Unobtrusive Funeral Live Streaming for Churches and Crematoriums
What is Funeral Live Streaming? Is it discreet?
Funeral live streaming may sound unusual at first, but watching a funeral online is actually becoming very popular, especially now during the COVID-19 lockdown period. As a funeral live streaming service based in Surrey, I’ve worked with many families in and around Surrey, London, Sussex, Kent, Hampshire, and Berkshire who want to video live stream the funeral of their loved ones. I offer two packages: a single camera funeral live streaming service and a complex, yet unobtrusive multi-camera funeral live streaming production.
Basically, a funeral live stream enables remote guests – anywhere where there is an internet connection – to watch the funeral online in real-time. It’s like a private TV broadcast, and of course, everything is recorded and can be watched again after the end of the ceremony. My funeral streaming service is very discreet, I’m not showing any faces of mourners (over-the-shoulder perspectives) and for outside shots, I’m using mini cameras which are hardly noticeable on location. Also, it is possible to show multiple locations such as a church service and the committal thereafter; I can set up my single-camera live streaming option in just a few minutes.
Funeral Live Streaming Examples
Both are multi-camera examples (with kind permission of the families).
Funeral Live Streaming Service
How it works
- Watch the funeral online from anywhere in realtime
- Private Link, no need to install any software
- Unobtrusive, over-the-shoulder perspective avoiding faces for mourners
- Unlimited funeral live stream viewers (some of our streams had over 1000 connected devices)
- Recorded live stream available online indefinitely, easy download function for your personal archive
- full HD (1080p) resolution
- Streamed via 6x 4G connections ‘bonded’ together (extremely powerful transmission system)
- State-of-the-art broadcast-quality cameras
- Single-camera or multi-camera (up to five cameras) option available
- Professional wireless lapel microphones for priests/celebrants
- Wireless shotgun microphone in front of the lectern for readings etc.
- Room microphones for hymns and music
Single Camera Option
- On location 1h before the start of the funeral
- Very quick setup, live within minutes (typically I go live 5min before the start of the funeral)
- Gentle camera movements, zooming in/out
- Wireless microphones
- Perfect for multiple locations (add-on)
- On location about 2-3h before the start of the funeral
- Filmed/streamed with 4-5 broadcast-quality cameras (live angle switching)
- Long telephoto lens to zoom in close to the speakers, wide shot, side shot, outside shot
- Integration of on-location AV system (if possible; feeding a clean signal of videos, slideshows, etc projected during the ceremony)
- Streaming begins about 15min before the service begins
- Slideshow loop as ‘Waiting Room’ before the start of the funeral (just send me your photos a few days beforehand)
- Customised closing and opening titles (still frame, for example, the name and a photo of the deceased)
- Zoom/Skype/Teams integration (add-on)
- multiple locations covered with a single camera (add-on)
Do we need to provide any internet connection in order to live stream the funeral?
Not at all. For all my funeral live stream productions I use the same system that TV journalists use when broadcasting on the go. It’s a very clever system that uses six 4G connections in parallel. It breaks the live stream up into six smaller chunks, transmits all data in parallel to our servers, where it gets stitched back together into one seamless live stream – and all of this happens almost instantly. Practically this means that I have six times the data throughput of a normal phone connection. Considering the fact that in most cases a single connection has ample bandwidth for HD video live streaming it is very likely that I can produce a good funeral live stream at the most challenging locations. Only in extreme situations – if there is literally no connection at all – I would have to record the funeral locally (which I always do as backup) and upload the recording afterwards.
What are the advantages of live streaming a funeral?
We are all different, and family celebrations give us a chance to express ourselves. Whether it’s the wish of a loved one or a new way of celebrating that person’s life, a film, whether streamed live or video filmed can bring comfort to families. Watching a funeral online is a good and COVID-safe alternative.
Of course, every service is different, and it’s my job to be respectful of your needs. If you would like a quiet, dignified memory of your loved one’s final moments on this earth, my funeral videography packages can capture this. We’ll discuss your needs, and what your loved one would have wanted, in our initial consultation. I offer funeral live streaming, funeral videography (an edited video), funeral photography, or a mix of these.
Funeral live videography / Funeral Webcast
I’ve filmed and live-streamed all sorts of gatherings, from weddings to corporate events and of course many funerals. While they are without question a deeply emotional time, they don’t always have to be sad occasions. In fact, many people specify that they want their service to be a celebration of their life – with love and laughter. These gatherings – whether witnessed in person or if you prefer to watch the funeral online – serve as a fitting tribute to those who were so full of life when they were with us. Even after live streaming countless funerals, I still feel honoured and often moved to have played a little part in making it accessible for a wider audience online.
The benefits of funeral live streaming
Still in 2019 funeral video live streaming was a niche service. Today, however, it is almost common to live stream a funeral. Again, this may sound strange if you have never seen it before, but it’s a modern-day solution to the many issues that large family gatherings face – even outside of lockdown restrictions. For example, you may have elderly relatives who cannot travel the distance to attend the ceremony. Others may have to travel from abroad, or in cases of unexpected loss, the timing may simply not be right.
