Family, Legacy and Biography Videos

As a documentary filmmaker and video journalist, I've learned that everyone truly does have a story -- and an interesting one at that -- if told in the right way.  I can help you tell a story.  I would like the opportunity to make a video and photo package to fit your subject and your budget. 

  • Do you have a family member you would like to see featured in a documentary film? Perhaps you'd like to have a tribute film to be shown at an anniversary, retirement, or recognition event.

  • Is there a special place, such as a family home, farm, cabin or business, that has a story to tell? Using photos, home movies, and video interviews, I'll make a film that will preserve the history of this place.

  • Would you like a "highlight" documentary made of an event - a birthday, graduation party, retirement party, wedding, religious ceremony or family reunion? Keep in mind, these videos can be as much about capturing the images and voices of the guests at the event as they are about the main subject.

Send me an email at and let's talk about your idea for a film. I can also scan your old photos and convert to digital files as well as transfer your old VHS, 8mm and Hi-8 tapes to digital format. Visit my "Convert photos and videos" page for more info about that service.

View some of my family and biography videos

Scroll down this page to see some of the videos I've done about people.  You'll see that there are a variety of ways to tell someone's story. Whether you take the time to watch all of these videos, or just look at clips from each one, I hope you get a sense for my filmmaking style and think about ways I could use my skills to make a family or biographical video for you.


Gratefulness: Madeline Titus

Here's a short film I made about Madeline Titus, my daughter's piano teacher. It was shown at the Minnesota Historical Society's "Greatest Generation Film Festival" in 2008.  Madeline died before the film was was finished. Her family was grateful to have this video made during the last year of her long life. (10 min.)



The Letter

In October of 2009 I met Casey Gauntt by chance at a small town festival in West Virginia.  He told me his heart-wrenching -- and ultimately hopeful -- story of how he, his father, and his son will forever be connected by the little town of Coalwood, WV.  Casey's incredible story of unlikely encounters and reconnected relationships became a short film called "The Letter".  Casey and his family were very pleased with the film.  

"Steve presented our family with this incredible gift: his film The Letter.  I really can’t believe he did it.  This isn’t the easiest of subject matters—understatement—and this wasn’t simply a brief brush—in and out— with our family and our pain.  Steve took the leap from the high-dive and became completely submerged with us in our new reality for over eighteen months."  (10 min.)

After watching this video, please visit the Gauntt family's website dedicated to one of the key subjects of the story.  It's called "Write Me Something Beautiful" and it's a beautiful and inspiring website.



Grace Corrigan keeps daughter Christa McAuliffe's mission alive

Grace Corrigan lived through a horrible tragedy that is difficult to imagine.  On January 28, 1986, she and her husband watched as the spacecraft that was to carry her daughter Christa McAuliffe into space, exploded shortly after launch, killing all aboard.  It was broadcast live on national TV and the world watched with her in disbelief and shock.

I met Grace in 2007, during an unlikely set of circumstances with a Minneapolis teachers group.  I was lucky to spend many hours and days in her company of the next few years. She is an amazing woman. I made this video for on the 25th anniversary of the Challenger disaster. 



Reluctant Dissent:  The James P. Shannon Story

Dr. James P. Shannon was a high-profile young Bishop in 1968 -- a national media spokesman for the Catholic Church in the U.S. Many thought he was on the fast track to a high-level job at the Vatican -- until Pope Paul VI issued his "Humanae Vitae" encyclical, which outlawed all types of birth control for Catholics. Shannon felt he could not, in good conscious, counsel parishioners about this subject if he disagreed with the official position of the Church.

Rich Cornell and I received honorable mention at the 2009 "1968 Project" Film Festival.



An Actor's Life: Bob Davis

Here's a biographical documentary I did about Bob Davis, a longtime actor at the esteemed Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.  It originally ran as a 3-part series in MinnPost, an online news site in the Twin Cities. (20 min.)



KALPULLI:  Susana DeLeon's Learning Community

This is a tribute video about Susana DeLeon, a Minneapolis attorney who leads the Ketzal Coatlicue Aztec Dance group.  Susana is a community leader and activist who believes she can help build a strong community through the artistic, athletic, and spiritual Danza Azteca.  (7 min.)


If you're interested in finding out more about what I can do for you, your family, your organization or business, email me at and let's talk.  Because I'm a one-man band, I can keep costs low, while keeping creativity, flexibility and quality high. We can set up a free initial consultation, either in person or by phone. After we talk about the subject of your video along with your needs and wants, I'll quote you some prices.  I look forward to working for you.

- Steve Date


Steve Date Video and Photography

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