Recording and streaming funerals

Summary of recording and streaming at funerals

Option 1: Tribute video with live streaming: £190

We strongly recommend choosing this option as it delivers a fully edited video a couple of days after the service, including the arrival and procession, footage from 3 cameras, close-up views of speakers, original copies of music tracks, photos supplied by the family to show during reflection music and scrolling text of addresses, poems etc. as they are spoken. This option includes the whole of Option 2 below.

Option 2: Live stream only: £150

This option is for those who are not interested in having an edited video to watch later, though the raw live stream is recorded and will be available the same day for those who were unable to attend or had technical issues. Only the funeral service itself is included, with none of the extra features described for Option 1.

There may be times when prior commitments prevent us from offering Option 1 on a particular day.  At such times we will endeavour to meet requests for streaming only, subject to our own availability.

Synopsis

There are frequently people who are unable to attend a funeral but who would like to have done. During the Covid-19 pandemic, numbers at churches and crematoria were limited, so a demand quickly arose for services to be recorded or streamed.

Recording uses a set of video and audio recorders positioned unobtrusively such as to allow a skilfully edited video to be created after the service. This video will be of high quality and contain many features to make it a pleasing audio-visual experience, particularly at a later time when emotions are not so raw.

Streaming takes the view from a single fixed camera and broadcasts it live and as-is via the Internet to anyone who has the viewing link. The quality of the stream depends on the signal available at the location, on the phone network and whether enough microphones are positioned to catch sound clearly. Some locations are better than others but breaks in transmission do occasionally happen. The quality setting used must cater for the signal at its weakest so the result will never be as good as the separate recording.

As well as being higher quality, our fully edited tribute videos (Option 1) use multiple camera angles, closeups of speakers, onscreen scrolling text, photographs supplied by the family and original music (where available). They tell much more of the story of the day, including the arrival and procession.

Recording and streaming can be done simultaneously. 

Our 2 options are as follows:

Option 1: Tribute video with streaming – £190

This option gives you a final video, edited skilfully and sensitively, that pays tribute to your loved one and acts as a historical document for reference by yourself and by future generations. We record the service in high-definition, using 3 or more cameras located in different places and audio recording devices positioned strategically to pick up the best possible sound quality. The equipment is unattended during the service but high definition recording allows us to digitally pan, zoom and switch from one camera to another during post-production (editing). The final edited video makes use of this capability, for example to show a closer view of each speaker.

We film the arrival and the service itself and we dub onto the video the originals of the music tracks played during the service, to give better quality. During the reflection music (or elsewhere) we can display photos or even video clips supplied by the family. Where the text of a spoken tribute or address is available we can display this in a scrolling panel next to the speaker.

The final video, available one or two days later, is supplied in 720p high-definition format suitable for viewing on TV, computer or smartphone. It can be downloaded or streamed from an Internet link and we can also supply a USB stick on request. The overall length of a video varies but is generally between 30 and 60 minutes.

For those unable to attend in person who would like to watch the service live, we simultaneously provide a live stream, as described below for Option 2.

Please note: Some crematoria provide a streaming service from a camera usually located at the back of the chapel, and also make a recording of the stream available after the service. However this in no way compares to a tribute video; it is not edited and does not include elements such as the arrival and procession from outside, nor does it zoom in to speakers or include photographs, scrolling text and other elements that make a tribute video a fitting and lasting final record of a person’s life.

Feature summary:

  • High-definition video (720p)
  • Multiple camera angles, to give a more personal experience
  • The film includes the arrival and the service itself
  • Original music tracks are dubbed onto the recording
  • Includes titles and photos/video clips supplied by the family
  • Text of poems, tributes etc. can be shown on-screen while they are being spoken
  • Close-up views of speakers using digital pan & zoom
  • The finished video is available a couple of days after the service
  • Editing is done sensitively and ethically
  • Downloadable for permanent keeping
  • A family legacy document
  • Streaming included

Option cost: £190 + supplements where applicable

Option 2: Streaming only – £150

This option uses a live streaming service to deliver video of the funeral service to any number of visitors, anywhere in the world. The address of the stream will be supplied to the family in good time before the service; they can then forward it to everyone they would like to invite.

The system relies on an adequate mobile phone signal. Since crematoria and churches are often in places where the connection is poor, we restrict the video quality in order to help ensure reliability. Our experience shows that breaks in transmission are not uncommon.

Our camera is located at a position where it can see the lectern(s) and the coffin on trestles or the catafalque. The camera is unattended during the service so we are unable to change the view, e.g. to zoom in to a speaker.

A recording of the video stream, trimmed to show just the service, will be available for viewing or download later the same day. This does not compare to the Option 1 fully edited tribute video, which includes the arrival and procession and uses multiple camera angles, closeups of speakers, photographs, scrolling text and original music (where available).

Advantages:

  • Available live as the service runs
  • A recording of the stream will be available later the same day

Disadvantages:

  • Low-definition TV-quality video (360p) to help ensure results even if the signal is poor
  • No guarantee of a stream, e.g. in adverse weather conditions
  • The stream may be subject to network drop-outs
  • A single fixed camera position, usually at some distance
  • No coverage of the arrival or procession
  • Music will be of limited quality

Option cost: £150 + supplements where applicable

Supplementary costs

We are based in North Leeds and normally expect to provide our services in this area. The majority of funerals are held at one of the three local crematoria: Cottingley, Lawnswood and Rawdon. For these the basic fees above apply.

For ceremonies held at more distant crematoria, churches or burial grounds (more than 10 miles away from Leeds 7) or where dual locations (church + graveside) are requested we add a supplement to cover the additional time and distance.

General notes

At a new and unfamiliar location it can be quite complex to decide what equipment will be needed and where to place it. In such cases we will need to make a pre-visit several days before the service. Please enquire to see if your chosen location is one we know.

If the location has a public address system this must be turned on during our pre-visit so we can assess microphone positions etc. It is also important for us to know where people will stand to deliver addresses. If they move too far away from these positions it may be hard to hear them unless they are given a wireless microphone to speak into. We will be happy to discuss all these issues to help deliver exactly what you need.