Living an Uncommon Life: Documenting Stories with Positive Emissions

Welcome to the Uncommon Wealth Podcast, where we introduce you to people who are living uncommonly and provide tools and strategies for building wealth and pursuing an uncommon path. In this episode, we have a special guest, Brittany Overton, the founder of Positive Emissions, a company that creates life documentaries to capture and preserve the stories of loved ones. Brittany’s unique approach to documenting personal histories has gained attention for its ability to bring the past to the future and keep memories alive.

Brittany’s journey began when she was just 17 years old, undergoing radiation therapy for a tumor on her optic nerve. This experience sparked her interest in the field of cancer treatment and led her to become a radiation therapist. Over the course of 15 years, Brittany witnessed the struggles and triumphs of her patients, realizing the importance of storytelling and preserving memories. She also had a personal experience with the fragility of life when her husband, Blake, battled a rare blood disorder and underwent intensive treatment.

It was during this time that Brittany had an “AHA” moment while sitting with her grandfather in the hospital. She recorded a conversation with him, capturing his stories and wisdom. This experience made her realize the value of preserving the stories of loved ones while they are still here. Inspired by this realization, Brittany decided to start filming life documentaries, focusing on capturing the milestones and experiences that shape a person’s life.

Positive Emissions offers a unique service that is uncommon in the Midwest. Brittany’s documentaries go beyond traditional family photos and videos by creating a comprehensive narrative that encompasses a person’s entire life. The process begins with a conversation with the loved one, where Brittany asks questions and encourages them to share their stories. She also incorporates personal photos, digitized home videos, and historical footage to create a rich and meaningful documentary.

Pricing for these documentaries can be challenging, as the value they hold is often realized after a loved one has passed away. Brittany compares her services to that of a wedding videographer, who can charge upwards of $5,000 for a single day of coverage. However, she aims to make her documentaries more accessible and affordable for families, allowing multiple family members to contribute and share in the cost.

The process of creating a life documentary begins with expressing the importance of capturing a loved one’s stories and memories. Brittany then meets with the family to get to know the loved one and their personal history. This helps create a comfortable and familiar environment for the filming process, often taking place in the loved one’s home. The interview itself lasts about three hours, during which Brittany asks a series of questions and encourages the loved one to share their experiences and insights. After filming, Brittany spends approximately 40 to 50 hours editing the documentary, incorporating personal photos, videos, and additional footage to create a cohesive and engaging narrative.

One of the most significant aspects of Positive Emissions’ work is the impact it has on families. The documentaries serve as a lasting legacy, preserving the stories and wisdom of loved ones for future generations. They provide an opportunity for families to connect with their history, learn from their ancestors, and gain a deeper understanding of their own identity. The documentaries also offer a sense of comfort and healing, especially when a loved one has passed away. They become a cherished keepsake, allowing families to revisit and relive the memories and stories of their loved ones.

Brittany’s journey to create Positive Emissions has not been without its challenges. Leaving behind a stable career and venturing into the unknown required faith and perseverance. She faced doubts and skepticism from some family members and colleagues, but her husband, Blake, has been her biggest cheerleader and source of support. Brittany’s faith has also played a significant role in her journey, guiding her through the uncertainties and giving her the strength to continue pursuing her passion.

In conclusion, Positive Emissions is a testament to the power of storytelling and the importance of preserving personal histories. Brittany Overton’s dedication to capturing and documenting the life stories of loved ones is truly uncommon. Through her documentaries, she provides families with a priceless gift that will be cherished for generations to come. The impact of Positive Emissions extends beyond the individual stories; it strengthens family bonds, fosters a sense of identity, and offers comfort and healing. As Brittany continues on her journey, she hopes to bring the power of life documentaries to more families in the Midwest and beyond, ensuring that no library burns down when a loved one passes away.

The future outlook for Positive Emissions is promising, as more people recognize the value of preserving personal histories. As the company grows, Brittany aims to refine her pricing structure to make her services more accessible to a wider range of families. She also plans to expand her reach and bring the power of life documentaries to more communities. With each documentary created, Positive Emissions leaves a lasting impact, reminding us of the importance of our stories and the legacy we leave behind.