Director/Editor: Casey Cornett
DP: Jon Chema
Location: Nashville, TN
Production Company: Sketch Creative
I recently shot a series of regional spots for Backyard Burger, a gourmet fastfood restaurant throughout the southeastern USA. The shoot consisted of two 15 second and one 30 second spots showcasing their latest spicy chicken and fish filet sandwiches.
We had the luxury of only having to shoot in one location. I say luxury, because I feel that nowadays, producers are feeling like they can squeeze more and more locations into a single shooting day. However, I’ll save that rant for another post
One location allowed us to get away with a smaller, more efficient crew and pre-light multiple setups. Overall, this sped up the shooting process. Chose to shoot on the Red Epic for this project as it involved several food shots and the RAW workflow was a must for post. I approached the day by dividing it in half- shooting the food/product shots first and the narrative last. This allowed me and my team to spend the time we needed to pre-light the food and make the tweaks the client requested. We didn’t have the luxury of a true food stylist, so I knew lighting was going to be even more critical to conveying an appetizing product.
Lighting package was simple: consisted of an Arri M18, Joker 800, various Kinos, Dedo lights, and a handful of tungsten fresnels. We needed lights that could be powered off of house power (20 amp circuits) as we were on the 3rd floor of an office building downtown Nashville. The M18 puts out a helluva lotta light for how small it is. It came in handy in close to every shot on this shoot and is slowly becoming my go-to light. I’m big on quality of light. I’d rather rent one big versatile light than 5 crappy ones.
I learned a valuable lesson- food stylists are KEY to making food attractive. Talented food stylists will make your job soooo much easier by making the food look good in-camera. Otherwise, you’ll be left struggling to fix your problems in post which adds time and expense to the project. In this case, we didn’t have the time or budget. Overall, I’m happy with the way things turned out given our time and budget.