We were recently contacted by a great friend and budding new chef, Lulu Cox. Authenticity shines through on film and the best videos stem from having someone zealous in-front of the camera. Lulu has all of these qualities. Paired with her unique approach to cooking (British and seasonal at its heart), Lulu’s passion for all things culinary is what makes her special, setting her apart from over-crowded chef-entrepreneur landscape. Lulu wanted our help to create content for her newly-launched website that was engaging; giving viewers a real sense of her personality whilst showcasing three of her signature dishes; a lamb shoulder, a backwards omelette and a gooey chocolate fondant.
The traditional style cooking show is over-used and under-impactful. We wanted to create a video with a fresh feel that was relevant for Lulu’s target audience. A vital factor was keeping the video short – captivating viewer’s mid-scroll through social media sites – and maintaining their attention for the duration. We wanted to entice the viewer, show Lulu in her element and create a buzz around her brand. This is no mean feat, when trying to condense 1 hour 40 minutes of footage into 60 seconds.
Smooth and informed camera movements were key here in ensuring we captured the detail woven through Lulu’s cooking. Throughout the prep-phase we used the FS7 free-hand. This allowed us to move around the kitchen with ease whilst also conveying a sense of natural progression throughout each recipe. When a cooking section ended we switched to the Rhino slider.
Filming in conformed slow mo on the FS7 may make beautiful footage but it stops audio being recorded and chews through memory cards! Shooting at 1080p at 50p gave us more options in the edit, allowing us to slow down the footage where needed, while keeping all audio from Lulu’s mic.
The kitchen was already very well lit, so we simply used two diffused Manfrotto LED light panels to reduce the harsh contrasts of lights to darks. Doing this provided us with greater creative freedom in the colour grading in the final edit.
Editing and Settings
We had over an hour of footage to work with so we built the final product up piece-by-piece. We chose the takes that were concise in description bearing in mind our time constraint of around one minute. After pulling together the core elements that told Lulu’s story, we gathered together all the best shots of the food, preparation and cooking. Rather than being a cooking tutorial, the idea was to sell Lulu and her brand so emphasis remained on conveying her individual style and natural charisma.
By shooting everything in 50fps we were able to decide which shots we wanted to change into slow motion. We used slow-motion to control the pace of the video; when showing progression we kept the frame rate at normal speed and when showing off a finished dish or knife skills for example, we would slow it down.
For our colour grading we used a Look Up Table (LUT). This can affect the saturation and contrasts of colour, so having the right LUT is vital especially when shooting in S-Log. A favourite of ours is James Miller’s DELUTs.
Projects like this are ideal for breaking out of the everyday standards that constrain us. Through this project we had the freedom to try out new filming techniques and styles giving a unique final product we hope Lulu will be very proud of.