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Following production of our promotional video for Field Fare, director, Jo Haywood, offers these words of advice for those filming food.

Timing

When filming food you’re not only battling with a busy filming schedule but also with recipes that require careful timing. Food looks great when it’s hot from the oven but not so appetising when sat waiting for an unprepared camera crew. Make sure you plan your shots thoughtfully. Defrosting, cooking and cooling are perfect opportunities to film cutaways and scenes that aren’t so crucially time oriented, use them wisely! Often you will find only one opportunity to get the perfect shot and sometimes take 2 isn’t an option. Be prepared, take your time and don’t rush, you can’t re-carve a turkey or un-cut a cake.

Have lots of backup product

Make sure you have plenty of extra product kept cool and away from the lights to freshen up the “star” as the shoot goes on. The heat from the lights will be pretty brutal on the food so you’ll need to have some fresh, cool replacements that are still perky.  Also for Field Fare we had to defrost ingredients for many of the recipes, so we needed samples of food that were still frozen in case shots needed to be redone.

What’s the best lighting?

Soft lighting makes food look good.  The best lighting we’ve used for food shots is very diffused and set up well off the camera line. Some shadows will show depth and texture, but keep it subtle to avoid shadows. Then use a small key light for highlights.

Modelling the Food

Your finished dishes need to look gorgeous. Try and have someone on the shoot with an eye for detail who is responsible for displaying the food at its best.  And make use of coloured bowls and accessories to set off the natural colours of your ingredients.

Use a spray-bottle of cooking oil

Most food has a matte finish so the food surface doesn’t reflect much light. A spray bottle of oil will add a shine to items that will enhance how most food appears on film.

Keeping herbs fresh

Stop your herbs from wilting by wrapping them in a piece of damp kitchen towel and place this in the fridge.Or you could buy fresh herbs and display them in a terracotta pot.

Volume

You want your ingredients and final dishes to look bountiful.  So use plates or bowls that are the right size for a good display.

If you’d like to talk to us about your project, please call Jo on 0117 259 1587.

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