What You Need To Know About Filming A Funeral

Documenting a funeral for posterity is not as rare as it used to be when film and video equipment was large, expensive, and distracting. People now regularly take out their cell phones and video parts of memorial services and other somber events. Celebrities like Patty Duke and Whitney Houston had their funerals filmed and broadcast for others to see. If you want to capture the entire funeral on video, it is pretty easy and inexpensive to do. Consider following these tips to ensure that the process goes smoothly.

Get Approval

If you are not an immediate family member of the deceased, be sure to get approval from the family before planning to film the service. Next, speak to the funeral home about your plans for filming the service and ask about any guidelines or rules they may have in place when it comes to filming on the grounds. While it is typically not an issue, the funeral home manager may be able to offer advice on the particular location and let you know what to expect on the day of the memorial service.

Let Others Know the Event Will Be Filmed

Most people aren't likely to have a problem with the service being filmed as long as they are notified in advance. Let them know when you are giving details about the funeral. It's especially important to inform anyone who plans to sing or speak at the funeral. Although you don't owe people an explanation about why you are choosing to do so, it can create a greater sense of goodwill and ease if you do offer a brief explanation. You may say something simple such as, "We decided to film the funeral because loved ones who cannot make it want to be able to see the service."

Take it one step further and also include a sentence or two in the funeral program that lets people know that the service will be filmed. This should be explained in a more formal way than when you are telling people in person. You may also want to let people know where they should or should not stand or sit if they don't wish to appear on camera.

Be Discreet with Your Set-Up

Set up your camera in a way that allows you to capture the sound and then unobtrusively film the main area where people will be speaking. You may place the camera below eye level just before the stage or in the center of the aisle.  

Know When to Turn the Camera Away

Be sensitive when you are filming the funeral. It's only natural that there are going to be extreme displays of emotion at a memorial service. However, if something unusual happens or someone is especially bereft, use your better judgment on when is the right time to shut down the camera.

Finally, keep in mind that filming a memorial service can be a very loving act. Having a funeral on video can be a great way to document how many people came out to show their love and pay their final respects. While in the dizzying arena of grief, the grieving family may not fully realize all the support they have at the funeral, but it can be touching later on when they look back on the day.

For more information, contact professionals like Fletcher Funeral Home PA.