To learn more about Arlington funeral videography, our qualifications to provide it, and our approach to it, here’s some additional information:
Q: What are the benefits of Arlington funeral videography?
A: The most common benefits our clients mention are the sense of having honored and remembered their loved one, celebrated his or her life, and shared the funeral service with those who weren’t able to attend. As with most major personal events, the emotions of the moment tend to obscure details taking place in real time. Watching the video later helps to fill in and retain those missed details. Professional Arlington funeral videography will greatly enhance what you see and hear…compared to both amateur coverage and just being there. We’re told by many that watching their video provided comfort during their time of grieving.
Q: Are videographers working at Arlington National Cemetery approved or certified by Arlington?
A: No. Arlington doesn’t provide videography services and has no qualification standards for videographers hired by families. Any family-hired videographer can shoot the appropriate funeral service. Arlington staff members are prohibited from providing videographer recommendations. They are also prohibited from providing family contact information to videographers. So, it’s up to each family to do the necessary screening and select the kind of videographer and video they want.
Q: Why should I select Cameo Video Productions?
A: For nearly two decades we’ve been combining the highest levels of technical quality with optional personalization and artistry in our Arlington funeral videography. Each Client-Design video is a unique collaboration between client and studio. Doing what we love to do, we’ve won four WEVA International Creative Excellence Awards for Social Event Coverage and Highlights. These awards are specifically for our Arlington funeral videography. We received these awards in international competition after anonymous judging of final client videos by a panel of highly qualified peers in the event video industry. Judging criteria included dramatic impact, creativity, originality, shooting and editing style, and overall production content. We’ve won three Gold awards and one Silver. Some clients have attributed the quality differences in our videos to insights we gained while serving in the military.
Q: How many cameras do you use to shoot a funeral?
A: At least two and sometimes three. Two or three cameras allow for continuous coverage of the service, a smoother edit, and a more polished finished product…because there are fewer breaks in usable visuals and audio while new scenes are being set up. Using just one camera results in missed small pieces of the service and a choppy edit. We’ve found that using more than two or three cameras adds nothing significant to our ability to fully document most services.
Q: How do you get good audio of the funeral service?
A: We come with directional on-camera microphones, wireless microphones, redundant systems, and backup units. We test all microphone batteries as part of our preparations, place our microphones where they will do their jobs best, and manage audio volume levels manually. The only audio problem we must disclaim is the jet engine noise associated with nearby Reagan National Airport.
Q: Is having more photographers and videographers a good idea?
A: Not particularly. Unless carefully coordinated, they tend to get in each other’s way. Sometimes photographers (pros and amateurs alike) want so much to get the best shots that they don’t notice they’ve moved right in front of our cameras and blocked our views…or they’re moving around in the background of the scene we’re shooting. To minimize these problems, we include 30 to 50 photos-from-video as part of our upgrade to the Artistic Documentary editing style. These .jpg images on a disc can be enlarged to 11″ x 14″ size. Click here to see a sample, and decide if our photos-from-video could save you the cost of a professional photographer.
Q: Why are your cameras mounted on tripods? What about handheld or shoulder-mounted cameras?
A: Using tripods provides the stable look we believe matches the dignity of the funeral services. Handheld and shoulder-mounted cameras may work well for edgy news or a suspenseful movie, but the “bobbley” look they produce seems to us to detract from the solemn precision of Arlington funeral services.
Q: How far in advance should I book Cameo Video?
A: As soon as possible after you’ve scheduled your funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. If your funeral date is available when you first call, we’ll schedule a phone consultation and hold your funeral date open until then. The most important challenge is to call before someone else books the date.
Q: Are there any things I should watch out for in hiring another videography company?
A: We recommend that you not hire any photo & video company that contacts you by mail before you contact them. This aggressive marketing practice has been reported as hurtful and in poor taste by a number of military families in the midst of their grief. Two companies typically send a post card or brochure a few days after the funeral is scheduled at Arlington National Cemetery. If this has happened to you, and you have strong feelings about it, please let us know!
When you’re ready to commit to your videographer, we recommend you provide a deposit and insist on a signed contract. Working with a videographer who doesn’t require any documentation or advance payment may sound great…until that videographer later overbooks and then drops you as a client just days before the funeral. We get the desperate calls from the dropped clients when this happens, but we can’t always jump in and help.
Cameo Video Productions of Washington