View Full Version : Four funerals and a wedding...!


Dan Parkes
September 10th, 2008, 12:03 PM
Today marks an interesting milestone in the use of our JVC GYHD201 camera.... in the last twelve months since we purchased it we have filmed four funerals and two weddings...since one of the weddings was FOC (for a friend) that makes it 'four funerals and a wedding'!....those who know the Hugh Grant film 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' will find that slightly amusing! As a company we mainly shoot corporates and creatives and the odd live show, but somehow we have ended filming funerals -a very unusual event to film and not something we have been actively seeking, it seems overkill with such a wonderful camera as the JVC -I wonder if anyone else has ended up getting paid to film a funeral...?

Gary Nattrass
September 10th, 2008, 12:23 PM
Unlike a wedding at least the main subject cant complain about your shooting and editing. It may be a bit dead though!!! (sorry couldnt resist)

I havent filmed a funeral but have provided sound pa hire to several ones as there were so may people there the service was relayed to outside, I always send a cd of the service as well so that any relatives or friends who couldnt attend can hear what was said.

Martin Mayer
September 10th, 2008, 02:12 PM
We were hired to film a funeral three years ago. Family lived in Australia, and the matriarch of the family lived in UK, and had died here. It was a moving and successful job, even though I say so myself.

So, there was actually a point during 2005, at which I could genuinely say we had done "four weddings and a funeral" that year.

Stuart Campbell
September 12th, 2008, 07:48 AM
Filming a funeral?????? I've never heard of that before! What do you do with the footage, edit it down onto a dvd?? Do you sell it? Why would anyone want a dvd of a funeral on their shelf?

Please enlighten me!! I'm completely curious!

Nick Flowers
September 12th, 2008, 09:14 AM
When I was boom operator on Four Weddings and a Funeral (and if you had been, wouldn't you grasp every opportunity casually to drop it into the conversation?) I found the shooting of the funeral scene very moving and must admit to a manly tear or two, even on take 3 and 4. I don't think that I would be up to filming the real thing.

Dan Parkes
September 13th, 2008, 04:13 AM
Filming a funeral?????? I've never heard of that before! What do you do with the footage, edit it down onto a dvd?? Do you sell it? Why would anyone want a dvd of a funeral on their shelf?

Please enlighten me!! I'm completely curious!

Hi Stuart. Three of the four funerals were for absent or overseas family members. However one was for a family of a mother who died young so that the children would have a record of the service and large turnout for when they grew up (that was a difficult one to film). One was also a burial and the family specifically wanted shots down into the grave etc so was a bit grizzly. Anyway, we film as we would do a wedding or any other live event -multiple cameras, edited onto DVD and invoiced. Except no deposit for obvious reasons (usually less than a week's notice).

In regard to using the HD201 camera -due to it being shoulder-mounted and professional looking it can be a bit intrusive and I was several times mistaken for news or paparazzi, so generally speaking I have to stay towards the back and use the longer end of the lens (unlike weddings etc when I would be up the front).

But otherwise not difficult to film as I was once a 'back-up' camera operator for a cesarean... now I think that might be have been difficult...

Martin Mayer
September 13th, 2008, 05:47 AM
Filming a funeral?????? I've never heard of that before! What do you do with the footage, edit it down onto a dvd?? Do you sell it? Why would anyone want a dvd of a funeral on their shelf?

Please enlighten me!! I'm completely curious!

There was:
- video portrait of the family country house (big one!), where:
- the family gathered and were collected by a fleet of black limousines,
- the departure of the entourage for the crematorium with the hearse+coffin,
- the arrival at the crematorium,
- the service (with readings, speeches and music)
- the family's move out to the Garden of Remembrance,
- the milling about of family members inspecting the flowers +
- video portraits of flower arrangements with messages from those who sent them.

All put on a DVD with chapters and relevant music - about 45 minutes in total, I recall. Sold only to the family - many of whom were not present, and lived in Australia. (Grandmother's funeral was in UK.) Makes sense to me, as a way for those family members who couldn't make it to see it - and for those who were there to remember it.

Stewart Menelaws
September 13th, 2008, 07:16 AM
My brother in-law started a wedding video company in Edinburgh about 30 years ago - one of his very first jobs was to film a Polish Funeral. Since I had not long come out of the music industry playing in a rock group that used a coffin as a stage act, he asked me if I would do the job because the whole thing gave him the willies.

Armed with one of Canon's new camcorders with separate recorder, off I went for what was a very unusual day.

I was first treated to comments of abuse by some builders up on scaffolding, who had watched me film the hearse come up the street (got some great low angle stuff) after which I was then approached by two policemen who wanted to know what I was playing at.

The sister of the deceased was not pleased with me because I did not push people out of the way to get a better shot of the body in the coffin when the lid was opened. And finally at the graveside one of the relatives tipped me off that I needed to barge through everyone to get a shot of the coffin being lowered into the ground, because if I did not, everyone would push past me and form an impenetrable wall around the grave.

Only several years later, one of the relatives of the deceased became my brother in-law - how strange is that.

Having had the privilege of working in many countries, I am always fascinated by the customs and traditions of people around the world.

And finally - only several days ago I buried my own father - his memory is in my heart.

Regards: Stu
www.studioscotland.com

Stuart Campbell
September 14th, 2008, 05:18 PM
Thanks guys, that's fascinating! You learn something every day.

I understand the reasons now, but still find it strange!