I couldn’t believe my ears. My best friend and I were enjoying our favorite reality TV guilty pleasure, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, when Khloé made a comment to her mom that floored me.
“Why would we hire some random videographer to do this for MJ?!”–Khloé on “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” (Season 12, Episode 20)
Despite being called “random,” I was elated. Khloé is my favorite personality from the Kardashian family, and she just acknowledged me!
My Brief Encounter with Kardashian Royalty
It was less than a year prior to the airing of that episode when I approached MJ, the beloved grandmother of the Kardashians. As someone who lives in San Diego, I had to try meeting her after learning she owned a children’s clothing boutique in the nearby surf town of La Jolla, CA.
Driving to her store, I felt a mix of nervousness and skepticism that I would get to meet MJ herself. You can imagine my surprise when I entered to find her inside the store, sorting a circular clothing rack.
During my visit, I offered to donate a legacy video interview to MJ and her family, but ultimately, Kris decided to make the whole experience more of a family affair. I can’t blame her. With access to a reality TV production crew, the Kardashians have the resources to easily knock out a professionally produced legacy video shoot on their own. I’m just happy that I was able to bring the idea to their attention.
How the Kardashians Did It Right
Watching the 2016 episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, it was touching to see how respectfully the entire family treated the interview process. In their list of questions, they combined a fun mix of both serious and playful questions: “When were you born?” is spiced up with more intriguing questions like, “When was your first kiss?”
Instead of making the interview a dry list of dates and events, I always encourage people to do the same as the Kardashians and have fun with it. Navigate the questions toward a colorful retelling of the most meaningful and educational moments from a person’s life, even if it means revisiting some difficult memories.
For me, mining that gold—the life lessons that the subject may not have even had a chance to reflect on before that moment—is the real reason for producing a legacy video.
For anyone who hasn’t seen the TV episode, during the interview with MJ, Kris breaks down when her mom turns the tables on her and asks the same question to Kris: “What is your biggest fear?” While it be may difficult at times, serving as interviewer is a powerful act of love that I highly recommend.
The Kardashians set up a live video feed during the interview, which I think is a brilliant idea. This creative camera setup gave all of MJ’s granddaughters a chance to listen in until it was their turn to be the interviewer.
After giving the gift of a legacy video to her mom, MJ, it was Kris Jenner’s turn for the spotlight. Scott Disick filled in as interviewer a couple years later to capture a taste of the most memorable moments from Kris’ past.
How You Can Get Started with Your Own Legacy Video
If a legacy video is a gift you’d like to give one of your own loved ones, my biggest recommendation is this: don’t wait. Like Nike would say, just do it! There’s no guarantees how much time we’ll get to enjoy such an intimate moment with our loved ones. But if you’re unsure how to start, I created a how-to guide to help walk anyone through the steps of being the interviewer and documentarian.
Are you nervous about the technical aspects of video production? If that’s the case, a local production company that specializes in documentary-style videos can help out. Just ask to see a demo of their past work so you know that their style matches up with what you’re looking for.
Having a production crew on hand to help out will give you the option to step in as interviewer like they did on the Kardashians, or just relax and watch from the sidelines. No matter which route you take, I’m confident that once you start the process it will be an experience you both treasure.
inal Word of Advice
While the amazing homes and wardrobes of the Kardashians may not be in everyone’s budget, the do-it-yourself gift of a legacy video is something that is available to all of us. Just don’t forget to have the tissues ready!