3 Tips for Creating a Unique Funeral-Memorial Video

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There are a number of reasons to create a video or slideshow for a loved one's funeral. A short slideshow or film can be a lovely tribute to play during the funeral service that allows the guests to reflect on the life of the deceased and remember some of the important moments in their life. However, a video memorial or slideshow can also bring some comfort to far-off loved ones who can't make it to the funeral—you can send them a digital or DVD copy of the memorial, which will help them feel included. You want a memorial that's more than just a series of pictures—something that truly captures the essence of your deceased loved one. Take a look at some tips for creating a unique funeral-memorial video.

Show the Handwriting

Handwriting is personal. No two signatures look exactly alike. People who still send and receive handwritten letters know that there is a personality in a person's handwriting that simply cannot be conveyed through email fonts. Why not include your loved one's handwriting in their memorial?

When you're looking through old boxes of photos, check the back of the photos for handwritten details, like the names of the people in the pictures, the date, and the location. You can scan this written information onto your computer and use that to caption the photo rather than using digital fonts. You might also scan in a love letter, a passport with a signature, or even a to-do list or shopping list that helps to demonstrate some facet of your loved one's day-to-day life in their own handwriting.

Include Home-Video Footage

While still pictures are powerful, there is nothing quite like video and audio footage to bring old memories back in sharp detail. Consider including short clips from home videos of birthday parties, holiday celebrations, or family vacations.

It's not a bad idea to digitize old home videos that you'd like to save anyway—film, cassette tapes, and DVDs all begin to deteriorate after a while, but digital movies can be stored on a hard drive, backed up, or transferred to the cloud, and it's easy to take a few well-chosen clips from a digitized movie to include in a video memorial for your loved one. Do yourself a favor and have a reputable professional handle the process of converting your old film into digital format. You can usually have this done for about $20 per transfer. Professional video-transfer services know how to handle your old film without damaging it and will ensure that the finished product is of high quality.

Include Personal Memorabilia

You can't scan your loved one's medals or trophies into your computer, but you can certainly take pictures or videos of them and scan those into the slideshow. Whether your loved one was a decorated veteran with a variety of medals or a top salesman with a lifetime achievement award from their business, the odds are that they were proud of the things they accomplished in life, and those things deserve to be memorialized.

You may also want to take pictures of the hobbies that occupied your loved one's free time. Photograph that extensive stamp collection or those impressive model airplanes and include them in the memorial. These things help convey the personality and temperament of your loved one. Finally, look for newspaper clippings that mention your loved one. Most people have a few—an engagement or wedding announcement, for example, or a record of some award or personal-interest story. These should be included as well.

You won't be able to tell the whole story of your loved one's life in a short memorial video, but you can certainly hit the highlights and create a unique and loving tribute that can be shared and treasured by bereaved friends and family. Many funeral homes offer services to help loved ones create memorial videos, and your funeral director will be able to ensure that you can play the video at the service. Talk to a funeral home such as Taylor Funeral Home to see what services they offer.