Frequently Asked Questions

What does Shenachie believe in?

We are passionate about history as told by individuals – whether it be a life history, family history or career history. We combine oral history techniques with journalistic story-telling to provide a multimedia package that is both engaging and archive-ready.

What can we offer that you can’t do yourself?

With the popularity of family history, many people today are creating their own family records through research, interviewing and writing. Of course, there is a lot of work you can do yourself. Our services are for those who are interested in a professional recording of the life memories of an individual from either a family or career perspective. We cater for those who:

  • are interested in recording their family history, but are time-poor
  • want to ensure high-quality recording in video and/or audio formats
  • want to employ a professional interviewer/historian who is experienced in conducting life interviews
  • want to create archive-ready interview files that can be used at a later date in a range of media from print to video and the web
  • are seeking a highlights package incorporating video and audio excerpts, music and photographs, to show at a particular event or to distribute to others.

What is the process?

We first seek to establish your needs. Do you have a particular life event that you want to celebrate such as your parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, your grandmother’s 80th birthday or your teacher or boss’s retirement? Or perhaps, you just want to ensure that the life memories of a significant family member, visiting relative or mentor are recorded for future reference. We will discuss the best way to achieve this, through video and/or audio interviews.

We will help you prepare for the interview by giving you an interview outline and discussing the specific areas you want covered in the interview.

Our interviewer will meet with the interviewee and any interested family members to discuss the process and any concerns.

We will conduct the interview in time periods of 1-2 hours at a time. The interviewee can ask for a pause at any time. We use a Panasonic GH5 camera recording in either HD or 4K and use studio lighting. Audio is recorded in broadcast-quality format.

You will be given the opportunity to review the completed interviews and ask for some changes. (Depending on the nature of the request, this may involve more cost.)

What will I receive?

We offer a number of packages depending on your needs and budget. While we recommend video interviews, we also offer audio-only interviews, which are cheaper to produce.

We ensure that you receive copies of the interview in multiple formats to ensure its archival longevity.

What is the cost?

A basic interview package of a single session video interview (2 hours) costs about $1000 depending on the location of the interview. Audio interviews are half that price and highlights packages, which involve significantly more editing, involve an additional cost. Once we establish your needs we can give you a detailed quotation.

How is the cost calculated?

As with any small business we have overheads to cover including equipment, accommodation, utilities, accountancy, hardware and software and some basic research for each engagement. Costs are based on rates charged by the Professional Historians Association (

Please note that video and audio editing takes a considerably longer time than recording time. Even minimal video editing will involve about twice the time taken to record the interview. Editing involved in a highlights package may be 3-4 times the recording time.

Compare this cost with what you would spend on a video recording of a wedding, but consider that it is not just the recording you are paying for but also the interviewing expertise as well.