Whatever the reason, a video live stream gives your loved one’s nearest and dearest the chance to be there from afar. Everything is set up over a secure video connection, and the viewer can watch the ceremony from any device including PCs and Laptops and all handheld devices like a smartphone or tablet. Once the service has taken place, the funeral live stream can be watched back at a later date for those who have missed it or to help you recount those memories once again.
I’m based in Guildford, Surrey but I’m more than happy to travel to your location in Kent, Sussex, Berkshire, Hampshire, or anywhere in London.
Funeral Live Stream via Zoom (Add-on)
During the pandemic, most of us will have used video call systems such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, or Google Meet to keep in touch. I have done complex funeral video live streams with Zoom integration (please ask me for an example). I set up a large screen in church for the congregation, which I control from my desk a the back of the room. This meant that family members were able to actively take part in the ceremony from around the world in real-time, contributing readings, prayers, songs and tributes. It is truly wonderful how technology makes it possible for us to connect even during worldwide crises. I’m proud that I can do my little part to bring families together during these times by offering an interactive funeral live streaming solution.
What does funeral live streaming generally capture?
With my multi-camera option, I start the funeral live stream about 15min before the service. During this time I can show a pre-produced photo slideshow (included) – a wonderful way to bridge the waiting time. All my cameras are mounted on tripods. All my gear will be in one location throughout the service. I’m not moving around; I avoid any disturbance. One of my cameras is equipped with an extremely long zoom lens to get a good close-medium shot of the speaker/celebrant.
I offer all my clients the chance to combine funeral live streaming with funeral photography or videography (an edited film). The still images can be used as part of the video, for example in a slideshow format, or a separate album. I’ll use the stills as a chance to capture the visual memory of your loved one. This may be floral arrangements or any tributes and keepsakes you have presented for them.
Pre-recorded Tributes (add-on)
If you prefer to watch the funeral online but you would like to pay your respect with a pre-recorded video tribute, I can bring a large flat-screen TV and play your video message during the ceremony. The setup is very similar to the Zoom live stream option (see above) but instead of taking part in real-time your contribution would be prerecorded (mobile phone recording is fine!). Or course, any pre-recorded contributions would be fed directly into the funeral live stream.
A combination of funeral photography and funeral live streaming
Funerals are generally not fast-moving events. There are often long periods of time, like a 10min a eulogy, in which I hardly change camera angles. During moments like these, I can pull out another camera with a long lens and shoot still photographs. Such pictures typically show the coffin in the middle, the flower arrangements, the speakers, candles and any other decorations. At the graveside, I again photograph the flowers, the coffin or – from a long distance – the congregation around the grave. Such photographs can be a beautiful memory for generations to come.
Capturing the day with dignity
With my years of experience as a videographer, I know how to blend into the background. In the industry, we call this “reportage” videography. It means the cameraperson takes natural footage without anybody even noticing them. These help to maintain a dignified, sensitive approach to the day and will not disturb those in distress.
How does the funeral live streaming process work?
We’ll start with a consultation over the phone, WhatsApp or Zoom. Here you can tell me the details of the service, the venue, and what your loved one would have wanted. I may also ask you for details of your celebrant. Then I can contact them directly to discuss the venue – for example, their audio and video setup.
Funeral Photography Add-On
Beautiful, timeless, respectful
- shot on ‘no-click’ professional digital cameras. Silent shutter, no click, no obtrusion
- 30 final edited photos
- Black and White versions if preferred
- Digital download
- All usage rights
On the day of the funeral
Before the funeral, I typically arrive about two hours to set up and to get myself acquainted with the location. I will introduce myself to the celebrant or priests and kindly ask them to wear a wireless microphone. I also set up a professional shotgun microphone in front of the lectern to capture any additional speaker. Depending on the package you have booked (single camera or multi-camera), I will set up all required equipment in an unobtrusive way (hide cameras behind pillars etc). Your funeral video live stream will start and end with a still frame including the name (and photo if you like) and funeral date of the deceased or, if you prefer, with a photo slideshow made to beautiful music. Only people with the link will be able to watch the funeral video stream.
Accessing the funeral video live stream
Before the funeral, I will send you a password-protected link that you can share with all guests who cannot physically be present. On the website, there will be a video window ready for the live stream. There is no limit to the number of people who can watch it at the same time. Also, the funeral live stream will work on practically any PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
Watching the video after the funeral
Straight after the funeral, the live stream window becomes a normal video player. You can re-watch the funeral again as often as you like. The funeral live stream video will remain online indefinitely and you are more than welcome to save a copy at no charge for your personal archive. I never ever delete any footage and I’m happy to assist you accessing and downloading it even in the years to come.
Not sure about funeral live streaming? I also offer funeral videography. Although it is not live, a funeral film can be a beautiful and meaningful way to remember your loved one’s departing. I always film from an unobtrusive distance and I’m extremely careful and respectful when I edit the material. Please have a look at the example here and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.
Call me for a no-obligation discussion
I’m always happy to discuss your individual funeral live streaming requirements. I generally operate in the Surrey and London areas but can travel reasonable distances if needed. I also appreciate that funerals may have quick turnaround times, so I try to be as flexible as possible. Feel free to call me also in the evenings and weekends.
When we lose a loved one, we know they are never truly gone. Contact me for funeral live streaming services, and we’ll preserve their memory together.