Filming at Death Cafes

Posted by Jon Underwood on Feb. 19, 2015, 11:03 p.m. 4 comments



I've been asked a lot lately about whether it is ok to film or interview people at a Death Cafes. Our guide is not very clear about this so I wanted to say a bit more.


In the right conditions it is possible to:

- Film or audio record an Death Café taking place

- Record an interview people before and after the Death Café


Guidelines concerning the right conditions for recording at Death Café are as follows:


- Firstly the Death Café host and facilitators have to be ok with it. If you’re the organizer and someone asks to record at your Death Café and you’re not comfortable with it then feel free to say no. It is entirely at your discretion if this takes place


- If you’re ok with this then the next thing to consider is the comfort of attendees as Death Cafes rely on being a safe setting to talk about death and dying.

If you’re planning to record the actual Death Café then attendees should be informed in advance. They should never turn up to be surprised by someone wanting to record the actual Death Café unless there is an option for them not to be recorded


- If someone is not recording the actual Death Café but rather looking to interview attendees before or after, then attendees don’t necessarily need to be informed in advance. However they should be informed about what’s going on by the host, ideally upon arrival.


- If people record at Death Cafes then please ask them to share the recordings with us via the website.


That’s it! If you have any thoughts about how this guidance can be improved please say and I will look to improve it.





Thanks Lizzy, that's super helpful :)

Posted by Jon Underwood

Thanks Marie-France but the website says that I can't play the video in the UK :(

Posted by Jon Underwood

Hi John, In the case of the Death Café in Montreal, we were filmed by a TV crew aiming to share the message and can be found here:
The leader was part of the report. Enjoy!

Posted by Marie-France

Hi Jon
A few thoughts to add.
There are some venues who may object to filming, so the host should get authorization in advance from the manager if it is in a cafe space. Hopefully they would not object because it is positive publicity. Hosts can share prior media articles with venue managers if they need to make a case for it.

My personal guidelines for journalists is that they also need to be attendees. I know several other hosts who have done that as well.

Hosts need to be conscious about photography as well and give people opportunity to either get out of the picture or sit with their back to the camera if they don't want their image to be captured. I took pictures in the beginning (how could I not!) but I no longer photograph.

For B-roll or radio, it is not necessary to film an entire event. At one where I had a radio journalist, he participated without recording and then we created a "mini" death cafe at the end of just people who wanted to be on the radio. It took 10 minutes.

I always do tell people in my intros that my involvement in the whole thing stemmed from my reading a blog post of someone who attended. I assume everyone who attends is a potential blogger and it is part of my intro that I acknowledge and welcome people to write about their own reflections but ask that they honor privacy and not tell other people's personal stories.
Hope this helps!

Posted by Lizzy Miles

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