Tired of sending the same-old cards at Christmas time? This year, have Reel Stories Video create a personalized Holiday Greeting. Pick a few special photos from the past 12 months, add a personal message, and we will add our magic and accompany it all with your favorite carol. Get ready for a very Merry Christmas knowing your good wishes will be unique and treasured by family and friends long after the Holidays are over.

Phone:  (630) 222-7618
email:  info@reelstoriesvideo.com


Are your videos custom-designed for each client?

Reel Stories Video creates each show with the customer’s wishes in mind. Even when using pre-designed templates and online photo albums, each picture is considered and placed and synched to your personally-chosen music to maximize the impact of the show. We do not use software that automatically takes photos and converts them to DVD slideshow format with standard transitions between each slide.

How does the process work?

  1. Determine the theme and type of show you would like
  2. Think about who your audience will be
  3. Choose which package you want
  4. Gather and organize all your materials (paper photos, digital images, video clips, printed materials)
  5. Select and organize your music
  6. Complete the online form on the Orders page
  7. Send us your materials (paper photos, digital images, video clips, printed materials, and music files)
  8. We create your one-of-a-kind video, arrange a preview prior to production and produce your DVD
  9. We ship the completed DVD back to you along with all the materials you originally sent us
  10. Enjoy the show!

For detailed information, see the Getting Started page.

How many photos do I need, and how long will my show be?

Use the following guidelines to help figure out your show needs:

  • 50 photos will produce a 6 to 8 minute show
  • 100 photos will produce an 8 to 12 minute show
  • 200 photos will produce a 17 to 23 minute show
  • 300 photos will produce a 26-34 minute show

These guidelines are approximate. The total show length will depend on many factors, including the level of customization, music selections, and addition of video clips.

What if I don't know what I want?

Reel Stories Video will work with you to determine any details you are unsure about. With some general information, basic guidelines, and a little creative license, we can put together the frameworks of a show. After review and discussion with you, we can add or subtract photos and make changes to the music or flow to get your video where you want it to be.

How much does it cost?

Unlike other companies, who charge extra for many features such as titles, captions, and chapter dividers, our pricing is much more inclusive. Our basic packages are less expensive than most of our competition, and we offer options to fit every budget. Detailed costs can be found on the Packages and Pricing page.

Is a deposit required?

A deposit of 50% is required prior to starting any video production. Balance of payment is due prior to shipping your order back to you.

What forms of payment do yo accept?

Reel Stories Video accepts money orders, personal checks, or payments through PayPal. Most customers prefer PayPal as a convenient option because you are able to pay with a credit card and without opening a PayPal account. If paying by check, payment must clear the bank before production will begin or final orders will ship.

What are the shipping and handling fees?

Standard shipping is included with any slideshow package purchase to addresses within the continental U.S.  Please Contact Us to obtain shipping and handling rates for International orders, or for priority shipping costs.

Why should I hire a professional company? Can't I produce my own slideshows?

Most computers today come with basic software capable of creating a digital video slideshow or photo montage of some type. However, to produce the quality of production that you will receive from us, you would need to invest a lot of time and expense that you may not wish to undertake. A 100 photo show can typically take over 50 hours to produce. In addition, most free or inexpensive programs have limited features, few styles and transitions, and offer no picture movement or music synching.

You may be willing to purchase software designed to produce slideshows, but decent software to accomplish this task can be very expensive. In addition to the price, it will take many hours of training to produce even the most basic videos. Even with the investment of a lot of time, money, and patience, you are much less likely to get a polished, professional-looking product, just as an amateur with an expensive camera cannot give you the quality of a professional photographer with years of training.

How long will it take for my order to be completed?

It will take an average of 7-10 business days to produce your show after we receive all your photos and necessary information. This does not include shipping time for the finished order. Completion time depends on the schedule of current orders, the package you choose and the complexity of the order. Larger orders, those with more customization, or requiring photo scanning, cropping, or restoration require more time. You will be notified of the expected delivery date before any deposits are accepted. If you need rush service, please let us know before placing your order and we will do everything we can to process the request. Additional fees may apply.

Basic funeral memorial videos will automatically be rushed (average 24-48 hour turn-around time after receiving photos) at no extra charge.

What size photos can I send?

We can work with photos or other printed materials up to 8x10" in size.

Can my old black and white photographs be transferred to DVD?

Absolutely! We recommend preserving all of your old photos in a Reel Stories Video format. We have many themes and styles to make the most of your black and white photographs. See our Family History example on the Sample Videos page.

Can I send you digital photos?

Yes. Sending your files in a digital format will save us time and you money. Photos can be burned onto a CD and sent to us or the files can be e-mailed. Digital photo file names should be renamed to the photo sequence number as you want them to appear in your show (ex. 001.jpg, 002.jpg, etc.).

