Category: Funeral DVD example

By , March 20, 2012 12:07 am

This was written by Rachael Wallace but it could have been written word for word by me.

 

I first thought about taking pictures at funerals when a close friend died 11 years ago. I stood there watching everyone in their smart bright clothes (no one wanted to wear black – too dark, too final), taking in the beautiful flowers, the sentiments and eulogies expressed by friends and family, the glorious spring day with such vibrant colours reminding us of the life continuing outside the cemetery and her husband and sons – in a dream world that day – oblivious to what was going on around them. And I thought how, maybe, it would be good for them to be able to see the people who had turned out that day, from near and far, to show their love and support and pay their last respects.

How perhaps there would be small but important details that they would have missed, such as people’s accessories – special colours the deceased would have loved, the dressing of the church, the smiles on their faces at some of the memories, the respect and reverence from the funeral directors, the special moments and the love reflected all around by the ceremony itself and those attending it.

I knew that by taking photographs on such an occasion would mean breaking an enormous taboo, but I also knew in my heart, that it could be such a great comfort to the bereaved by choosing to have these precious last moments recorded that it would be worth doing. And so it has proved.

Those who have chosen to have my presence at their loved ones’ departure ceremony (and there are many reasons for their doing so) have been so delighted with the pictures that I have chosen and placed in their memory book that they have smiled, and hugged me and I have felt I have brought a little light into their dark times.

The photographs will also enable them to talk more easily to others about their loss as it is far simpler to start and continue a conversation around a book of photographs. In this way the taboo of talking about death is able to be broken down a little more. It isn’t easy. I am met with shock, and revulsion at times when I mention what I do but once I have explained the caring and respectful way in which I work, and how my work aids the bereaved, I have seen people change their mind. Most people think it an excellent idea and a comment I often hear is that they wish there had been someone like me around for their husband, parent, child’s commemorative service but that they felt too embarrassed to ask, or uncertain who to ask, or wanted someone with experience and couldn’t easily find them.

After a BBC radio interview with Anne Diamond I had several people call me to say how pleased they were to hear of the service I offer and was immediately booked by a wonderful gentleman for his wife’s funeral. It has been hard convincing those in the funeral industry of the demand for such a service, and I think it sad that there are still few out there who know it can be arranged, but I feel sure that before too long it will be a common thing on the list of requests offered when planning a funeral. I feel proud and honoured to be present at such personal occasions, and I know that the books I produce are of great comfort to people. And that, ultimately, is the service I am offering at a time of great need.

http://www.goodfuneralguide.co.uk/2011/11/why-funeral-photos-are-so-important/#comment-50991

She said: “When a person is grieving they do not notice what is going on around them and who is there because they are so busy on the day.
“By creating an album of photographs — a memory book — people can see all the people who turned up to wish their loved one farewell.
“It is helpful afterwards and is a nice focal point for people to think that the book is coming. Some people cry and some do not but it is amazing to sit with people and go through it. It is very healing.”
Mrs Wallace says her job at a funeral is to seem invisible.
“It is so important to be really discreet and sympathetic,” she said. “I creep around with my two cameras, trying not to make a noise and get in the way.
“I do not take photos during the prayers, or of people crying, and I try to look for a moment of happiness in the eulogies.
“I will do ‘open casket’ if requested and that does not bother me.

http://www.henleystandard.co.uk/news/news.php?id=1069109

 

 

Bruce Buckham Funeral Highlights

By , August 20, 2011 8:04 am


The Celebration of Bruce Buckham’s Life, with RAAF Guard of Honour.

I had the pleasure of filming Bruce Buckham’s large funeral last week, and here is the short version of it. The family assured me it would spectacular, and it was. Bruce was a war hero, pilot and highly decorated. The RAAF formed a beautiful, dignified Guard of Honour for him.
Kerri Jessep covered the still images, whilst I filmed.
Michael Hutchinson Funeral Director, Brisbane

Patty Beecham Productions – Showreel

By , July 11, 2011 11:34 am

Helping you celebrate your life and milestones!

