How to: make memorial videos for loved ones

Online Memorial

How to: make memorial videos for loved ones

We live in a visual-centered society in this day and age. From popular websites like YouTube to apps like Instagram, we are obsessed with visual media because they offer us instantaneous gratification and are easily shareable to others. If you're planning a memorial service, whether in-person or digitally, you should consider creating and sharing memorial videos of your loved one. It will add a multimedia layer that will remind others the beautiful and extraordinary life your loved one lived while on Earth.

In this simple guide, we'll show you tips on how to get started on creating memorial videos for your loved ones.

1. Choose a host for your memorial videos

An online memorial is essentially a web version of a memorial service, except the former is something that loved ones can visit anytime they want. In times like the one we're living in now, being able to gather digitally has become an important aspect of life. Even in normal circumstances when gathering in-person is not a risk to your health, you still need a proper platform to host your memorial videos.

Sure, you can upload them on YouTube or Vimeo, but privacy concerns, especially in regards to data, are abundant in the realm of social media. You can also upload your videos on Facebook, but privacy concerns are even more heightened there as the social media giant has had numerous controversies about privacy in the past. Also, social media sites like Facebook and Instagram tend to have technical limitations. For instance, Facebook compresses high-definition videos (and sometimes even photos), so the playback quality is terrible.

Instead, try using a memorial Timeline as a secure and user-friendly host for your memorial videos. It features an abundance of privacy controls that you, the administrator, can customize. A Memories Timeline is also designed to help you organize your content into time periods, themes, categories, or sections. It is capable of hosting all sorts of media like videos and photos. You can also control who can view and contribute to the page, making your loved one's memorial videos easier to share in a much more secure way compared to social media platforms. To learn more and see an example, click here.

2. Choose Appropriate Content

Due to the nature of an online memorial or traditional memorial service, it is wise to choose videos that are appropriate for the occasion. Remember, many of the media you post online could remain there for a long period of time, even after you’ve deleted it. Nowadays, people can download YouTube videos and save it to their personal computer. Even videos on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are downloadable. With programs like the Wayback Machine and online forensics tools, seemingly deleted photos and videos could resurface elsewhere. For this reason, we recommend you choose a secure host like a memorial Timeline.

Since an online memorial is supposed to be a permanent online tribute for your loved one, choose videos that would endure the test of time. There’s nothing wrong with posting a silly and fun video, because it shows their character, but there is a difference between silly and embarrassing, or lewd.

3. Show their best qualities

When curating your video footage, be sure to choose ones that showcases your loved one’s personality. Even a short video clip can radiate your dearly departed's energy, and show that they are full of life even after death. Pick videos in which they are smiling, laughing, and generally projecting positive energy.

Videos of them in deep thought or a moment of contemplation would also showcase their personality’s multiple layers; that depict them as human beings who had a spectrum of emotions flowing through their blood. Remember, there is no such thing as a boring person. Highlight the depth of your loved one’s soul through your memorial videos.

4. Show different aspects of their Llife

A good idea would be to post a video series chronicling your loved one’s life. Video footage of them as babies, if any are available, scenes from their childhood, and milestones in life (e.g. graduation, birthdays, etc.) are some of the precious moments you could post in an online memorial. Also, choose videos that depict their relationships with family members, friends, colleagues, and others who they were close to. Holidays and vacation videos are also a great source for fun memories. The nostalgia seeped into these types of videos will surely put a smile on the faces of guests.

You could also show videos of your loved one doing their hobbies and passions. Perhaps your loved one was active in sports or volunteering. Choose visual media of different aspects of your loved one’s time on earth to show their complex and multilayered personality, and that they lived a full and meaningful life.

5. Moderation is key

Although it’s tempting to post a plethora of long videos in an online memorial page, remember that moderation is key. This is both for practical and aesthetic purposes. For example, while a memorial Timeline can accommodate large amounts of media files, you must keep in mind that large files could slow down the page load speeds of your online memorial. Likewise, if you choose to play too many videos at an in-person memorial service, other aspects of the service could get delayed or outright cancelled, such as speeches guests might want to give.

Additionally, having too many videos could be hard on the eyes for viewers. Curation is about choosing the best quality and most meaningful videos rather than treating the online memorial page as a giant repository.

6. Practice discretion

Unless your loved one had stated explicitly in a formal or informal will regarding personal media files, you can assume that would be fine to display videos owned by your loved one. However, as we suggested earlier, you should choose appropriate content. When deciding what to post, think to yourself, “Would he/she have wanted these videos to be published online?” If the answer is no, then move on to more appropriate content.

There are some videos--whether owned by your dearly departed or by others--that could have a negative effect on our loved one’s reputation, legacy and image. Just because someone has passed away, it doesn’t mean their right to privacy is nullified. Keep this in mind when curating your memorial videos.

7. Edit and polish

Like with any type of content, a little bit of editing can go a long way. If the video files you find were already post-edited after they were made, then all you really have to do is string short videos together in a program. There are numerous video editing programs that are free for Mac and Windows. For instance, Windows has the Movie Maker and Mac has the iMovie program, both of which are typically already installed in the computer.

There are hundreds of how-to videos online that are made for the video editing suite of your choice. Also, another thing to keep in mind if you're planning to paste various separate videos into one reel or movie are the different audio content each one has. For instance, one video footage might have natural audio while another has loud music. The best format for a memorial service is to choose videos with just the original/natural audio than ones that already have music. Then, add a soft and calming soundtrack (like your loved one's favorite tune), and lower the original audio in each video. That way, you can still hear your loved one's voice form the original recording, but also have nice background music.

There you have it. Now that you know where to start, you now create a cinematic masterpiece to honor your loved one. Remember, it's not about the quality of your video but your effort. Your loved one and your memorial visitors will greatly appreciate your thoughtfulness.