If I send digital photos, which format do you prefer?

It is best to send your digital photos in .jpg format, but we are also able to accept other graphic formats, such as .gif, .tiff, .bmp and .eps.

If you scan your own images, they should be at the highest resolution possible. Generally, the dpi (dots per inch) should be no less than 600.

Photos taken with a digital camera with the image resolution or file size set to low may be grainy in the video.

It may be important to you to include a photo or photos in the DVD even though they may not be of high quality or in the best condition. We will do our best to include any photos/images that you want regardless of the condition of the material, however Reel Stories Video performs only basic photo enhancement. The better the quality of the photos and other materials you supply to us, the better the quality of the DVD will be. We will let you know in advance if a photo is too badly damaged to be used.

Can I have copies of the photo files that you have digitally scanned for my show?

Yes!  A DVD of your scanned photos is included at no extra cost in every Reel Stories Video package.

Can I send photos to you still in their frames or albums?

Please remove all photos from the frames before you send them.

If you have photographs or other mementos in albums or scrapbooks and they can be removed without damage, please do so. Often, the album and photos are so old that trying to remove the photos for scanning may damage them. If this is the case, you may send us the entire book. Depending on the condition of the album and the pictures, we can scan the photos while they're in the album. This may result slightly less-clear images. If you do send an entire album, please mark which photos/items you want included in the show with sticky notes. Please do not put any notes or markings directly on the photos.

Will you digitally crop my photos?

We will crop photos, if necessary, for artistic or practical purposes. For example, your photo may be cropped from portrait to landscape if the slide style is more appropriate, or if a picture needs to be zoomed-in to remove unwanted background images. If a photo does need to be cropped, a copy will be made and the original image will remain untouched.

Can you fix my damaged photos?

Unless they're digital, most people have had their photos lying around either loose or in albums for a long time, so it's not unusual for photos to be old, damaged, faded, or torn. We will do what we can to improve the quality as much as possible, but Reel Stories Video does not offer professional photo restoration services. We are able to digitally correct most minor flaws such as red-eye reduction, slight blurriness, color/contrast, and lighting problems. In addition, digital cropping may be able to remove bent or torn corners, fingerprints, or other imperfections as long as they do not appear on the subject of the photo. The quality of the corrected image will, of course, depend on the severity of damage to the original photo.

If your photos have suffered severe damage, we strongly recommend that you consult a professional photo restoration company prior to submitting your photos for insertion in your show. These services can be located through your local Better Business Bureau or at www.angieslist.com.

Can you work with other print materials besides photos?

If you have other things you'd like in the DVD, we would be happy to include them. Just about anything printed can be scanned and included. Some examples are invitations, announcements, birth certificates, cards and letters, diplomas, newspaper articles, artwork, and licenses. If it's printed, we can include it! Scan it yourself, in the highest resolution possible, or send it to us and we will scan it for you.

Can you incorporate video clips?

Yes! Short video clips add a nice addition to a DVD slideshow. You will need to provide us with the file in .AVI, .MOV, MPG, or .MPEG format, along with instructions on where it is to be used. Clips under 2 minutes are usually most effective in the overall video show. Please do not exceed 5 minutes in duration per clip. Unlike many of our competitors, a limited number of video clips are included in each custom package at no additional charge. Video clips cannot be used in premade templates or online photo albums.

Can I add voice messages to the video production?

Yes. You will need to provide us with the recording and instructions on how and where to use it. Audio files need to be saved in either .MP3 or .WAV format.

What format will my completed show be in?

Each Reel Stories Video package includes a DVD that can be watched on a standard DVD player or a computer equipped with a DVD-ROM drive. All of our DVDs are produced using the DVD-R format. They are the highest-quality recordable discs available, are compatible with over 95% of DVD players, and are tested on multiple players before shipping to you. We can also produce DVD+R discs, which play on some older machines. If your DVD does not play on your player, we will do everything we can to give you a solution that will work. We do not offer refunds for player incompatibility, so please check your VCR manual or go to www.videohelp.com/dvdplayers for information on your player's supported formats.

Do you offer any other format choices?

In addition to DVD, Reel Stories Video is able to publish your show in a variety of other formats. Do you prefer High Definition Blu-Ray disc? Would you like a file that can be played on computers, mobile phones and tablets, PDAs, or gaming consoles? Or would you prefer a web format to stream your video on Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, SmugMug, or to add to your blog or website?

Please note that, though we offer over 40 different publishing formats, only the DVD-R is included standard in every package. Depending on the time and cost to produce certain media, additional charges may apply for other formats. Please Contact Us with your specific requests prior to placing your order.