Funeral Example

By , July 6, 2011 2:45 pm

Patty Beecham Productions specialises in producing funeral tribute DVDs for your family, and photographing funerals without intruding on your private grief.

Combining video and photographs, a beautiful DVD of the Service is produced, and special tributes such as poems/Readings and family details can be added to the DVD with subtitles and captions.

Although most Chapels now offer a DVD of the Service, my photography is far more personal, discreet and memorable. I use both video and still images to produce something that is powerful and beautiful. Eulogies and special Speakers are captured forever.

By photographing the actual funeral, a visual presentation is kept for you to view at a time that suits you. It’s one more thing you don’t have to worry about, as you can be assured of my presence and your precious memories are preserved for future generations.

The photographic DVD of the Service can also be uploaded to the internet, to share with distant family and relatives.

I am based in Brisbane and am available at short notice, 0417 887316.

Franco’s Funeral

By , June 23, 2011 9:08 am

I’ve just finished editing a beautiful funeral; it was a small, intimate gathering of 40 for an old, much-adored, rascally Italian chef, who managed to produced a couple of families and leave a roomful of laughter and tears behind.

The Service was performed by his own family, no celebrant or Priest, and was a very touching and memorable event.

As he was a former chef, sprigs of Rosemary were placed on his coffin by everyone as a mark of remembrance; it was beautiful to film and I know the DVD is to be sent over to his hometown in Italy.

Some of the gorgeous music played was Adagio by Il Divo, Time to Say Goodbye by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli, the DVD I created used the always stunning Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole’s Somewhere Over The Rainbow, and we walked out to the gentle Humming Chorus from Madame Butterfly.

The numerous young grandchildren said a special goodbye to him, and the young boys looked terrific in their matching suits and ties. More and more I am finding that men in particular colour match their outfits now, morel like a wedding than a funeral, but it shows they care and have made the effort, and the results are always very smart.

Speaking of weddings, even the far back pews had the most beautiful (there’s that word again!) bunches of flowers and lilies tied to them, and before the coffin stood proud bunches of red and white flowers, lilies, and foliage.

During the Service the Superintendent of the Nursing Home came up to speak unexpectedly, she wanted to publicly acknowledge Franco and the delight he created within the nursing home with his booming laughter and happy disposition.

What will people say about you on your funeral day?

Will you be brave enough to write your own eulogy or will you leave it on the to-do list for your family to write?

What music moves you enough to represent your life at your own funeral, and finally, what tributes do you want left to be remembered by?

Funeral Directors were George Hartnett Funerals39 Bay Terrace ,WYNNUM QLD 4178 Phone: 07 3396 4219 Fax: 07 3893 2469

Today arrives. Funeral day.

By , April 21, 2011 9:23 am

They touch her head when they hug her, rubbing her short cropped hair with their stubby men’s fingers.

They hug with such intimacy and emotion that I feel like an intruder, watching. Eventually they release their hold, pull apart and look each other straight in the eye, and repeat the embrace. It’s like they want to climb into her skin, with grief and love.

Talk about a transfer of energy! So powerful to witness.

With each friend and mateship embrace, I can see Ann’s back grow straighter, as if they are feeding her with their own strength.

It’s working, Ann’s face is red-eyed and tearful, but her smile is straight and genuine, her stance strong and hopeful, her body, ready for the next assault of emotions, whatever they may be.
~~~
I know her as Ann Marie. A couple of weeks ago she called me Pat. No, I corrected her, it’s Patty, now. I like to be called just Ann, she replied. So just Ann it was.

At the funeral, meeting her friends, they call her Annie, not Ann. It’s a friendly affectionate name, borne over three decades of card-playing, late night talks on the dark verandas, line-dancing evenings, and many, shared holidays.

Annie.

She smiles and grins with delight in their company. Old friendships are like our favourite jeans, we can slip them on and immediately feel at home where we belong. She belongs in these arms of company that surround her today. Thanks for being my friend Ann’s friend, your friend Annie’s mate.
~~~
Driving to the Nambour funeral, I pass country I haven’t driven through for years, not since the kids were little, and only then, some. Bli Bli castle, sitting proudly on the hill, boasting ‘Opera in the Castle” coming soon. It’s up for sale, looking for not only a buyer, but some loving. Low lying cane fields sit in puddles of rainwater; the country had had torrential downpours here overnight, and the cane looks tired and fed up.

