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Written by Sarah Rickerd


Tribute Videos represent both a great tool to assist in a family’s grieving process and an easy way to add value to the funeral packages you offer.


But that said, not all Tribute Videos are created alike! Read on for a simple seven-step process that’ll help you create meaningful tributes for every family you work with:

Step #1 — Ask questions

If you want to create a truly personalized Tribute Video, you’ve got to know about the life of the person you’re memorializing!


To see why this is so important, let’s say that you tend to create the same Tribute Video for all the families you serve, using the same intro clip, the same graphics theme and the same song over and over again because you know they’ll work well together. Now imagine that your standard video process involves religious melodies and that you’ve inadvertently added “I Come to the Garden Alone” to the Tribute Video of an avowed atheist! Definitely a mistake you’ll want to avoid.


The only way to deliver a good Tribute Video is to get to know the person it’s made for. Ask questions about the interests, hobbies and personal preferences of the deceased in order to pick the options that will be the most meaningful.


Step #2 — Prioritize your pictures

Depending on the family you’re working with, you may have hundreds of pictures to choose from in your video. However, it’s important to recognize that not all pictures are well suited to Tribute Videos.


Obviously, you’ll want to eliminate anything that’s racy or inappropriate. But in addition, you’ll also want to get rid of those that aren’t flattering to the deceased or that don’t focus in on him or her. Having a few shots of the deceased in a crowd (for example, in an extended family reunion shot) can be nice, but failing to include any close-ups will leave guests wondering whose life the video is celebrating.


Step #3 — Scan in extra items

Of course, it’s just as likely that you’ll encounter families that have no pictures as you will families with too many pictures. If a family can’t produce any pictures for the video, don’t panic!


Instead of focusing on personal images, scan in extra items that are meaningful to the life of the deceased. Movie stubs, award certificates and images of favorite locations are just a few of the ways you can fill out your video in the absence of pictures.


Step #4 — Limit final picture selections to 15-30 images

In general, we’ve found that 15-30 images per Tribute Video is something of a “sweet spot.” Any fewer than that and you’ll likely spend more time on the video’s intro and ending clips than you do on the deceased. Go in the other direction of adding more and you’ll find the attention of your service guests waning. Keeping your inclusions within this range will help you create something your families love to watch over and over again.


Step #5 — Make sure all close contacts get equal screen time

Another tricky situation that unsuspecting funeral directors can face is family drama over the amount of screen time given to the deceased’s closest relationships.


And admittedly, this can be tricky. If you’re already working with a limited number of pictures and find that the only ones suitable for video inclusion focus on one relationship over another, it can be difficult to balance competing demands for attention.


One way to work around this issue is to use friends’ and relatives’ desire to be included in the video as a way to round up more pictures than you would have received otherwise. You might be surprised by the number of additional photos this type of request can produce out of the woodwork!


Step #6 — Use motion effects

The thing that really takes a Tribute Video from ordinary to extraordinary is the use of motion effects. Think about a Hollywood movie. If all the shots were done from the same camera position, “motion” pictures would be a lot less exciting!


Adding motion effects — like “pan” and “zoom” — can be either easy or challenging, depending on the program you use to produce your videos. Obviously, we’re partial to Tribute Center for Tribute Video creation, but part of the reason we’re such big advocates for the program is how easy we make it to build professional-quality videos. With Tribute Center, adding motion effects can be done with a few clicks, and we even offer an “Apply Auto Motion” tool that’ll create these highlights for you.

Step #7 — Copy protect your final product

Okay, to be fair, this step is less about creating crowd-pleasing videos and more about protecting the work you put into building them.


No matter what Tribute Video creation software or service you decide to use, make sure that it includes a copy protection feature that’ll allow you to prevent customers from purchasing one copy of your video and then burning extras for friends and relatives. Frazer Consultants offers this tool as a complementary feature within our Tribute Center software program because we believe that the value of your time shouldn’t go unrecognized when it comes to Tribute Video creation.


Follow these seven steps, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to generate memorable, crowd-pleasing Tribute Videos for every customer you work with. Do you have any other tips or tricks to share? Add them below in the comments section!


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