After meeting Houston Roderick of Mythos Movies, I was so excited to share his amazing Chicago-based company with my readers. This is a cutting edge concept & truly amazing the gift he is helping people to give their loved ones.
Read his story below of how it all came to be & please reach out to him if you’d like to have a movie made!
A Little About “Mythos Movies”
I started Mythos Movies this year to give people an option when they realize, “Oh, my parents have all these stories that will be lost when they pass away. I wish there was a way to share their life with my children and their children!”
My grandmother died when I was very young, and I only have a few hazy memories being with her. I remember wishing at one point in my 20’s that I had access to her now that I would be able to understand her better. Looking at old pictures was not enough for me to feel like I knew her.
Having a Mythos Movie made about your parent is taking a kind of insurance on the fact that your kids or grand kids may have an interest in what your parents were like when they get older.
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I worked on a Mythos Movie recently for a man who was a few months shy of turning 80, and his family wanted to have something for his birthday celebration. Tragically, his wife passed away a year prior, but he was in a reflective mode. He told me before hand “you know, this is the first time I’ve ever been interviewed on camera.”
We did the film, and he shared stories from his professional life as well as personal. The day after the interview, he gave me a tour of the hometown he had lived in his entire life. We visited the tavern he frequents every morning for breakfast, the factory where he introduced a press line, and some of the houses he used to live in, two of which he built. “I like small town living, naturally,” he would say.
At his 80th birthday, one-hundred of his closest friends and family gathered under a tent and watched the finished film on a big screen television. The reaction was overwhelmingly positive; especially given the tragedy he had experienced a year prior. He ordered 50 copies of the DVD to send out with his Christmas cards a few months later.
Pete expressed that he was proud of the film, and “it’s amazing how much one can remember when you sit and think about it for awhile. Everything’s up there, you just have to let it come to you.”
What I Do
Through a series of interviews, you or your parent will recount the experiences that have shaped their life. If desired, you or other family members can offer well wishes, reflections, and a story involving you and your parent for the camera.
I weave the interview into a comprehensive Life-Review DVD, adding photos from your parent’s life, favorite music, and family video footage (if available). In addition, an accompanying disc with other materials may be included to fit clips from family, or footage unused in the film. I like to offer this because even though not all the stories make the final cut, they would still be very important to the client and their family.
I then design and print a custom Keepsake booklet to store the DVD’s, which can then be given to family and friends and be passed on for generations.
Why This is Important
Storytelling is an opportunity for your parent to engage with their memories and celebrate their opinions and feelings about their experiences. This is important because it is something they can then give to others. Family members and friends learn new things about them and come away with a greater understanding and appreciation of why they are the way they are.
Your parents may find that people have new questions, and the conversations that come from this can bring you closer together. Looking back and then forward is a revitalizing experience, and a film can give a person the satisfaction that their reflections have been told and recorded.
The Right Time and Age
Everyone’s lives unfold at a different pace, but usually the best time for a person to participate in making a film is when they have completed an important phase and are about to move onto the next. Since we never know how long we have to live, a decision to make a film can be anytime during a life.
Of the many films I’ve made like this, I have had nothing but 100% positive reactions from family members who have seen them. I think that if they are sincere, and earnest in what they say and share, it will be a fascinating experience for your family.
I have had family members watch the film after their grandma passed on their iPod, and say it felt like they had another day with her. Other family members have told me that it strengthened their relationship with their mother or father because they understood where they were coming from in a way that was relatable.
Using the Films to Enhance Relationships with Caregivers
In the later stages of life, individuals encounter many new people who are in charge of caring for their health. We conducted research on some of the films I did previously and it showed that caregivers were more empathetic and patient with the individual after seeing the film. It dramatically altered the relationship the resident/patient had with the people taking care of them, and in some cases created friendships.
There was one case where a woman was terrified of living in an assisted living home. After showing her film, she was able to make friends with other residents and neighbors. Ultimately she became one of the most social ladies in the community.
For more information about Mythos Movies, visit us at:
All images courtesy of Houston Roderick