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Filming with Food

The COVID-19 pandemic has been restricting production with people, so we’ve been filming a whole lot of food. And hey, we’re not complaining. Neither are our taste buds. But there’s a pretty intense creative process behind it all. Short recipe videos are a staple for social media, and it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. Here’s a few tips to make sure your recipe videos come out on top.

1. Find a clean location

Okay, don’t be a wise guy. Obviously the kitchen you film in needs to be clean! I’m talking about aesthetic here, people. It’s ideal to find a space that suits the recipe. We tend to use spaces that are modern for the most part and made up of neutral colors like white and grey. That way, the focus is all on the recipe. When the crew is getting gear ready on set, I like to go ahead and dress the kitchen to match the aesthetic of the recipe. For instance, we received the recipe book below in the mail from our client, and the two main colors were green and white.

Soooo…. I set a task for myself of bringing the book colors to life throughout the kitchen set! Adding pops of color to match the cover of the book was a huge success with my client.

2. Shoot TONS of B-Roll

It’s all about the cutaways! With someone else actually making the recipe step-by-step, you are free to film everything. A macro lens can be super cool, but it’s not always in budget.

Filmed with a macro lens for a higher budget shoot

That’s why it’s important to get close-ups of every step. It will make up the majority of your piece.

Slo-mo beauty shots and tights made up the majority of this piece.

3. Switch it up

The trend in EVERY recipe video you see on social media is to shoot from above. So guess what I try to avoid….

Overhead shots! It’s overdone (at least the stagnant overhead shot for the entire piece). Don’t be afraid to venture out and try new angles. There are no rules when it comes to the world of recipe videos. Try a time-lapse or some crazy transitions in post. Heck, bring in a dolly to do some of the hard work! And don’t be afraid to find music that’s out of the box.

This recipe video heavily relied on transitions. We wrote out each step shot-for-shot and created a list of how to incorporate transitions into the piece.

So, did these tips give you some fresh ideas for your latest food project? Or… are you just ready for an afternoon snack and an adult beverage? I know I am. Cheers!