Memorial video-making isn’t for everyone. While some find the process cathartic and essential to the grieving process, others can find it a little intense and upsetting. If you’re the latter, then this guide isn’t for you. If you’re the former, though, it certainly is.
A memorial video can be a lovely way to honour the life of your loved one. It typically showcases a range of photos and videos snapped while they were still around, and while they’re usually tear-jerkers, they certainly don’t have to be. We’ve seen many memorial videos that have prompted laughter, smiles, and jokes from the audience; so a memorial video can be whatever you’d like it to be (and whatever you think the deceased would’ve most appreciated).
When is a memorial video played?
Usually at the funeral of your loved one. They can be created in place of a eulogy or speech (if you or your family aren’t feeling up to public speaking), or paired alongside one (if you’re keen to speak and showcase some highlights from their life).
However, although memorial videos are typically played at the funeral, you can create and share them with family and friends at any point during the grieving process. You can make your own rules – there’s no rulebook when it comes to grief (or creating the perfect memorial video).
Our top tips when creating a memorial video:
As mentioned above, there’s no rulebook when it comes to this kinda stuff. And there’s no such thing as the ‘perfect’ memorial video. But if you’re a first-timer in this space and aren’t quite sure where to start, here’s what we’d recommend.
1. Brainstorm elements you’d like to include
Take some time to jot down important parts of their life you’d like to include. Were they part of a sporting club during their childhood? Did they have an extremely tight-knit group of friends? Did they have a pet they adored? Or maybe they loved nothing more than sipping ice cold mojitos on the beach? Brainstorm everything they loved, and create a list of people you could contact to get hold of some happy snaps and videos of them doing what they love, with the people they love.
2. Gather all the photos, videos, and voice recordings you can
Make sure you label all the physical assets you’ve received from their friends and family so you know who to return each photo (or video) to after scanning everything onto your computer. There’s nothing more frustrating than handing over some of your favourite memories with a loved one, only to never have them returned to you. Don’t be that guy (or gal), okay?
3. Find the perfect music
There’s no such thing as the ‘perfect’ video, but there is such a thing as the ‘perfect’ song. Find a soundtrack that suits your loved one, their hobbies, their personality, and maybe even aligns with the type of music they loved. This is a great way to honour them and add a little more meaning to your video.
4. Consider creating the video in chronological order
Start with their early childhood, and conclude it with content that features their final months or years. This can be a great way to reflect on their life and those who have flitted in and out of it (and those who have remained constant through it all).
5. Calculate how long the video will go for
It’s important to consider how the memorial video will fit into the broader funeral proceedings. If the funeral will be a little on the lengthy side already (with multiple eulogies or rituals), then consider keeping the video short and impactful. However, if there won’t be any eulogies and the funeral will be a little on the shorter side, consider extending the duration of the video to fill up a little time (and adequately act in place of a speech or eulogy).
6. Add quotes and poems, if relevant
If you have a bunch of quotes or poems in mind that adequately depict the loved one you’ve lost, it might be worth adding a few into your video sporadically. One option is to use quotes to divide years on a timeline, while another option is to use quotes during a break in the song(s) paired with the video. Either way, we love nothing more than a good and meaningful quote in a memorial video.
7. Choose an easy-to-use tool to create your video
Not a videographer? The same can be said of most people. Do a quick Google search to discover some of the easiest video-making tools on the market. Heaps of them are free (like iMovie, if you have an iMac or Macbook), while others can be a little pricey. Regardless of whether you choose to pay for the software or not, make sure it’s easy to use (if you’re new to this space). You don’t want to find yourself feeling frustrated at all the enigmatic buttons – that’s the last thing you’ll need during an already very emotional time.
8. Let your creativity run wild!
Boring memorial videos are so 2021. Seriously. Find creative ways to spice up your film, make your audience smile, and maybe prompt a few tears. The more creative you are with your memorial video, the more likely funeral attendees will be to remember it post-funeral.
9. Share the video after the funeral
A memorial video is such a wonderful way to honour the life of your loved one, while ensuring all their loved ones feel included and as though they played an important part in the deceased’s life. Chances are, if you’ve borrowed images and videos from others, they’ll love a copy of the video for themselves, too.
10. Back. It. Up.
Save it. Save it everywhere. On a USB (do those still exist?), a hard drive, the Cloud, or whatever storage facility (physical or non-physical) you have access to. You’ll be putting hours of work into something you might want to watch again at a later stage – so make sure you’ve saved it securely.
Alternatively, if you’re keen on sharing a memorial video at your loved one’s funeral but don’t feel ready to start sorting through images of the recently-deceased, you can always engage a professional to create the video for you. Don’t be afraid to do a little research to find the perfect film-maker for you – if you want to share a memorial video on the day, there are always alternatives to making it yourself.
If you need help arranging a funeral, the team at Willed can help. To speak with a dedicated funeral planner, call us on 1300 945 533.