Mentally I run my hand over the tops of the grass as I drive past, windows up, singing.
~~~
After introducing myself to Dean, the Funeral Director, we both enter the Chapel. Ann has requested I photograph Colin, and so I shall. There is to be a viewing before the Service but I want to film him now, quietly, by myself.

Dean removes the casket lid and places it upright, standing to one side.

Hello Colin, I say softly, and wait for Dean to leave us.

He lays there, a smile on his large ruddy face. He’s holding a photograph of a card with a smiling woman on it. I wonder if this is his Irish friend. I raise my camera, and begin.

Really, he could be sleeping. I could almost shake him awake, with a cheery you-hoo!

Click.

His hands. Click.

His face. Click.

His beautiful Funeral corsage of orange flowers: happy geraniums, thoughtful, elegant white lilies, sweet, dear little orange roses, sophisticated white orchids, and simple white daisies. Click.

An orange and black Go Tigers! Flag is placed on the casket, it’s his wish.

I place my white ceramic box of his favourite yellow roses near his casket. The card reads: To my dear friend Ann’s gentle man, Rest in Peace now. Be still, my Soul, Patty.
~~~
When I arrive at Ann’s home, I am greeted by the familiar faces of her good friends from the Hunter Valley. They have been staying with her for the past few days, I am so grateful to them, and very pleased for her.

Cups of tea, buttered hot cross buns, chat and phone calls. Eventually Ann comes out of the bedroom, after speaking to his only brother, about certain funeral arrangements. Her face is red and blotchy, and she throws her arms around me and sobs: I never would have thought I’d be asking you to do this for me Patty.

We both shed tears, but quickly compose ourselves. It’s all good. We are adults now, and we can do this, one step, one tissue, one song at a time.

To be continued…

When tomorrow comes…

By , April 19, 2011 12:35 pm

Tomorrow I am going to help my old school friend bury her husband.

After decades of pain and depression, he finally ended it all with a brand new white rope.

She found him.

She has asked me to bring my video camera to record the Service, as she explains: “Patty, I always remember you saying, that you might not want to view the images now, or even next week, but one day you will come to a place in your life where it might be good to view the funeral, and the DVD will be there, quietly waiting for you.”

So, tomorrow, I will help my old school friend bury her husband, who loved her, but depression and constant chronic pain won out.

Rest in Peace.

~~~

Today I am going to help my old school friend bury her husband. I’ll be the oldest friendship there to support her, and although her nursing friends and old bridesmaids will be there, although her small family consisting of her only brother and his wife and kids will be there, I will be the one with the oldest memories of her; memories of a single girl, a carefree, happy redheaded blue-eyed school girl, in the school hallway bent over laughing at my jokes.

We both travelled to Cooktown together in our senior year, keeping a watchful eye on the young boys as we were plunged into a series of small train tunnels, pitch black and groping hands, to emerge in the blinking daylight, slightly dishevelled with smug teenagers sitting opposite us, looking like butter wouldn’t melt in their mouth. It was a game and we played along, much fun.

Over the years we kept in loose touch. If I was staying in the Hunter Valley helping my old wine-maker friend Jim Roberts pick his grapes, I would stay with her and her husband.

Her husband was a soft, gentle man, a large man, a lumbering giant heaving an unworkable broken body around the best he could. In those days he drove a taxi, and could get around a little bit, but the passing years were unkind to him, and gradually depression began to taint his world and the shutters closed in.
~~~
Today my husband was showering early, and I heard him yelp from where I was in the kitchen. I called out: Are you alright? Darl? Are you ok? And with his silence my footsteps quickened to reach him.
He stood there, water droplets from the shower covering the paddocks of his back and shoulders. On Sunday he had spent most of the day changing over 45 fluorescent light tubes at his work, and one of the tubes had cut his finger deeply. It was this sore finger that had banged against the towel rail, and it had silenced him with sudden pain.

