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Funeral Slideshows – 10 Unusual Things to Include
When a loved one dies, many people decide to create a funeral presentation to remember and honor. Usually there is not much time, and often the most that can be achieved is to collect the available photos and throw them into a kind of funeral presentation generated semi-automatically. And that’s just fine. After all, it’s about the person – it’s not about the presentation.
But what if you want to do a little better? What if you have the time and know a little about video editing and you can hold your own in iMovie or Windows Movie Maker. How do you improve upon the tried-and-true (but only slightly worn) traditional funeral slideshow presentation? How to create memorable tributes to loved ones that – more than just being displayed at the funeral service – will be treasured for years to come. How to create a funeral presentation that becomes a legacy?
Well, don’t say goodbye to those pictures. The basis for any funeral slideshow will always be images. However, a little care in the restoration of photographs with Photoshop – and some thinking about how they go through and where the virtual camera lands will pay you back many times in the appreciation of the audience. And don’t forget captions. Haven’t we all attended funerals and sat through the endless images wondering who it is we’re looking at? We curewe are here after all, but who are all these people? Is that the niece; Is it the son John who never visited? you wonder But without captions, there are no answers. So, the first thing to include in your knockout slideshow is captions.
1. Picture Captions
When you collect the pictures, you will get some information about them. Find out the time, place, people and occasion of the photos. And when you do, include that as a caption. If you are not sure, look on the back! There is often a description – and some photo processing labs from the 1960s onwards printed the processing date on the back of the print.
You can copy photos with a digital camera, but scanning is better.
scanning? Do you will need to scan to get the image into your editing program. And there is some “black art” in scanner settings with all that confusing malarkey about dots or pixels per square inch (dpi or ppi). Fortunately it is not that complicated: the print requires 300 dpi / ppi to reproduce the original at the same size. Video and digital screens are generally happy with 72 dpi/ppi. So, you should scan at 72 dpi, right? (We are talking about a funeral presentation that will be projected, probably from a DVD video.) If you are at all the trouble of scanning anyway, you can also scan at 300 dpi / ppi for images 4 “x 6. “and more big If the original image is smaller than 4″x6”, scan at 600 dpi/ppi. And if you’re scanning a small photo negative or slide, 1200 dpi/ppi or even 2400 dpi/ppi is your number.)
Back in the day, people had what we called “hands” – they could actually write! If you’re lucky enough to find the person’s handwriting on the back of one of the photos you’re scanning, make sure you scan that one and include it (perhaps with a split screen). You should always try to include samples of the person’s writing. It can be from that photo description – but it could just be an old (maybe the last) shopping list, or it could be a letter written a long time ago or even recently. It can be a signature from a driver’s license or passport.
OK. But what else can you include in the montage besides photos – and captions? Well, the trick to going from ho-hum to oh-my is to collect as much material and variety as you can. The goal is to capture and preserve the uniqueness of your subject.
Death is almost always an occasion for families to get together – children fly in (often from across the country – or even further afield) and thoughts of family and friends turn to the good times and all the happy memories . Some people will be complacent and present praise. So you should take advantage of these unplanned meetings and record succinct memories of the subject from those friends and family. You should find time to do this informally before the funeral.
Some may not be flying or may not be able to attend the funeral for any reason. But your funeral slideshow can also see them or their stories. Where you are not able to record the person directly, tape via webcam. No webcam? Record his voice on the phone (Skype can help with this). Once you get to assemble the presentation, you can play the voice over an image of the person telling that story.
4. Poems and sayings:
Death, for all its pain, is a fillip to consider the big problems in life. And a collection of sayings or homilies that the person lived or that express their hopes and beliefs helps us focus our thoughts. Sometimes a person was known for his good words or his mood. Examples should be included as simple text screens or as text “crawls”.
5. Old video footage
Almost inevitably, there will be video footage of the deceased somewhere in a closet on one or another family member. Just ask around. Maybe a birthday or just a family barbecue. Nothing brings a person back into our memories better than video – ideally with audio too.
You may need to have some old 8mm, 16mm or super 8 film converted to a digital form so you can add a clip of that to your funeral presentation. But here’s a tip: don’t just go for the cheapest. Some converters do not even look at what they are doing with your old precious film and the final result can be very dark, or very light, or it can have horrible ragged black edges.
6. Cards and letters
I mentioned handwriting above, so let’s focus now on cards and letters.
Grandparents – especially – avidly collect cards and artwork from their grandchildren. Have you ever met a grandparent who throws away a single photo or letter from a grandchild or daughter? Well, these items can also be included in the funeral presentation to show how loved and honored the person was in life.
Depending on the length and complexity of life, it can help to tell the story using narration.
Now, a family member is often designated to present an overview of the person’s life at the funeral. The same person is usually well placed to provide the narration or voiceover for the visual elements of the funeral presentation. Sometimes it is enough for the person to review the images and other visual material then say a few words about some of them. (Any modern computer allows you to attach some kind of mic to have a voice inside.)
8. Clippings and memorabilia
What, are we stuck with the president here? Indeed, most people at the end of a long life have an album somewhere with some now yellowed and fragile news clippings about themselves. It could be a recipe they submitted, an announcement of their engagement, attendance at a charity ball or similar event, or it could be high school sports. Or, you could have someone seriously famous on your hands with a whole book of clippings.
Other people keep memorabilia such as athletics, football, swimming or golf trophies. Either they have traveled or led a busy business life and the home or office is full of tchotchkes. You can film or photograph these things and add them to the funeral presentation.
9. A DVD box cover:
OK. Home road. After you have put together an amazing funeral presentation, you should burn it to DVD and have it in a box so that it is identifiable properly and records the significant stages of the person’s life. Add the best picture of the deceased that you can find, maybe in a collage with some images of his youth. You can also include maps here on the box (it should also be included in the slide show, of course).
Family and friends will probably want their own copy of your funeral slideshow, so it pays to make the project attractive and recognizable.
10. A website
Why not? With the vast selection of free online web hosting available, many people decide to publish their funeral presentation on the Internet so that it is available anywhere at any time from any computer to any friend or family member.
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