Absolute Live Productions stepped in to allow bereaved family and friends abroad to join a memorial service in the US via live stream. The unexpected is often imperfect, especially in timing and circumstance. Many of the bereaved family and friends lived in Lebanon and were simply unable to spontaneously travel to the United States with only a few days notice. Many of the family members and friends in Lebanon were unable to make travel arrangements to attend the memorial in Los Angeles within the allotted time frame and were devastated by the prospect of not being able to say their goodbyes.
The majority of live streams produced by Absolute Live Productions are created with an element of excitement, or celebration, or education connected to them. They open doorways of access to the global community, inviting the world to a single, local event anywhere on the planet where there’s internet. Sports, music, city council announcements, presentations on Quantum Electrodynamics; it’s commonplace to live stream virtually anything intended to engage an audience.
This project serves to remind us that streaming can also bring people together in many different ways, acting as a bridge from one side of the planet to another, allowing an event to become an ambassador beyond borders, a needed emissary for grieving and closure.
Dave Rosen – CEO of Absolute Live Productions – received a call from the family four days before the service was scheduled. They were out of time, out of budget and looking for help. “I said yes,” recalls Rosen. “My heart went out to them. They needed a window into the memorial for the family members who couldn’t get here from Lebanon, and I knew live streaming would give them one.”
There were challenges immediately, including the fact the venue didn’t have an Internet connection reliable enough to use for live streaming. “We had to bring in our TVU Pack to connect to the Internet so we could stream,” said Rosen. “The TVU Pack has been vital to getting out countless streams for us – it’s really opened the door to doing streams that wouldn’t have been possible a few years ago.” Absolute also faced a very sensitive, creative challenge – how to capture the open casket viewing in a way that wasn’t intrusive yet allowed the family members on the live stream to feel as though they were a part of the memorial. “We talked to the family and had them show us exactly how they wanted the camera to frame it. It was important to them – it’s a very emotional thing, a funeral… We were there to give them what they wanted – we wanted to get it right for them,” said Rosen.
When asked how he managed to bring the live stream in on budget with the time constraints and logistical obstacles they faced, Rosen smiled and shrugged. “This time, it wasn’t about that. We set aside a little of our operating budget for rainy days. This was a rainy day. They’re a nice family that needed a way to say goodbye. With memorial live streaming, we had a way for them to that.” As CEO of a company, Rosen knows fully well he can’t make a habit of going out of pocket and still make ends meet. But he also knows the value of giving back to the community, something he believes in and likes to do without being sentimental or self-congratulatory. “They had a need, we had a solution. I’m just glad it all worked out.”