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    Getting Angles for a Cooking Show.
    #1
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    im putting together a cooking show and i'm using two dvx100b along with a light like this http://www.coollights.biz/cl455-cool...ight-p-31.html and some wireless audio equipment.

    here are some cinematic dillemas i face:

    1) i want to reproduce what they have on the food network. do i need to put one cam on a tripod and one on shoulder? or should i keep on shoulder and one with steadicam?

    2) the stove is BEHIND chef (not on an island) and im afraid of ruining the cooking shots with her back facing the cam -OR- doing a side shot and possibly risking the view of the other camera in the shot.

    3) can i do the whole show (3 hours - broken into segments) with steadicam or will it give the audience an headache?


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    Sam,
    There is a reason cooking shows use an "out front" island cooking area.
    It's the best way to get decent coverage of the process and allows lighting the talent and food so that they both look good.
    I'd suggest trying to change your location.
    Hope this helps.
    Ken
    the Screen Skins guy


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    In response to question 1, I would suggest a tripod on a spider dolly, then you can track around or push in as needed.

    Good Luck


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    Custom Title! Jeff Anderson's Avatar
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    Food network did a good behind the scenes a month or so ago. For shows like Tyler florence its only one camera. First take is wide and has him explaining everything. There are two more and I cant quite remember how they were doing it but it was basic pickup of all the details like onions frying or his hands chopping stuff. Lots of CUs in the pickups. I'm pretty sure the last two runs also had no audio and were much shorter to shoot. If you cant get a different location just shoot it once on a tripod wide and just film the chef's back then do another run through with steadicam or multirig or similiar and stay over chef's shoulder. Should be able to cut together along with a third run of CU of the food and hands prepping.


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    Quote Originally Posted by jdajda View Post
    Food network did a good behind the scenes a month or so ago. For shows like Tyler florence its only one camera. First take is wide and has him explaining everything. There are two more and I cant quite remember how they were doing it but it was basic pickup of all the details like onions frying or his hands chopping stuff. Lots of CUs in the pickups. I'm pretty sure the last two runs also had no audio and were much shorter to shoot. If you cant get a different location just shoot it once on a tripod wide and just film the chef's back then do another run through with steadicam or multirig or similiar and stay over chef's shoulder. Should be able to cut together along with a third run of CU of the food and hands prepping.
    thanks jdajda! would you (or anyone) know the name of that behind the scenes shoot of the food network shows?


    also, i really want to shoot like they do in the food network, but im afraid that if i do it in several takes and throw the cut-ins during editing, it will affect the CONTINUITY of the show. one moment the chef will be cutting a large onion and in the cut in, the onion will be slightly different in size. what can i do about that?


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    Custom Title! Jeff Anderson's Avatar
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    I think it was just Food Network: Behind the scenes The wiki for "Good Eats" also has some interesting production notes.

    About the continuity - get the same sized onions I honestly dont know that a slight difference in size will be noticable to the viewer. Start watching for continuity in some of these shows and I think you'll be surprised. But you will want to ensure that your talents technique never varies.

    The segment on Tyler Florence showed clips of his director going over every last move from grab the pot off the rack, then grab the onion then do this, then do that, etc. Very heavily scripted as far as actions go. Or go just handheld only a la Good Eats. I dont think they ever have a tripod shot. Probably do, but the majority is CU of Alton. Lots of shooting over his shoulder.

    And I havent seen this done in a while but the early cooking shows made extensive use of overhead mirrors at an angle. Just shoot the mirror for the over head shot and there is no 2nd camera in the way. This was when all cooking shows were live audience and I guess it was not cool to have crew running all over the place like you tend to see on all the shows now. Iron Chef is always fun to watch just for the crew running around if nothing else.

    I think if I were you I would just pick a show and emulate its shooting style. Rachel Ray solves the problem of over the shoulder shots by not having any. All our front side shots and when she turns around she just doesnt do it for very long. Looks multicam though just because the hurriedness of the 30 minute thing would be hard to keep continuous as would be her unscripted food babblings. Good luck and keep us posted. I love cooking shows.


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    Two-Hip Shakur Beat Takeshi's Avatar
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    Funny you would post this because I'm shooting a cooking show in Florida this Friday and I'm thinking the same things, (angles and stuff). I think we are using 2 Sony cams for this and I have to learn the camera on top of lighting this. My friend says he wants to just blast the whole thing from the ceiling which sounds good to me but I'm not sure what we are going to have at our disposal yet.
    This is the 3rd time this month I had a shoot and someone posted the exact same thing with the same questions I was going to ask. One was a movie theater, the other was a crime scene and now this...I love the internet.
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    Two-Hip Shakur Beat Takeshi's Avatar
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    Hey that mirror thing sounds great. I wonder if we would have one.
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    DVXuser Sponsor Cool Lights's Avatar
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    Personally, if I were doing this, I would go with a reasonably priced switcher and edit in realtime so to speak with a live shoot. In fact I really love live shoots. Keeps people on their toes! Only stop if really necessary and only do pickups later if absolutely necessary too. You can always edit the pickups or other closeups into the finished product if you need to.

    I'd have two cameras on the floor and one overhead of the cooking island. Something like a Newtek VT like I have is perfect.

    www.newtek.com

    Really is like a TV studio in a box. Has views for the preview bus as well as what's being recorded. You can pick your transitions from fancy DVE to simple cut or fade. Chroma key is even possible live.

    I've used it for live shoots before and it's been really reliable. Perhaps you can rent one in your town or just rent a smaller switcher. You'll have the 3 views to choose from with 3 cameras and then switch appropriately among the views either recording the result to disk or to a separate recorder of some kind. You can add a headphone unit if you like to let camera people know where to go but I've actually done it without that (just so long as your camera people are competent and know their areas to stay in and what they should be focusing on in general). This takes care of your continuity problem too as you mainly have the finished product that was shot live all in the can at the end of the production.

    Local TV stations and networks have been using this method of production since TV began and its tried and tested. Even many prime time shows and daytime offerings (game shows, news, talk shows, etc) are shot like this too and I'll bet a few cooking shows are even shot this way.

    Some audience shows are shot 2 at a time with the same audience so there is precedence for your other question about longevity of an audience--Price is Right comes to mind. Anyone been to that? Talk about an all day experience--which starts at 6am or so and goes until 4pm or later sometimes. The audience knows they have to behave and that if anything stops because of a heckler--the heckler is ejected because they really don't like to stop for any reason other than commercial breaks which last 3 or 4 minutes or so.

    As for lighting, just depends upon the look you want. You can go the route of just making everything evenly lit with a fluorescent 8U 200w bulb or two either in or out of chinese lanterns above all the action and then a couple of soft units on the floor or just above the central cooking area to key and fill the chef. Really depends upon the look you want how you spread the fixtures and what types you use. "Dramatic look" or not really aware that anything special is going on with lighting.
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    Two-Hip Shakur Beat Takeshi's Avatar
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    I tell you one thing, I wish i had some cool lights on the shoot. I was up on a stool for the shots of the food and it was like 200 degrees up there. It felt like winter time outside in 90 degree weather. I think I lost 20 pounds that day.
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