• Kate Smith

The LiveStreamers go Live!

Introducing The LiveStreamers

Craig and I have been funeral celebrants now for over 15 years between us. We had a good understanding of the funeral industry and what our families go through at such a difficult time. Before our celebrant days Craig was a videographer and had been doing corporate videos for over 25 years. He loved videography but he wanted to find an area he could work in where he felt he was doing something special with his skills, giving back in some way. Craig has an incredible eye for detail and puts so much care and love into what he does. It has been a really fun journey for me over the last five years learning everything he has to teach me in the world of videography.

Our journey into funeral videography happened almost by accident. When a family asked, did we know anyone who could film the service for family abroad? Craig automatically said ‘We can do that’. I must be honest; I wasn’t sure about how I felt about it in the beginning. I was worried that filming services was somehow inappropriate or would feel intrusive for families. This feeling was short lived however, when we started receiving feedback from families thanking us for the beautiful videos that Craig was producing and how grateful they were for our help. I realised just like being a celebrant, if done correctly with respect and love these videos were incredibly relevant and important to our families.

It also helped to understand how these videos were used once we had filmed them. For some it was because relatives lived abroad and couldn’t be at the funeral, sometimes because a family member was too sick to come and sometimes purely because the family wanted to look back later when they felt a little stronger and the pain was less raw. Whatever the reason we realised it was such an important service and one that we became very proud of.

It was a natural progression to start thinking about Live Streaming. After doing our homework, we jumped in head first and ordered top of the range streaming equipment.

The LiveStreamers was born. I must admit that it was a steep learning curve in the beginning. Technology I was convinced that could only be understood by twenty something’s!

However, it wasn’t long before we got the hang of the new technology, loved it and started adding to it! We found certain venues were harder than others for internet connection and that made us consider upgrading further. Now we seem to add to our capabilities monthly, trying constantly to improve what we can offer and what we do.

The LiveStreamers offers families a page on our website where we stream the service. It is password protected and private. This offers families the security of knowing that the videos are not just floating in the ether for anyone to view. We design each page especially for the person who has died. The page has the live link, plus pictures and a comments section so that families can leave comments during and after the service.

Once the Live Stream has finished we still do what we did before and edit a beautiful version with extra footage, music and photographs and then replace the livestream feed with the new version. Families can then either download or revisit their page whenever they want to in the future. Plus, we give the families a presentation box with a USB.

Live streaming has proved to be important to families, especially during 2020, which let’s face it has been like no other year we have ever known. We have had people join our streams from all over Australia, Canada, Japan, England, France and many more countries. We feel so privileged to be able to help families in this way. The comfort it brings families has been far greater than I could have imagined.

I am quite sure that Live streaming will stick around long after 2020 is a distant memory. There will always be those who can’t travel to get to a funeral, or who are sadly too sick to attend, or simple just can’t be there. This service gives families the peace of mind knowing that everyone can be there in spirit, if not in person.

Not all live streaming services are created equal, so research is essential. Avoid companies who only stream services to social media sites and public platforms. Once those recordings are uploaded it is near on impossible to take them down again, they are public and open to anyone to view forever. Make sure you ask plenty of questions; ask if the stream can be made private, do they have a dedicated server, how much time is included in their quote, what capabilities do they have when it comes to internet connection, do they do an edited version at the end for you and can a download link or USB of the service be made available. All important and valid questions.

Funeral live streaming is a wonderful new tool for helping families connect. It brings those who otherwise could not have shared these days together. It is important and relevant in today’s funeral industry.

If you are thinking about live streaming a service or funeral feel free to get in touch with us The LiveStreamers. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have and take you through the process.

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