One of the most difficult moments in life is the death of a loved one. Many emotions come to the surface such as loneliness, emptiness, guilt and you wonder how long these feelings will last. When will the feelings go away? You don’t care about all the “busy” things you need to do. You somehow want to feel better, but not too soon. You find yourself hoarding all of their things not being able to let go of anything that belonged to them. Creating a memorial video for your loved one can be a cathartic experience in dealing with these emotions. It can also be a comfort for those friends and family who perhaps didn’t get a chance to see them before they passed on. In that respect, memorial videos can be a type of closure.
Step 1: Think of the story you want to tell. Did this person have a great life with lots of happiness? Or did they have a hard life? Decide if you want to be “real” and portray parts of this difficult life amongst happier memories. Really dig deep and learn who this person was in life. What hobbies did they have? Maybe you’d like to start the video with early childhood photos and chronologically follow their life’s path.
Step 2: Dig out all the photos you can find. If this person has led a long life, some photos you find may not be the best quality. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include them. Often times, these old, not-so-perfect-quality photos lend an air of nostalgia. Life usually isn’t perfect, so why feel like every photo you choose has to be? Place a sticky note behind every photo and number them in the order you’d like them to be shown in your video. Scan the photos.
Step 3: Decide what music you’d like to use. Depending on how many photos you have, you can estimate 20 – 25 photos for 1 song, about 3 minutes long. Discover what their favorite music was or who their favorite artist was and maybe there’s a song that, while being from one of their favorite artists, conveys the lyrical message that matches your story.
Step 4: Using a video editing software program such as Microsoft’s Movie Maker, import and sort your photos in the order numbered. Import the songs you’ve selected.
Step 5: Burn your finished movie to a DVD.
The most important thing to remember about creating memorial videos is that you can never do it wrong. It’s your story to tell of the person you’ve lost. There is no right or wrong story. The memorial video can be a keepsake for you and family members and can be played at the funeral reception. You might want to burn additional copies to be given away at the funeral.