Scott Davey – Funeral Filming

Scott Davey photographer and videographer at Funeral Filming.

This week on WHITEBALLOON INSIGHTS, we hear from Scott Davey of Funeral Filming about how a passion turned into a profession, with twists and turns along the way.

Q: You have been involved in filming and photography for more than 20 years. We’d love to hear what drew you to this career in the first place? 

A passion turned into a profession, I always had a very keen eye for photography when I was younger and I have a great love for images, moving and static.

The first half of my media career I started in motorsport, with my business SDimaging being one of the busiest photography agencies in Europe for over a dozen years. I was very lucky to work at all of the European race circuits, before moving into filming. The thrill and technical ability needed to be able to shoot very fast moving objects time after time always interested me.

Q: And at what point did you become involved in funeral streaming and photography?

An unexpected path change, like many businesses Covid hit and put an abrupt stop to my usual types of filming, which involved commercial drone filming, brand videos, and live streaming. I was asked by a friend, whose father sadly died of COVID, if I could livestream the funeral so his brother could watch who lived on the other side of the world. While at the church the funeral directors said they were being asked all the time for this service, this was the jump start into funeral filming.

To this present day, we have live streamed hundreds of funerals. We still do the work we did before Covid hit, but still love going to churches and other venues seeing the history of these wonderful places and meeting people.

Q: It’s so important that everything goes smoothly on the day, and the internet isn’t always as reliable as we would all like. How do you ensure that there aren’t any hitches? 

We always make multiple checks before the day, being fully prepared for how strong the internet connection is. When we use 4G units we check with Ofcoms 4G checker, this is a very reliable tool for seeing how strong the signal is at the location for each 4G network.

If the signal is low we have a choice of adding our satellite dish and we can also put up a mast outside of the venue. Our 4G broadcast units bond together with different networks to make one reliable stream.

Tech is not ever 100% reliable as we all know but we can strive for 99.9%.

At one service, I went to start a live stream our usual twenty minutes before to make sure the stream was working and the streaming service I use, Vimeo, was down. It turned out half the world’s internet went down for about two hours, even our Government websites. Quick thinking I checked Youtube and this was still going. I managed to change the stream on our website and the whole event went without a hitch without any viewers even knowing.

Q: Most people think of live streaming as taking place at a venue, but is it possible to live stream outside too? Perhaps in the middle of a wood or on a beach? 

All our equipment is setup so we do not have to use any venue power or internet. We have live streamed many services outside in woods, on hillsides, and families gardens to name a few. We often livestream the graveside part of the service and could do this anywhere.

Q: You also offer funeral photography. Is this something that people are choosing more often now? 

I wouldn’t say it’s as regular as filming, it is usually a great add-on while we are there live streaming. Being able to take candid shots of families that may not have seen each other for a while is very special. We have lots of photography equipment to use for shooting with a long lens from a distance which always gives special moments, or whole crowds together.

Q: And finally, is there a particular photographer or videographer, or maybe a particular book, that has inspired you along the way? 

Paolo Roversi an Italian fashion photographer I always admired, photography that is more like a moment in time. With paintings, I much prefer the look of chemicals rather than pixels.

Although I am a complete tech nerd, you need to be in this industry of live events. I love to know about the latest tech that can make these events better.

Thank you Scott for your insights.

To find out more about the Scott and the services he provides, please go to the Funeral Filming website.

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