The Stuff About Making a Cooking Show That Nobody Tells You

"fid":"526988","viewmode":"wysiwyg","fields":"format":"wysiwyg","type":"media","attributes":"alt":"","title":"Having your own cooking show is an awesome experience","style":"width: 300px height: 199px margin-left: 2px margin-right: 2px margin-top: 2px margin-bottom: 2px border-top-width: 3px border-right-width: 3px border-bottom-width: 3px border-left-width: 3px border-top-style: solid border-right-style: solid border-bottom-style: solid border-left-style: solid float: left ","class":"media-element file-wysiwyg"So, you have a video camera. You can use Windows Media Maker. You can cook. And youre ready to seek your fame and fortune on the fertile landscape of the World Wide Web. Ready to start filming? Not so fast!

It is true that websites like YouTube and Daily Motion allow the artist in you to indulge himself or herself into their artistic pursuirts. But now, you have a wider choice. You can blend in with the Rank and File film hobbyists, or you can get serious. Making an episodic cooking shows an awful lot of fun, but hard work as well. You have to keep in mind that filming yourself cooking a recipe and putting it up on the web is NOT a bad thing! In fact, its a lot of fun. But theres a big difference between a cooking DEMO and a cooking SHOW.

In this blog, we shall focus on my personal experience to put together a cooking show, with the help of my fiance. It all began in July of 06, when my fianc and I decided to produce a cooking tutorial to put on the web. We thought we were already ahead of the game because Mike is a high school video teacher. We had access to all sorts of nice equipment, so we figured that we were ready to go!

Wrong! We filmed out first disastrous 8-minute episode in the span of 3 hours, and spent another 6-8 hours in front of the computer editing. When we were done, we had a really crappy video. We promptly pressed the Delete key on the file, and came up with a new plan. Herere some of the things we discovered, which could help you as well to create a cooking show of your own.


Its not enough to say, I want to make a show. What kind of show is it? To whom will it appeal? Are you painting yourself into a corner with even your title? Say your nickname is Peanut, so you think it would be clever to create a show called, Peanut Cooks Peanuts. Thats all well and good, but have you done your homework? How many GOOD peanut recipes are you going to be able to come up with? And really, how many people are going to tune in every week to learn new peanut recipes?


That first episode was a disaster because we assumed it would be a lot like our nightly meal-time. At the end of it, we realised that if nightly meal-time were 3 hours long, and filled with re-takes, bickering, and burned ingredients, wed be eating out a lot more.

We PLANNED for me to just cook normally, except talking to a camera to explain the steps. Then wed edit out the cooking lulls, and voila! A hit show would be born! Heres the fundamental problem with that TV and Real Life are mutually exclusive! TV has nothing to do with reality, much to the chagrin of those of you watching Survivor and thinking its ridiculous that the show employs writers. Filming a person cooking a meal is about as interesting as watching C-Span when theyre airing a Congressional hearing. I mean, think about Emeril. Even Emeril-The-Great puts his food in the oven and then magically pulls a completely cooked meal out 10 seconds later! Count on your show needing to be shot in a segment format: Intro, Prep, Stove-Top, Season, Add extra Ingredients, Plate, etc. That way theres a clear line of communication between the videographer and the on-air talent as to when something important is going to happen and needs to be filmed.


And even Emiril focuses on ENTERTAINING his audience first, and showing them how to cook SECOND. Thats why we remember his Bam! long before we recall specific meals we watched him cook.


1 Buy a Tripod They only cost a few dollars and are the best buy. You might not think you need one, but you will need one.

2 Use a Script, But Dont Read From It Even the BEST public speaker will use a lot of ums and ahs if they dont have a plan in place before they open their mouth. Also, without a script, youll invariably catch yourself saying Damn! I forgot to say immediately after your videographer says cut.


Pre-planning the format of the show should allow you to figure out the specific times you will need to be filmed. Why not pre-plan what youre going to say during those times? But try your best to memorize the script before you shoot. Even if you can figure out a way to look at the words without your eyes darting all over the screen, there are VERY few people that can read aloud and sound like theyre not reading. At the very least, it will sound forced and tired.


So you think that because youre filming a 10-minute webisode, youll be done filming in less than a half-hour? Think again. Our average is about an hour-and-a-half to two-hours, and that's after 10 weeks of experience. This amount of time includes multiple-retakes, pausing for a breather in-between contiguous segments, and so-on.


Last, but not the least, people arent going to sit in front of their monitors and watch you for 30 minutes. So if your idea is meals you can cook in 2 hours, understand up front that youre going to be editing out 90 of what you film. Group important things like essential instructions and cool tricks together, and film them during the same segment.

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