NEWSTART Cooking School Production

Production for the NEWSTART Cooking School.

Well we did it, after a lot planning and getting everything in line. My principle role was associate producer working with Producer Tom Baril Director Business Development at  the NEWSTART Lifestyle Program at Weimar Institute.  We filmed 9 recipes and each one lasting about 5 to 10 minutes. Our intention with this particular batch of cooking demos is to create a product which the graduates of the Weimar Institutes “NEWSTART Program” can watch and actually make something which will work the first time.

As a Director/Cinematographer on this project I wanted to film it in a similar way I did with the Dr. John McDougall series of cooking videos “McDougall Made Easy” I did a while back at his home in Santa Rosa California. Here is an example of what we did for him. He would do an intro then we did a series of cooking demos in his home kitchen with his wife Mary which followed each intro he did. Keep reading I’ll explain how I did the NEWSTART Cooking School. This McDougall copy was most likely ripped from a DVD I did for them so the quality is not great but needless to say it gets the point across.

McDougall Cooking Demo

 So what I did was take the whole concept we did with McDougall to another level of production value. I filmed in HD of course, we did not have it back then with Dr McDoucall, at least at an affordable price point which was reasonable. By the way we, filmed those with three Panasonic DVX-100b’s. They worked great, then I multi camed them in Final Cut Pro. Now I use the Adobe CC Suit, which I think is great.

A Couple of Challenges

A couple of challenges we needed to over come first was the echo in the new cooking school. The room had way to much echo. So we installed a couple of dozen sound panels all around the room, what a difference that made.  If you look in the background you can see the panels we installed the day before.

Wide Left Side View NS cooking demos #2

The second challenge we has was the window behind the sink on the back wall. Their is a roof outside that window and it does not look all that great.  Plus the simple fact that the window is very bright and the cameras don’t like it. So our illustrious producer Tom came up with this brilliant idea of branding the cooking school demos with this foam core board and putting the Newstart logo on it. I had him do the back ground in charcoal grey so it would not compete with the foreground talent.  I thought I turned out fantastic. Its very clean and really sends the branding point home that your are watching a NEWSTART Life Style product.



From a Camera Stand Point
From a camera stand point I wanted to have a long RigWheels camera slider ( in the front so I could skate back and forth across the front. I have filmed many cooking schools with handheld and cameras on tripods panning but I really wanted something different which would add some production value to it.    So with slightly modified rig wheels setup I managed to get something together which I though would be effective. I changed out the wheels to ( grooved wheels and the rig is a lot smoother.



I put a camera to my left on sticks for the hand stuff, chopping cutting kneading etc which was not intended for the in the cooking pan stuff.  You can see that camera over on the left side of the counter.

Radek Prepping                   Back Wide NS Cookiing demos


For the in the pan shots I put a camera on a 10 step ladder with an operator which lived up there grabbing shots down inside the pan. I really wanted my audience to see whats going on in those pans. We ended up covering the legs of the ladder with black so the other camera would not see it when shooting across the counter.



You can see the slate on the counter. We slated each camera so when we get to post production it will be easy to get the shots into multi cam mode and do a live cut, so to speak. 


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