I gently took the white towel and slowly, tenderly, wiped his back, his legs, his chest. “There you go, the rest is up to you” I said, and left him to finish the job.

Some days marriage is like that, you have to be there and step forward.
~~~
“When you first told me what you did, I couldn’t understand it, I thought ‘A funeral photographer? What the hell?’ but now I totally get it.” We speak softly, the phone nuzzles into my neck, and I close my eyes and imagine we are once again sitting in the spa we shared only weeks ago. “I want you to photograph him, and film the funeral, in fact I want to take the DVD over to Ireland and share it with his old friend. She can’t make it over for the funeral. I’ll take it to her.”

Already in her mind, she is moving forward, seeing a fresh day, a new start, a different tomorrow.

A fortnight ago we stayed at O’Reilly’s in the Gold Coast hinterland, the four of us women coming together in solidarity of having some time to ourselves. I spoke to her about everything but her husband. She needed the break, and I made it clear that the topic was always there if she needed to, wanted to speak about him; I was all ears and arms; to wrap around her. We watched an opera DVD, Cecilia Botoli. Eventually, she leaps to her feet, and begins to move to the music.

This is the first time I ever lined-danced to opera she says. I try to keep up with her steps, but it’s not for me, the set routine and boredom of repeating movements. I lash out and wobble my bits in joy, dancing for a moment in the rainforest. We laugh and giggle, like the old schoolgirls we still are.

Neither of us then imagined that we would be arranging his funeral. My friend is my old schoolgirl mate, childless, now widowed. She’ll rise above this, and move forward, and I’ll be there to help if I am needed.

Here’s to the crazy ones! The misfits. The rebels.

By , April 7, 2011 12:41 pm

Here’s to the crazy ones.

The misfits.

The rebels.

The troublemakers.

The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently.

They’re not fond of rules.

And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them, disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.

Because they change things.

They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?

Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written?

Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

From Apple campaign, created by TBWA Chiat Day/Los Angeles
Copywriter – Craig Tanimoto

Personal Funeral Photography

By , March 10, 2011 2:02 pm

I know most crematoriums and Chapels now offer to record your Loved One’s funeral, but do you really want a standard, genetic DVD showing either the backs of people’s heads, or just one long image staring from the front of the Chapel? I offer personal, bespoke video, capturing your special moments with sensitivity and flair. Contact me on 0417 887 316 for further details. Once taken, never forgotten.

My promise to you as a Funeral Photographer.

By , January 11, 2011 8:18 am

I promise…

I promise not to charge you for every little transition, edit, effect or pan and zoom movement when I create your funeral Tribute DVD for your Loved Ones. This is all a natural part of creating something worth watching.
I promise not to fill your screen with images of birds, sunsets, the ocean or clouds unless they are relevant to your Loved One. You are here to honour and remember them, not look at nature or butterflies.
I promise not to bombard you with trivia and details of DVD creation that you are unable to take in at this distressing time.
I promise you that if you request me to create a Tribute DVD, you can relax knowing it will be done and you will have peace of mind.
I promise you that if you request me to film at a funeral, you will know that I am quietly there archiving your life.

I promise you can rely on me.

I promise to use my years of experience to create a DVD you will watch, and love, and share.
I promise you that I will create a Funeral Memorial Book you will love, look at, and share.
I promise you that I will always be discreet, and sensitive. I too, have lost my Loved Ones.

I promise you I will respect your wishes at all times.

I promise you I will use the music you have selected where possible.
I promise you I will use the names, dates and any quotes, poetry, psalms or prayers you select within the Funeral DVD Video.
I promise you that I will always use the highest quality software and transitions to create a video worthy of your Loved One.

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