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How to create a remembrance video

Funeral tribute videos are a wonderful way to share memories of your loved one with family and friends. A funeral slideshow and memorial video can be screened prior or during a funeral service, or wake, to celebrate the life of the deceased. Photographs and film footage can be combined with favourite songs and music to create a vivid and enjoyable focus for the recollection of happy memories.

If you like the idea of creating a funeral memorial video, but you are unsure of where to begin, we offer this guide to assist you.

Content for the video

Photographs

Photographs will form the foundation of your memorial slideshow. Aim for a selection of approximately 25 -30 photos featuring your loved one at various life stages and including a range of family and friends.

Arrange the photographs in chronological order, this will help you to ascertain if there are any gaps or imbalances in your selection.

Try to avoid using photos of a large group of people, and focus more on the photos where your loved one is clearly featured.

Memorabilia

Consider taking photographs of special memorabilia. Collections of trophies, artworks, records, costumes or sporting paraphernalia photograph well and help to create a unique and personal tribute.

Videos

You might like to incorporate brief video reflections from family and friends, particularly those who are unable to attend the funeral.

Quotes, poems and prayers

Meaningful quotes, favourite poems or comforting prayers can be incorporated into the funeral video. This can provide the congregation with quiet time to listen to music, read the special words and reflect on the life of the deceased. Our Funeral Planning Guide includes an extensive variety of quotes, poems and prayers to help you make a meaningful selection.

A Soundtrack for the Video

When considering the music you’d like to include in the funeral memorial video, think about the favourite songs of the deceased. Try to remember those songs that make you think of that person, or perhaps songs which articulate the messages you’d like to convey.

Arrange the order of the songs to match the order of the photographs, as it is very evocative when the sounds of the music and the events of a life are depicted in alignment.

The songs and hymns listed in our Funeral Planning Guide are there to help guide your thinking.

When putting everything together you should aim for the video to be around 3 -5 minutes, the length of 1 or 2 songs. This is the optimal length of time for people to view and enjoy when screened as part of the funeral service.

Video Tools to Help Pull it all together

Once you have collated a range of photographs, and chosen the accompanying music, you are ready to combine the two and create a remembrance video. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Tools you may already have on your computer

If you have a Mac, iPhone or iPad you can use iMovie to create a simple funeral slide show.

A selection of photographs and quotes can be scanned into your computer and pasted onto the slides in these programmes to create a simple display.

In our experience, most funeral home chapels will require the video as a DVD or digital video file. Due to this, we do not recommend using PowerPoint or Keynote, unless it is transferred into the appropriate DVD format.

  1. Video Apps – Free and Paid

There are numerous apps available to make slideshow tributes on your iPhone, iPad, Mac or PC. Most apps allow you to have a little play around free of charge, this means you need only purchase the app that you find most user-friendly. For example on Apple Mac’s they have iMovie in their standard software package, and on PC’s they have Windows Movie Maker.

You might like to experiment with apps including MakeMyMovie, PicFlow or Animoto. A search of the App Store will reveal the many options available. Be sure to read the reviews and ratings of slideshow apps before making a purchase.

  1. Call on the professionals

If your levels of confidence, expertise and time are limited you might like to consider engaging the services of a professional video production company. At Bethel Funerals, we can make a recommendation for organisations that can assist in creating a remembrance video for your loved one.

Organisations such as Looking Glass Studios are examples of businesses that specialise in turning your selection of photos and songs into a DVD montage and memorial slideshow.

Supplying Video to Funeral Director

Once the video or slideshow is completed you will need to supply the final version to the Funeral Director or to the Cemetery / Crematorium Chapel. Most funeral homes will supply some form of audiovisual equipment to enable remembrance slideshows and videos to be shown with ease. At Bethel Funerals, we are fully equipped with multimedia presentation facilities as well as live webcasting to cater for any needs. You can view our venue galleries here.

Be sure to ask the funeral director how they would like to receive the file, whether it is by DVD, email, or by supplying a USB. Also remember to ask which file format is preferred, whether it be; MP4, MPG, WMV, AVI, MOV.

Make sure you test your video at the Funeral Chapel or Cemetery / Crematorium before the day of the funeral. It is advised to sort out any technical issues ahead of time rather than be disappointed on the day if your hard work in preparing the video cannot be shown.

Sharing

If you have planned refreshments or a wake after the service it is a good idea to have the video, or a longer version, playing on the screen in the venue if it has the facilities. Sharing the video this way allows guests to have more time to watch and enjoy the photos presented.

It should be possible for you to make copies of the funeral video tribute on DVDs or USB sticks. After the funeral, you might wish to share copies of the remembrance video with close friends and family, especially those who were unable to attend on the day. Bethel can also arrange to have the video shared via their online memorial site.

If you are thinking of creating a memorial video for your loved one, please refer to our Funeral Planning Guide for helpful tips and suggestions of things you might like to include. For assistance in planning the eulogy check out our eulogy planning guide for poems, quotes and a eulogy template to help you complete the task.

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