Sunday, January 2, 2011

They Shoot Funerals, Don’t They?

by Earl C. Chessher

Just about any independent video services provider will tell you she CAN videotape a funeral, but not too many actually offer specific pricing, sample videos or even try to pursue one of the most under served markets in the video services industry.

Another reason why more videographers are not marketing and producing funeral and memorial videos is what I call the “euwww” factor, a mental thing many people have with the thought of attending a funeral, much less producing a video of one.

“Videotape dead people?,” one associate on the East Coast recently remarked. “I can’t imagine. Maybe it’s a California thing.” Not so. The same rationale behind the preservation of any other milestone event in a person’s life also supports funeral and memorial video production services.

Become familiar with the events that occur during your average funeral, learn how to avoid the emotional pitfalls and know what to expect, as well as knowing how to let your family client know what to expect, and you have an opportunity to expand your video production services business beyond expectations.

Thus was the need for a definitive resource book...

While there are a few resources available that offer some general information, much of it is outdated and does not focus on the broad spectrum of funeral and memorial video production services. Thus was the need for a definitive resource book realized, resulting inThey Shoot Funerals, Don’t They” — more than 170 pages of solid information, relevant real life stories of funeral experiences, plus forms, letters and more that a business videographer needs to approach this business with confidence.

Whatever the reason, or phobia, or reluctance, if you as a beginning or experienced professional video services provider want to expand your production horizon, funeral and memorial video production just might be a niche market you can conquer. As I say in the book, “It’s a funeral, get over it!” And generate good income in a market that probably has the least saturation of competition in the video production community.

While a funeral production can be every bit as involved, even more so, as a wedding, even the most complex funeral production is easier, faster and simpler to edit. The number of hours spent for dollars made far exceeds your average wedding video. I do not say this to indict the huge wedding video production industry, but simply to point out that there are often easier ways to make your money and average more per hour.

In the current economic climate professional video production is a service-oriented business where specialization might put you in a tight fiscal corner. It is no secret that diversifying, spreading your experience and your business to cover more than a single given production market, especially with business that isn’t so tightly focused on weekend work and opens up opportunities for weekday work, is key to remaining successful in the independent video production business.

As other articles published in Jay Michael's In the Viewfinder blog, and elsewhere prove, there’s a bounty of opportunities in this business. Video businesspeople willing to investigate their options in under served markets will flourish while others lament the loss due to their narrow vision, or inability to embrace such new opportunities.

An overview of the author and the book is available at but special pricing exists by direct ordering from the author at least through Jan. 10, 2011.

Artis White, Flex Media, had this to say about “They Shoot Funerals, Don’t They” — “Well done! I like the instructional manual feel it has. At least for me. I am a structured learner and I need everything laid out for me. Your book has very practical applications and it makes me excited about getting into this new field for us.”

An extensive outline of the book is available at Earls Blog as well as an excerpt of the book introduction, also published at E.C. Come, E.C. Go, the author‘s video production and marketing blog, active since 2004.

Video example produced by Earl Chessher:

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