[Video] Avocado and Tomato Pasta Casserole :: Production Notes

Depending on certain circumstances it can be a bit too expensive to shop for and cook a full-blown meal near the end of a month. This doesn’t mean you have to eat Ramen or rice with beans all the time though, you just have to manage your resources.

There are a few internet sites out there that let you enter what kind of ingredients you have at home and shows you fitting recipes. These are always helpful, but with my recent end-of-the-month meal I just went freestyle.

Now the the fun part, the production process and what I learned.

Filming

I filmed this video (minus the two opening shots) quite a few months ago when I first got my camera. I’m still far from completely understanding it, but back then I was definitely clumsy. Most of the shots look alright, but some of the cuts weren’t thought through properly.

Another issue was the lack of a good light. To make up for that I chased daylight as hard as I could. Unfortunately the lighting shifted around a lot due to it being a somewhat cloudy early spring day, but I think other than in the last few shots it’s not that noticeable.

Thing is, the story about the end-of-the-month meal wasn’t made up, and I was genuinely hungry too. Filming slowed the cooking down a lot. This definitely led to impatience when it came to filming a few more takes and being more consistent with the angles. Lesson learned: don’t film while hungry.

Writing

There wasn’t really much to the writing process. The only challenge was to find the optimal amount of words to go with the amount of usable footage that I had. The first draft did it. Even though I should have, I didn’t do any editing besides moving a few words around while recording the voice over. It shows through a few repeating words here and there, but overall I don’t consider this a disaster.

Voicing

My least favourite step. I always go the lazy route when recording voice over. If I sit down for too long, trying to modify my accent or to act I use up all my energy that I need for post-production. This time was no different, but I think it overall fits the rest of the video in that it’s “alright”. Something new I tried was reading the script with the music running in the background to have an overall more consistent product and I think it worked.

Editing

Here’s where the fun is. Usually at least, since this video didn’t require much work unless I wanted to needlessly stylise a simple cooking video. For the first time staying organised with markers I was faster in sorting the clips than I am with my usual “just go through everything in order while listening to your voice again and again”.

The only really notable bit of work to be done other than finding a nice tempo for the cuts and angles was colour correction. It’s one of my weakest skills (if you even want to call it that) since it also requires a lot of patience and energy. I didn’t even really fix the white balance and just made sure everything looked like it was shot on the same planet.

Conclusion & Improvements

Overall I had a good time making this video. It was straightforward and simple, but still gave me enough to do to feel like I’ve accomplished something. A handful of things were bothering me though. My kitchen isn’t exactly easy to film, so there were a few limitations with what I could shoot. Depending on natural light was also really frustrating. Then there’s the whole “easy video”, but even making those includes steps like recording voice overs and colour correction. Having shot the footage so long ago also didn’t help with being invested – I barely cared at all, and that made me impatient and it shows during certain parts. I’ve learned a few things though, so that’s good.

  • shooting in sequence of a pre-written script helps with chaotic things like cooking
  • filming hungry sucks, especially when shooting food you actually wanna eat
  • recording voice over to music works well if you know when you’ll change songs
  • using markers in your editing suite helps to stay organised even for small projects
  • not doing everything related in one go prevents you from being drained and losing patience.

The biggest lesson learned is definitely the last one. I’ll try to not do any post on voice over that I recorded that day to not burn out on audio work that I don’t enjoy doing too much.

Thanks for reading and possibly watching the video. There’ll be more write-ups like these every week, so consider following the blog and subscribing to my YouTube channel if you enjoy these things.

 

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