I’ve been lucky enough over the years to get a glimpse into the world of production. From my brief stint on Season 2 of the Next Food Network Star to a couple of other culinary gigs here and there, I’ve gotten to understand that the folks that bring us quality media work incredibly hard, and it’s not the glamorous lives that some of us imagine. Call times start before dawn, and a crew usually arrives before that to set up all the equipment and test out lighting and sound. Days, weeks, months on the road are often involved. It’s an industry where everyone starts at the bottom to work their way up, but moving up doesn’t mean life gets an easier. Days of filming are long and tiring and seniority doesn’t get you out of anything. Unlike what most of the world knows, being part of a production team is the anti-office job. You’re on your feet all day. Everyone has a clear and important role (like getting lunch – we all need lunch). Decisions are made on the spot. Did we get the shot? Do we need to film that again? Move left. Move right. Let’s do that again.
I have been impressed with every producer I’ve met. Before I worked with Neil Regan my producer for NFNS, the title producer was really just an empty title to me. I had no idea what a producer actually did. Well, I’ve learned that a producer does an awful lot, and it’s a damn hard job. They are story tellers. They have an incredible eye for detail to make sure that everything is filmed just the way they want it to look. They make sure the words capture the story they want to create. They then are also a big part of the editing process piecing together a cohesive and engaging production (btw the editing process is a tremendous task as the footage shot is probably 20x to 50x of what is needed for the final product ). They are also incredibly personable people (at least in the food world). They make you feel at ease on camera, make you excited to talk about food, and instill confidence in you to get the shot and words they need.
In early May, I got to work with the production team at KinCommunity a new YouTube channel dedicated to making beautiful programming for women. I met with them back in January and have been crushing over their KinEats videos since. I couldn’t wait to get back down to Santa Monica and start filming some of my favorite recipes with them. Most of the food talent (yes, I’m “talent” – how awesome is that?) lives down in southern California, and they usually film right in their homes. Luckily my northern California location didn’t stop them from working with me. They found a great spot for us to film with a kitchen that I only dream about and brought in everything I would need to demo my recipes. My call-time was at 6:30 but by the time I showed up, a crew of folks had already started getting everything ready, bringing in I don’t know how many pounds of sand bags (for a flood?), lighting equipment, food props, and of course, coffee. The day was long but we luckily moved through the five recipes I picked relatively quickly and ended at a reasonable time. Enough time for me to catch a bowl of ramen at Jinya before heading to LAX. Here are some of the behind the scene photos below.
The interview set-up. In the picture is Kelly Bryson, my totally awesome producer for the day
Our awesome camera men / producers Goro (left) and Ishe (right) filming the clapboard to capture take I don’t know how many in whatever “scene” we’re shooting
These are the screens that Kelly looks at to decide if we’ve got the right shot
Next blog post will feature the first video that launched!