Cooking Videos - Tips to Get You Started

Cooking Videos - Tips to Get You Started

December 10, 2014

Last week we discussed the benefits of using video as a marketing and educational tool. Video is a great way for retail dietitians to deliver recipe and meal solutions to customers while taking their professional visibility to the next level.  Here are some tangible tips to help you get started.

Visualize the Final Product
Before you start your masterpiece, have a good idea what your finished video is going to look like. This might seem like obvious advice but it will help you be more efficient on shoot day and will give you an opportunity to really think about the structure of your creation. This doesn’t mean you can't change things as you go along; however, a simple road map will help. If you can visualize it, there is a good chance you can find a way to bring it to life.

Ideally, you’ll be able to work with a local studio to assist with video production. Look for a partner that has experience shooting food segments. Some studios have a functional kitchen set with off-camera appliances such as a stove, oven, microwave, and sink that can be used for prep. The studio may be able to make recommendations to help you assemble a production team that fits within your budget. Hiring a prop stylist and food stylist may seem expensive, but the cost is worth it to allow you, as the on-camera talent, to focus on what you do best. Also, think about who will handle recipe development, script writing, on-set direction, hair & makeup and video editing. Hiring a studio and a production team will help you to produce professional, high-quality videos.  

Most studios have no windows. They strategically place professional lights to have full lighting control. If you are not quite studio-ready or if you would prefer to shoot in your store or a home kitchen, you’ll need to be aware of lighting. Never stand in front of a window or glass door, as the light will not allow for a clear shot. If possible stand so the light is in front of you, and illuminates you- whether it’s a window, glass door, or even a lamp - having these in the shot without other balanced and targeted lighting is distracting and take away from the focus of the shoot.

You will need one to three high-definition cameras, including an overhead mirror or a track camera system to capture overhead shots. Use a lapel microphone to produce clean audio while cooking and to record voice-overs that you can use to describe close- up action such as knife or skillet work.  Using multiple cameras allows you to catch all the slicing, dicing, boiling, and simmering! Grabbing static shots of key ingredients and essential utensils should be saved for before or after the cooking process. And of course make sure to fully capture the final product while its fresh! Get the artsy shots before it’s devoured — and document people enjoying it as well! This can all be used for B-roll (secondary footage that you splice into your primary video to flesh out the story) and reminds you to prepare everything ahead.

When choosing a shot, one of the first things that should come to mind is framing. Don’t forget what’s visible in the background. Where will you need to stand and move? Will you have enough space to move in the frame? If doing a product shot – think about what you want to show your audience and ask yourself,” how do you want it to look?”

Putting it All Together
Choose a video program name, music and logos that are approved by your retail marketing department. You’ll want your content to be original but easily integrated with your store’s mission, message, and marketing goals. Add the final videos to your company’s website and You Tube Channel and promote on social and traditional marketing platforms. Then track and report viewership success!

Shoot Day Must Have’s
Portable, On-set Make-Up Kit
Hollywood Fashion Tape
Safety Pins
Hair Styling Products and Tools
Extra Wardrobe Selections
Comfortable Shoes