Continuing my education in cooking demonstrations, both live and on film, yesterday I learned how to make a Tasty-style video! You know what I am talking about: Tasty Videos are the quick 30-60 overhead video shots of food being created which are all over Facebook these days. I was asked to make some by the folks at Ingles Markets to help promote their website, The Ingles Table.
I was so excited when Ingles contacted me. They found me (I think) because of my cookbook, Our Family Table: Recipes & Lessons From A Life Abroad, which is for sale here in Asheville as well as online. And, according to them, the Carolina Bed & Breakfast and I are just what they were looking for: local food experts doing interesting things with food and recipes whom the Ingles shopper would be interested in knowing about. (For those of you who are not familiar with Ingles Markets, it is an American Regional Supermarket chain based in Black Mountain, NC. They have more than 200 supermarkets in the southeastern USA.) Ingles Markets also has a website, The Ingles Table, which has great recipes and short videos from a number of really interesting people from the Western North Carolina Area. It’s worth taking a look at if you are a foodie!
Yesterday the team from Bclip Productions arrived early at our Asheville Inn and set up their equipment for filming. This was not just a man with a camera! It included a teleprompter, multiple big lights, three cameras and a production assistant. They even brought a movie clapboard to synchronize the cameras before each take. (I’m easily impressed, I know) In short order they took over the room, draping windows, moving things in and out of sight-lines and placing flowers on both sides of the oven–which, while not practical, was certainly a look I like.
Filming is very different from a live demo. I am used to making contact with the audience all around the room and I found it hard to talk just to the camera. I kept addressing comments to the other people in the room. It’s also very tiring to be upbeat and perky to a camera for 5 hours. We used the teleprompter for the intros and endings but in between I cooked and talked. At times I felt like I was just babbling away but the team seemed okay with it. After each dish was completed, we re-filmed things which the camera missed, took some still promo shots and then set up the next one. Since we didn’t clean up the dishes but just moved them aside by the end of the day there was a monumental mess!
Another complicating factor was my oven. It stopped working the afternoon before the filming. This meant that James had to take the finished dishes over to Sarah’s house to cook them and bring them back, where they sat and got cold until we needed them. It really was not ideal and I’m not too happy about how some of them looked. I am trusting the photographers to fix it.
Finally we got to the Tasty-style videos. This was really fun: for one thing I didn’t have to talk at all.
Mike and Chris outlined the corners of a box on top of my kitchen island with some tape and then spotted the center of the frame. A camera was hung directly over the top and the monitor was right to the side so we could see how it looks.
They spent some time creating a really nice embellishment of lemon slices and fresh thyme which appears on the side of the frame. Once that was done we were ready to begin. Basically, it goes like this: slide a dish into the center of the frame then remove your hands. Repeat this action until all of the prepped ingredients are in the frame. This allows another person (Meagan) to label the ingredients on the final video. Then one by one, put the ingredients into the dish. This will all be sped up so it looks cool and magical. Finally remove the uncooked dish and slide in the finished dish (which hopefully looks enticing on camera). And my job was done. Now it was up to the editors to pull it all together.
As I looked around at my trashed kitchen I was thinking about starting to clean up when Mike asked me if I would mind coming with them to a nearby Ingles so they could get some film of me shopping. Apparently they like to use the newest store for these promo shots so we drove out to the Ingles across from the Asheville Malls. Ingles likes to keep updating and improving their stores so that they are state of the art and this market looked amazing. I think it says a lot about a company when they listen to their customers and go out of their way to satisfy them, modernizing as needed. We filled an Ingles shopping bag with some boxed groceries to give it some bulk and then headed to the produce section where I was asked to looked delighted and pleased by the range and quality of the produce. This was not difficult for me at all as they did have some really nice items there with some hard to find fresh vegetables and herbs. Off to the cash register to show off my Ingles Advantage card and we were finally done.
One last wonderful thing: James cleaned up the kitchen while I was gone. What a man!
For this series we filmed Medallions of Lemon-Mascarpone Stuffed French Toast with Blueberry-Thyme Compote, Upside-Down Mango Bread Pudding, and French Eggs in Puff Pastry. The Tasty-style videos were of Coronation Chicken and Yogurt based Vanilla Panna Cotta with Strawberry Coulis. Keep a lookout for them on The Ingles Table. I will post them on our Facebook page when they are up. The recipes are also available in my cookbook, Our Family Table: Recipes & Lessons from a Life Abroad. This can be purchased through Amazon or on the Carolina Bed & Breakfast Website.