Tuesday, November 09, 2010

They Shoot Funerals, Don't They? Production Outline

Production Outline for

They Shoot Funerals, Don’t They

release date Dec. 15, 2010.

They Shoot Funerals, Don’t They: The Definitive Publication & Resource Program for Independent Professional Video Services Providers Seeking to Expand their Business

I. Introduction

A. Synopsis: It’s a Funeral, Get Over It!

1. Professional Video Services for a Seriously Under Served Market

B. First Things First: Marketing Funeral Video Services

1. A Story: Edit Out His Girlfriend!

2. Marketing to Funeral Services Facilities

a. Funeral Homes

b. Mortuaries

c. Cremation Service Providers

d. Pastors, Ministers, Rabbis, Bishops, Deacons, Priests, Officiants

3. Marketing to Churches & Synagogues, Temples & Chapels

4. Marketing to Individuals

5. Other Marketing Options (Necessities)

a. Your Domain Name

b. Your Website

c. Using Your Social Network Connections

C. Establishing Competitive, Reasonable, Profitable Fees

1. A Story: Taps, Fly-overs, Bikers and Military Escorts

2. What is Your Competition Charging

a. Do You HAVE any Competition?

b. What is Fair Value?

c. Adding Extras

d. When it Becomes ‘Nickel & Dimeing’

3. Competing with Funeral Homes & Places of Worship

4. On Location VS Multiple Sites

5. Rosary, Viewings, Visitation, Wakes & Receptions

6. Graveside & Committal Services (What‘s the Difference?)

7. Extreme Customer Service: Success Means Going the Extra Mile

8. Keeping Your Business Profitable

D. Family Clients Don’t Know What to Expect

1. A Story: Sometimes They Do Wail

2. Yes, Uncle Charlie Also Operates Here

3. “Edited” Doesn’t Mean Leaving Out Anything

4. Mostly It’s Another Celebration of Life

5. Let Those Attending Know You‘re Videotaping

II. Establishing Relationships

A. Get to Know Who Manages the Counselors

1. A Story: Most of the Time They Celebrate, Sometimes Wildly

2. Get to Know the Family Counselors

3. Get to Know the Service Directors

4. The Officiant Can be Your Best Friend or Worst Nightmare

B. Your Word is Your Bond

1. A Story: Hallelujah It’s Raining Men

2. Make NO Promises You Cannot Keep

3. You MIGHT Get One Pass, but That‘s Probably It

4. If You Mess Up, Fess Up

5. Politics: If “They” Mess Up, Don’t Tattle

6. It’s Not My Job! Be Helpful

III. Working Well with Others

A. Musicians, Soloists, Doves, Bag Pipers & Processionals

1. A Story: There‘s No Business Like Show Business

2. Other Vendors are Your Friends

3. Keep it Upbeat. Don‘t Gossip, Grumble or Gripe

4. NO! You Absolutely May NOT Eat Unless They Insist

5. How Relationships Can Work for You: Networking

B. How You Dress is Important

1. A Story: It Helps if You Know There‘s a Theme

2. Ethnic Funerals

3. Formal Funerals

4. Informal Celebrations of Life (Still a Funeral)

IV. Putting It All Together: Producing Your Video

A. Videotaping

1. A Story: Tell the Guy on the Pipes to Quit Playing

2. What You WANT to Videotape

3. What You DO NOT Want to Videotape

4. Ask First, But Probably Videotape the Casket

a. It’s a Casket, Not a Coffin

5. Get There Early

6. How Long Does a Funeral Last

7. Standard Definition or High, 4x3 or 16x9

B. Audio

1. A Story: I Know it was a Compliment, but Leave it Out

2. Redundant Audio Backup

3. Your On-Camera (Built-In) Mic

4. Other Audio Recording Needs

5. Speak from the Podium, or Else

C. Lights, or Not?

1. A Story: Masons, Knights, Cops & Mariachis

2. When to Use Them

3. When it’s Better if You Didn’t

V. Putting It All Together: Editing Your Video

A. Basic Shoot, Deluxe Production & Unedited

1. A Story: This is Why People Hire a Professional

2. What Goes Into a Basic Production

3. What Goes Into a Deluxe Production

4. Do you WANT to Offer RAW Footage

a. Clean it Up First? (That’s Editing)

