Cooking in NYC

This week I flew to NYC to shoot and broadcast a live cooking show.


My plane looked like it only had one wing.

The show hosts were NYC DJ Angie Martinez and Chef Angelo Sosa. The broadcast was to promote their new cook book.


The Cook Book.

We had a beautiful NYC apt near Chelsea Piers to shoot the show. Being a live show and knowing it was going to be broadcast on the web, we decided on using Panasonic HVX’s as our cameras.


Panasonic HVX.

They are still (10 years latter) solid workhorse cameras, and good for long format situations. They also worked well with Wirecast which is what we were using to broadcast.


We used Wire Cast on Mac Laptops.

We used two cameras, and connected them to wire cast through two Black Magic Boxes. We had to get longer chords fro it to work.


Two Black magic Boxes.


Extra long cables.

One camera was locked down and the main shot.

CookBacklight Camera

My camera was used as the close up camera. Due to the layout of the kitchen I was the main camera anytime they cooked on the stove.


My camera.

To light the show we used 4 Genaray LED’s.


Genaray LED’s.


Dimable and you can change the color temp.

We placed 2 at 45 degree angles for the main camera. One behind the subjects and off to the side for a back light, and one facing the stove to light them while they were cooking.


Two LED’s at 45 degree angles from subject.



Side light for when they went to oven, and the backlight.

For audio we used 2 Sennheiser Evolution G3 wireless Lavs. We ran both Lav’s to the main camera, and then pushed that feed to the black magic boxes and wire cast.


Wireless Lavs.

I recorded audio with my camera on the Rode NTG2 Shotgun mic as a backup. We recorded the show with both cameras, just incase there was a problem with the stream, or if they decided they wanted an edited version latter. We could also use the footage for promo’s, social media clips, or show intro’s if they decided to do more shows.

About 40 minutes before the show they decided they wanted to change the show open. I had to create a quick 10 second open on the spot. I got a few clips of slow motion vegetables flying through the air from Digital Juice. I also grabbed a 10 second music clip from Digital Juice. I through them together added some text and had a quick show open in about 10 minutes. You can watch it here. It’s a simple and quick intro, but for being done in that short amount of time and in the pressure situation, it worked well. Having resources like Digital Juice available for quick download is great.

Then they wanted a quick video plug telling the audience where they could get the cook book as well. I grabbed a still of the book and did a quick 3-D animation of the book in After Effects.

The cool thing about wire cast is you can add multiple cameras, stills, and videos. Having a show open, a commercial package, and a few stills or video plugs raise the production values and make it better for the viewer.

To be honest there wasn’t much planning for the shoot, which can be frustrating, but I also like the challenge of making something work on the fly. The talent showed up about an hour before the shoot, and that’s when we found out what they were making. The chef had the food prepped already which was nice.


The prepped food.

We did a quick walkthrough of what they were going to do, we did some blocking and figured out the camera angles. It was all a rush. We put their mics on and started shooting.


The chaos right before air.

This was the first time either of them had done any live video broadcasting so it was new to them, but they had great interaction.

The show lasted an hour. They made fish Taco’s and a low calorie Mojita. We also took live questions from the audience in a web chat. It was a pretty cool shoot. The best part was sampling the food after the shoot. The Taco’s were awesome.


Fish Tacos.

It was a fun few days in NYC and I actually had a little time this trip to enjoy the city. I had a fantastic meal with my friend Jose at Elmo’s. It was voted best restaurant of the year.


My meal from Elmo’s.

The funniest part was that, after being in the restaurant for a few hours the clientele began to change and we realized it was a gay hot spot, not that there’s anything wrong with that. We had a few laughs about it, and like I said the food was great. I had the Steak Fritas, and he had the Chicken Fried Chicken, I’d recommend them both, and I’d definitely go back.

In the morning I had about 20 minutes to spare before my ride to the airport, so I headed to Broadway and shot a quick time-lapse with my iphone (You can watch it here on my Facebook page). I graded it with the Chromic App.

I always try and shoot something for fun when I’m on shoots, even if I have limited time. It’s better than sitting in the hotel, and you never know what you might find. Even though we are all busy, if you look hard enough and push yourself there is always time to be found. For example I wrote this blog in the terminal waiting for my flight.


Finding time at the airport to write the blog.

I had a good time on this shoot, and I love visiting NYC. Check out the cook book and try the Fish Tacos.


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