Live Streaming a Private Funeral (part 2)

Live Streaming a Private Funeral (part 2) – Finding the right Videographer

This is Part 2 of the article from Live Streaming A Private Funeral I wrote from last month.

As a Bay Area professional videographer who has live streamed many important events (including funerals), I thought I’d give some key points to help you or your loved ones choose the right videographer and get the best results.

Essential points for a successful funeral live stream:


EMPATHY Funerals are a fact of life. A loved one has passed, and it is essential that you find a videographer that shows empathy from the start. Communication is always the key, and you want to work with someone you can trust and feel good about.

EVERYTHING IN WRITING Make sure you get an itemized proposal in writing from the start. You don’t want additional costs or hidden surprises that are not in the contract, so carefully read their terms and conditions. Videographers like to use video clips of their work for their own promotions and marketing. This is a clause that you may want to address and remove.

SITE SURVEY The videographer must include a site survey to test internet connection speed, camera placement and audio options before the funeral. This is a priority for a successful stream. Please note: The funeral venue should have a fast internet connection with at least a 15-20mbps upload speed. If WiFi is the only option, be aware that others might try to live stream from their smart phones during the funeral. This could reduce the streaming bandwidth and cause buffering. If the internet speed is not fast enough, live streaming may not be an option. The next best scenario is to film the event, and ask the videography team to have a link or file ready by the next day, then upload and share privately on social media.

PRODUCTION QUALITY Anyone can use a smart phone to live stream, but there is a big difference in quality when you use a professional. I strongly recommend using a minimum of 2 cameras. Additional cameras will give visual variety, however, they will add to the cost. Ideally, the video team will use a live switcher to change camera angles on the fly, with the possibility of reducing post production costs.

STAND-ALONE VIDEO MEMORIAL MONTAGE A stand-alone memorial video montage from relatives and friends can be especially meaningful. This can be shown at the funeral on a projection screen and can be wirelessly integrated into the stream at the same time. Friends and relatives can create their own smart phone videos and these clips can be stitched together with music for a moving tribute. Ask a friend or relative with editing experience to create, or check with your videographer to see if they offer that service.

ZOOM PLATFORM The best and easiest platform is Zoom. They have recently upgraded their privacy settings and now require a password. Please assess your attendee limits. The free plan has a limit of 100 participants. The Pro plan includes 100 participants but is upgradable. For a larger funeral, upgrading to 500 participants will cost a little more and can be cancelled after the event. Make sure your are using the paid version which does not limit your time. Be aware, the free version only allows 40 minutes in duration and then cuts out.

FUNERAL LIVE STREAM EXPERIENCE Make sure the videographer has funeral live stream experience. It is best to view examples (and testimonials) to assure professional results. Remember, you get what you pay for. Inexpensive usually means less bells and whistles and possibly poor quality. Make sure they will produce something of real value and include a copy of the entire event for your family archives for years to come. It might not be something you will want to watch often, or even at all, but knowing you have a treasured memory of a loved one is a legacy and gift.

Alan Cash using a gimbal stabilizing setup

Alan Cash following a funeral procession during COVID 19 using a gimbal stabilizing setup (Photo by Stu Sweetow)

Alan Cash Video (ACV) is based in Oakland California and offers a professional live stream service for all occasions.
Contact Alan at 510 590 8532 or info@alancashvideo.com