5. What Gets Left In, or Left Out

a. Do I Need the Family to Fill Out a Form

VI. Other Services You Can Offer

A. Photo-Music Memorial Montages

1. A Story: Facilities Don’t Always Get it Right

2. Production Levels & Styles

3. Scanning the Photos & Digital Resources

4. Remember: It’s the Photos

5. Keep It Short for Service, Longer for Reception or Family Only

6. Fast or Overnight Turnarounds Often Necessary

7. Offering, Giving Away, or Selling the Scanned Jpegs on CD

8. What Should I Charge

B. Satellite Feeds

1. A Story: Monitoring the Feed Guerrilla Style

2. What Does it Take to Do This

3. What if I Add Videotaping, Other Services

4. What Should I Charge

C. Audio Recording Only

1. A Story: OK, I’ll Take a Video Too

2. Back it Up for Security, Sales

3. What to Use for Audio Only

4. What Should I Charge

D. Memorial Montage Projection

1. A Story: Twenty Minutes Until Showtime & No Lamp

2. What Do I Need to Offer This

3. Have a Second System, Lamp (Know How to Replace)

4. What Should I Charge

E. Other Options & Opportunities

1. A Story: I Want to See My Memorial Montage Now

2. Heritage Productions: End of Life Testimonies

3. Personal Documentaries: Full Production Treatment

4. Something Special for Alzheimer’s & Hospice Families

5. On-Site Family History or Short Documentary Kiosks

VII. Support & Resource Materials

A. Direct-mail Postcards

B. Direct-mail Letters

C. Art & Graphics

D. Release Forms

E. Agreement Forms

VIII. DVD & CD Samples & Resources, PDF files

Advance orders are now accepted at a substantial savings over regular and special pricing. Inquire via e-mail to echessher@hotmail.com

Current pricing set at $49.99 plus S&H advance orders; $79.95 plus S&H for orders received between Dec. 15, 2010 and Jan. 10, 2011; Regular price $129.95 S&H included.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

They Shoot Funerals, Don't They?

Provide Professional Video Services
for a Seriously Under Served Market

(Excerpt from “They Shoot Funerals, Don’t They” publication by Earl Chessher, to be announced for publication, release and purchase between December 15, 2010 and January 10, 2011. Advance orders accepted.)

by Earl Chessher

Videotaping and producing funeral and memorial events is not for everyone, and not everyone is interested in acquiring this service. It has been my experience over the past 20 years, however, that everyone who is made aware affordable professional videotaping service is available has at least considered the opportunity to preserve a very personal and meaningful end-of-life experience.

Primarily, with client families, the decision is based on finances, and not so much on emotions. If they can afford to do so the majority of them will. Contrary to the opinions of many, most funeral services providers (funeral homes) are not offering videotaping services in an effort to “squeeze” another dollar out of a grieving family, but to offer a valid service for the preservation of special memories, eulogies and moments during this celebration of life.

“They Shoot Funerals, Don’t They” will correct much of the misconception and misinformation that exists today regarding funeral videotaping. A lot of what you read and hear is myth, or misconstrued “fact”, heavily based on personal opinion but not much experience. Not everyone has faced an end-of-life experience with a loved one, but until we have each of us has developed a personal scenario based on emotions, and bad information.

This resource will help you not only understand the very real need for funeral videotaping, as well as photo-music memorial montage, end-of-life heritage video, and personal documentary production, it will provide the information you need to pursue this market. Even if you aren’t seeking to specialize or actively expand into the funeral and memorial video production business, the information contained here will enable you to comfortably say “yes” should a request be made, knowing that you can in fact do what’s right and do it right.

To expand on your awareness of what goes on, and what can happen, during a funeral I’ve taken the liberty to share some of my experiences. In the interest of protecting the privacy of my client families I’ve either used fictitious names or none at all, but every vignette shared throughout this publication is real. These events actually happened. Reading them, along with the practical information, will prepare you for rewarding real-life opportunities in funeral video production.

You will learn what to expect, and what is expected of you. You will be surprised that much of what you’ve thought and heard throughout your life is not relevant to the business of funeral video production. You’ll become aware of the very real value placed on your services, and the deep sense of personal reward doing so provides.

You’ll be amazed at how often people who are mourning the loss of a loved one, families who have paid you to professionally videotape this private, often very personal, event will thank you for doing so. They will hug you, hold your hand, share a special personal story and say ‘God bless you,’ for being there. And your heart and soul will burst with feeling, empathy and emotion you never thought possible while in the middle of a bunch of strangers.

Editor’s note: Availability date of “They Shoot Funerals, Don’t They” will be announced Dec. 15, 2010. Advance orders are being accepted. Contact me via e-mail at echessher@hotmail.com regarding how to order.

This resource guide will include valuable informed and accurate information based on the author’s many years of experience in producing funeral, end-of-life and celebrations of life videos. Chapters will contain the information you need, from developing and marketing, to production and recommended equipment.

“They Shoot Funerals, Don’t They” will include templates, sample letters, direct-mail graphics, samples of funerals from basic coverage to fully edited, military honors events and more. There will be PDF and document files you can revise for your specific purposes and needs, as well as release and agreement forms, brochures and instruction sheets.

Remember: If you market, you will make it! © Earl Chessher