To find out the perfect recipe for clutter-breaking food video, we caught up with Ruchi Shrivastava, Founder - Greed Goddess Media at the recently concluded Culinary Chroniclers Conclave. Ruchi is a well-known television producer and documentary filmmaker. She has managed to seamlessly get food and media to work together through TV shows, special food events and brand vignettes.
During a workshop on ‘Setting up a Microwave Video Shoot in your Kitchen’ by Godrej Appliances, she doled out some useful tips.
1. Write down your concept: The first step towards creating a video which stands out is figuring out your concept. Ruchi suggests writing down all the ideas. Don’t settle for your first idea. Come back to it later if you feel it is the best one after you’ve written down all your ideas.
2. Flesh out your idea completely: Once you finalise your concept, think about what you want from your video. Decide that one peg on which you will base your videos such as cuisine based on the coastal belt of Maharashtra or cuisine from the dunes of Rajasthan. Be as specific as you can and plan your videos around it. When you decide on a concept, try tracing it back to history. It helps in creating a story. It also gives your audience a little more to take back than just the recipe.
3. Break down the elements: It’s best to create a storyboard of your ideas, as it will help you during the shoot. Since you are a one-man show, make a list of everything you need to do.. Plan your day accordingly and shoot it in one go.
4. Build your character: Why do you like watching food shows of certain chefs? Because you like their style and can relate to it. If you are facing the camera, build your own character. See what works for you and the kind of on-screen personality you’d like to build for yourself. Make it an extension of your own personality as it is easier for your viewer to connect with you. Your character should convey your passion for food.
5. Create a script: It is important that you make a note of all things you’d like to say on camera. It gives you clarity and reduces chances of blabbering. Include pointers such as the storyline, background, history of the recipe, followed by the recipe itself.
6. Pre-production preparation: Make a list of all the things you need for the shoot, like the camera, lights, etc. Avoid getting bogged down by your budget and infrastructure. Once you have the list, strike down what doesn’t fit your budget. Look for inexpensive alternatives. Shooting a video single-handedly can be a tough task. Ask your friends and family to help. Plan your shoot in advance as it makes the whole process smooth.
7. Recipe prepping: Although you may know your recipe well, when you are creating small portions, the measurements vary drastically. Always prepare your recipe a day prior to the shoot. It helps you to arrive at correct measurements and avoid confusions during the shoot.
8. Shooting the video: Who says you must always shoot a food video in the kitchen? You can set up a small table for your shoot in your drawing room or on a terrace. However, if you must shoot in the kitchen, break the shoot into two parts. Shoot the prep portion outside and then the actual cooking in the kitchen. This breaks the monotony of the shoot and also adds fluidity to the video.
9. Setting up the camera: Avoid mounting your camera on a tripod, it restricts the movement. Use two cameras if possible. You can experiment with a DSLR and a mobile phone camera as well. Use one camera to shoot the close shots and one for long shots.
10. Shooting the recipe: Always shoot the recipe twice. It helps you decide which parts can be shot in different modes such as high-speed and regular mode. Shoot the tadka or the process of dusting the cake with powdered sugar in high-speed, it makes the video more interesting. Mark these steps in your recipe and shoot them the second time.
11. Editing: Use all the footage, the long shots and the close shots while editing your video. You can use readily available software such as iMovie or the Windows Movie Premier. They are easy to use as they not only reduce your production cost but also reduce your dependence on an editor.
Along with these, Ruchi also shared some very interesting tips on shooting an amazing microwave cooking video. Check it out!