grandfather. I know when he is gone we will watch it over and over with tears and laughter and gratitude for the gift of his presence in our lives. And this is what I want to give to other families - a lasting and rich legacy that they can pass on to their own children, the history of a unique ancestor brought to life in the way that only film can do.
Personal Story Films is owned and operated by myself, Lisa Pontoppidan. I earned a BA in Television Production in 1982, and went on to work as a videotape editor for news and documentaries at the local Public Television Station, WGBH-TV. While I was there, a series of documentaries I edited about private violence was nominated for an Emmy. Since then, I have directed and produced many documentaries and short videos on various topics. I have also taught video production classes at Adult Education and in conjunction with the English Language Program at Boston University. In addition to this work, I also write and perform music, create collages, and make art from nature. I sometimes hire people in the film/video field to help me with set up and camera work. I make sure that each individual I hire is a kind, capable, interested, and considerate person.
The values that I bring to this work
Kindness, respect, and professionalism are the biggest values I carry into my work and every interaction I have with others. I am by nature kind, interested, and respectful when I talk with and interview people. I honor the integrity of each human being and each story. I work with individuals and families to create the film that most clearly expresses their personality, experiences and values. I leave room for client feedback, and take it into account to whatever degree I can. I believe the process of making the film together should be meaningful and enjoyable for everyone. I bring all of my skills and talent to bear in making the finished film in a timely way, and can't tolerate doing less than my best.
We use a new high definition camera, the Canon XC15. It has automatic as well as manual focus controls, a 1" high definition sensor, a 10x optical zoom lens, and 2 XLR inputs which allow for the best audio quality. It is capable of recording at 4K (extremely high definition). For sound, we use Zoom and Sennheiser microphones, known to be of the highest quality. For editing, we have the latest version of Final Cut Pro X, one of the top choices for professional editors.
Our home base is in Boston, and we primarily serve the New England area. However, we are willing to travel further for some projects. We look forward to hearing from you!