For this fun assignment we had to condense several of Jamie Oliver’s fun Christmas recipes down into a short teaser video for jamieoliver.com. These were succulent roast potatoes, glazed Christmas ham, mulled wine, parsnip pie and a cute gingerbread house complete with almonds as roof tiles.
We first broke down the recipes with the food stylist who would be cooking them, came up with a list of ‘must have’ shots and noted down when in the process these would need to be filmed.
For this shoot we used several filming techniques based around surprisingly small cameras (we used a series of Canon 5D Mk4s). We used a traditional camera slider to get some nice lateral movement for actions such as chopping, and a smaller tabletop dolly for shots that would look better with some slight rotation, such as when moving around saucepans. We also used a top-mounted camera linked to our field monitor in the studio kitchen we were using for clear views of the pans over the gas hobs. This was rigged to a bar on the ceiling that allowed a perfectly steady top-down view.
We used a fair bit of slow motion, particularly for brushing and dripping the glaze onto the meat. This really upped the ‘mouth-watering’ factor and gave a nice smooth feel to these shots.
Once the recipes had been completed they were then ‘dressed’ for the finishing shots, where we used various textured and coloured rustic surfaces and natural window light to make the meals look even more warm and inviting as winter treats. Here we worked alongside a dedicated stills photographer who was capturing images for the latest Jamie Oliver Christmas cook book. The most fun finished setup was the gingerbread house, where we shook some icing sugar onto it through a sieve to look like snow and again filmed in slow motion. Some out-of-focus fairly lights in the background added to the warm and snuggly Christmas feel.
When we did the post-production there was very little fancy editing required as we had made most of our decisions on the day and in-camera. A jaunty Christmas jazz track was the finishing touch, and the result was one very tasty promo video which went down a treat.