What Makes a Good Video?

A funeral home owner and customer once told me once that anyone can sell caskets but not everyone can provide great funeral service. He knows that’s what separates him from his competitors. The same holds true for a Tribute Video. Most anyone can do a slide show but not everyone can create a great Tribute Video.

For the sake of time, I won’t get into the specifics of each but I’d like to share with you a few tips on what makes a great Tribute Video. First, like a great service you have to be committed to the process and be willing to put thought and time into it. In other words, like a great service, you do everything with a purpose in mind.

So, first and foremost, you want family photos, film or video that represent the life of the passed loved one. From birth and childhood, to growing up and adulthood - encourage families to use those impactful photos.

Next, make sure the photos are of good quality. If they have stains, tears or dust, do what you can to get them repaired. Remember each photo has its own story to tell and you want to make sure there are no distractions.

A funeral director once told me that he likens his Tribute Videos in length to that of an Obituary. I agree. Highlight special moments, people and places in a person’s life but don’t cover everything. Set a general overall length that works for your funeral home.

Pace is a very important element in quality Tribute Video. The beginning should set the right mood; each photo should be around 7 to 9 seconds in length so that the viewer can reflect on the people, faces and emotion that’s presented; and the end should be done in a sensitive and touching fashion. In addition, subtle but intentional zooms and pans can help the viewer understand the story behind each photo.

When it comes to number of photos, determine what works for your funeral home. Suggest anywhere from 17 to 40 photos; and while family requests vary widely explain to them that too many photos can become overwhelming for viewers.

When selecting the appropriate music, be sure it’s not distracting; contemporary music with lyrics can be overbearing. Let the photos be the focus while the music choice complements and supports the mood.

Finally, the order of the photos is vitally important. It’s so much more comforting to watch a Tribute Video when it’s designed with logic – that is, chronologically and/or in categories such as school, family gatherings or traveling.

Remember, the true value of a well done Tribute Video: it honors and celebrates the life of a loved one who made a difference in the lives around him or her; it preserves their memory for future generations; and it is an incredible means of support in the healing process of those still grieving.

Like a service, you only get one chance to do this right. So why not be that funeral home who provides each family a great Tribute Video that enhances their funeral home experience?

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