What happens if I lose my DVD or it gets damaged?

Reel Stories Video stores copies of all files for a minimum of one year. After that time, files will be purged as necessary for space purposes. If your DVD was made within one year, we will be able to make a replacement DVD for you. The charge for additional copies can be found on the Packages and Pricing page. If, after one year, you want to add onto the project or want a copy, the original may not be available.

Can I create sections in a DVD so I can watch selected sections?

Yes, we can create a menu that points to individual sections of the DVD. You can select the section that you want to watch, and play to watch it.

Where do you get the music for my show?

Music is a key factor in creating the right mood for your video. Finding the best songs and music for DVD slideshows is our specialty. Simply tell us the type of music you like, and we will offer suggestions for songs that will fit the theme and tempo of your show. We time each music track to match every frame of your show for the best visual effects possible. You may provide the music, or we can obtain it for you.

Copyright laws regarding music are tough and are enforced. In general, this means that you must own the song in order to use it, and places limitations in terms of how you may use the song. Reel Stories Video only obtains music legally, and requires that customers do the same. If you provide us with music, we can accept and use only legally-purchased CDs or you must confirm that you have purchased the song(s) from an online music store such as iTunes or Amazon MP3. All music you send us will be returned to you when the DVD is completed. When we provide the music, we purchase the music only from legal, legitimate internet sites.

Our DVDs are created for private use only. We produce them for you with the understanding that they are not intended for public presentation, you will not charge a fee for people to view them, and they will not be duplicated or used for anything other than your own private use.

If you plan on publishing your video on a public website or it will be used for corporate or other commercial use, we can use royalty-free music in your show. We can purchase this for you, or provide a list of websites that offer appropriate slideshow music.

What is the best way to send you my photos, music, and materials?

Digital Photos & Video:  If your pictures and/or video are digital, they can be burned onto a CD and mailed to us. If you're not sure how to get your digital pictures onto a CD, we will be happy to assist you. Cardboard CD mailers can be purchased at any office supply store.

Printed Photos:  Printed photos should be sent to us in a photo mailer, which can be purchased at any office supply store or the Post Office. It's critical that photos do not get bent during in transit.

Other Printed Materials:  Other printed materials like newspaper articles, invitations, etc., should be placed in an envelope between heavy cardboard sheets to prevent damage. A photo mailer will also work for these materials.

We know the materials you send us are very personal and are important to you. Therefore, in general, we strongly suggest that all materials be sent using a service that provides a way to track packages and confirm delivery. Using the regular mail service is NOT recommended. For normal orders, the Post Office has several low-cost services that provide tracking capabilities and delivery confirmations. If you have requested rush service, you should use an overnight service like FedEx, DHL or USPS Express Mail.

Reel Stories Video is not responsible for items that are lost in transit or arrive damaged. It is your responsibility to ensure that all materials are properly packaged to arrive safely and in a timely manner. We will notify you when the materials have been received.

All materials should be sent to:

Reel Stories Video
1222 Parkside Drive
Sugar Grove, IL  60554

lease see the Getting Started page for information on preparing and organizing your photos before sending them.

Will all of my original materials be returned to me?

Anything sent to us (photos, slides, paper media, music CDs, photo CDs, etc.) will be returned to you with your completed order. We do not keep or discard anything which is sent to us by you, and we handle your possessions with the greatest of care at all times.

Will you keep a copy of my show?

Reel Stories Video will
keep the master of your DVD and all project files for a period of 12 months, for purposes of re-ordering or adding to the project.

Can I order additional copies of my DVD?

Yes, at the time of purchase you can order additional copies of your DVD. In addition, Reel Stories Video will keep your project on file for a period of 12 months and you may re-order any time during that period. You can even send your family and friends to our website to order copies for themselves! Please see the Packages and Pricing page for costs involved.

Can I review my show before you produce and ship it?

Yes. Once your show is complete, we will post your show on a private, password-protected page for you to preview. Only after you are totally satisfied and tell us it's ready to burn, will the final copy be produced and sent.

Can corrections be made after I approve my show?

We offer one free online review of your show before it is finalized. You can make minor adjustments after that, as long as the final copy has not yet been produced.

If I review my show and don't like it, can I get a refund?

We want you to be thrilled with your DVD, and we will do everything we can to make sure you are. But due to the extensive time, labor and materials involved, Reel Stories Video does not offer refunds. Before beginning any project, we will make sure we have a full understanding of what you have in mind for the finished product. Of course, any errors of ours, such as spelling mistakes or missing images, which are discovered after production, will be corrected at no charge.

Do you offer gift certificates?

Yes, Reel Stories Videos make great gifts for almost any occasion! Please visit the Orders page for information on purchasing gift certificates.

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