phone free: 0800 27 27 88 | email:

Family Histories

Videos (click to play)


Living Family Histories Ltd was created four years ago with the aim of recording the stories of New Zealanders and their families. Our goal was to offer high quality family history documentaries at prices within the reach of everyone.

Family History Documentaries are created using the same close attention to the client's requirements as we do for our corporate and organisation clients. Each 60 minutes of documentary takes approximately 100 hours to produce.

Most of our clients book histories narrated by one or more of their parents usually the most senior members of their family. The relatively small cost involved is often shared by family members. The standard run is 20 copies of the DVD.

As one recent client said to us...

"A documentary about my family and it's history is the greatest legacy I will leave behind me."

Our process...
Following a discussion with the family on what form they would like the documentary to take, we provide a list of 'thought starters' and suggest the family get together any material which could be useful - family photos, old home movies, a family tree, etc.

Families often treat the documentary as a family project and all pitch in to provide ideas and material for the documentary.

The interviewee is often a respected senior family member chosen for their knowledge of previous generations of the family. 

We follow with a
pre-filming interview to run through exactly what areas the family would like to cover and decide on a venue or venues for filming.

Filming generally takes place over
2 or 3 sessions. The main interviews usually take place in the interviewee's own home, where they tend to be more relaxed and so they can better control the time and place. Often people also wish to visit important family places - places of business, old family homes and surroundings, etc - and we often record the associated memories of people at these sites.

We encourage families to collect a
s many photos as they can from the greater family and we scan these and note the names of the personalities and places in the photos.  We also scan important family documents - property plans, etc.

The whole process often takes
2 to 3 months because of the time it takes for families to get all their material together.  
We are very relaxed about this time period as we realise that once a family begins on this journey, they often think of other elements they'd like to include. The making of a documentary is often a 'one-off' event and we believe it's important that the family is totally involved and we include everything they'd like if at all possible.


Prices start from... 

$1000 for 5 copies of a
45 minute DVD - which includes a 1-2 hour recording session, one extra off-location 'shoot', up to 60 family photos, titles, music; to

$2500 for 20 copies of a
70 to 90 minute DVD in full presentation cases - including up to 3 filming sessions; up to 150 family photos; a personalised photobook of favourite family photos; excerpts of old family movies.

We can provide many optional extras to your DVD -
genealogy charts ( family trees) complete with photos; genealogical research; a 'film premiere' evening for the whole family; a family group photograph to mark the occasion; a script with a professional voiceover commentary; archival footage sourced from the NZ Film Archives; a 'celebrity' interviewer; a written bound transcript of the complete interviews (to form part of a family history book, for instance); and a family history booklet complete with photos to go with the DVD as part of a package.  Or anything else you'd like, that we haven't listed here - just ask.

We can also
convert your old family movies or VCR tapes onto DVDs or transfer your audio tapes onto CD discs for a modest charge.

Travel outside of the greater Auckland area may have to be charged and, if so, it will be modest and at cost price. 

Customer feedback
"We compliment your team for turning a filming session into blissful fun !"(R.B.)
"I watched the DVD at the weekend and it is fantastic. You have done a wonderful job, thanks so much." (R.I.)
"Thanks again for all of your work. It is an awesome thing to have done. This is obviously your passion and your forte and it shines through." (M.R.)
"Thank you Peter, it's absolutely excellent. I'm very, very pleased." ( R.R.)

Contact us now

Our producer Peter Michel was born at Devonport in Auckland, he is a 6th generation Kiwi of English, Scottish, U.S., Australian Royalty (i.e. convict), Ngapuhi, Irish and Swiss descent and his family has lived in New Zealand since 1830. He is a member of the NZ Society of Genealogists, is a certified Adult Educator and an experienced researcher.  

Please contact Peter now on freephone 0800 27 27 88to discuss your family project, or email us here at  and ask us to contact you.

We’d love to discuss your family project with you and can promise we can tailor a documentary to suit your needs and budget.