Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Cooking with Gas

One of my all time favorite film jobs was for Weber Grills. Weber hired us to make two "how to grill" films that they included with each new charcoal and gas grill purchased. When the project was finished the footage was edited into a 30-second TV spot.

For a week on a stage we grilled and cooked food. We had five or six food stylists and home economists working full time. We made the obvious foods, burgers, steaks, chops, fish, etc.... And the not so obvious- a pineapple upside down cake. (If anyone has ever used their grill to bake a cake, please let me know.)

Shooting food is a trick. It is cooked just enough and then stylists make it look right. They applied perfect grill marks with irons. They roasted standing rib until just browned, shellacked it and then stuck it on the grill, adding "juices" to make it seem like it was cooked entirely on the grill. The centerpiece of the films was a long shot over a table crammed with about 50 items that- you, the proud new Weber Grill owner could make at home."

At the end of the shoot we divided the left over uncooked food. I walked away with about $100 worth of a standing rib roast. Jim, I know, got one or maybe two new grills out of the deal. Jobs like these come along once every five years. We are due for another. I have included a still from the spot above.

Bon Appetit.



Zep said...

You should have known when they used "calorie" instead of "dollar" in the job description. (We call that a 'pitch' btw - is that common in the US, too?)

mrliteral said...

The concept of the 'food stylist' has always fascinated me, especially in regard to how the things they do to the food, to make it look appetizing on film, tend to make it rather inedible off-camera. Irony rules!

Wonder Woman said...

This just makes me hungry. Mmmm... It's lunch time!