Thursday, March 11, 2010

2 Food Videos, For Your Viewing Pleasure (Caution: Do Not Watch Until Lunchtime!)

Here are two videos (below) about popular restaurants that will get you salivating.

One video is about Tweed's Restaurant and Buffalo Bar on Long Island, NY, by Joel Cairo, video editor of the Long Island Press. Tweed's is known for its bison -- which its owners both raise and serve.

One video is about Ernie's Market in Oak Park, Michigan by Eric Seals of the Detroit Free Press. Ernie's is known for it's 1.5-pound made-to-order deli sandwiches.

Though the videos differ in pace, structure, tone, style and content, they share a quality which hooks you -- both focus on the protagonist's passion for his work. Tweed's co-owners, Ed Tuccio and Dee Muma (his herding partner and wife of more than 30 years), engage us with the story of how they came to start and manage the Wild West-style bison farm that supplies their restaurant. Ernie Hassan's (pictured) high-energy enthusiasm for his sandwich creations is infectious, as evidenced by his interactions with (and feedback from) his loyal customers.

Unfortunately, we don't get to hear what Tweed's patrons think of their bison burgers -- but then we don't get to hear the story of how Ernie got started in the sandwich biz. Conversely, we get to watch and hear Ernie in action, making and serving his food, whereas Ed and Dee are observed only in staid on-camera interviews, and not interacting with their bison or even their diners.

Both videos display creative use of shots and a nice selection of angles. Both use multiple locations, indoors and outdoors, to add visual variety. The soundbites and video are nicely synched in each -- and both stories are told without a reporter's narrative voiceover. The bison video complements a text story that provides more in-depth information; the sandwich video stands alone and is self-contained.

Food is lovingly portrayed in each video ... though the Tweed's story strays from the eatery and wanders over to the bison pasture, never to return.

They're both short -- Tweed's clocks in at under four minutes; Ernie's zips along at under two minutes. (The Detroit Free Press has partnered with a local TV newscast, challenging its staff to compress video like crazy so it can be repurposed for on-air broadcast.)

We share these videos here to show videojournalists that there's always gold in your own backyard -- it's just a matter of finding a subject who's passionate about his pursuits. And with a good arsenal of visual and reporting techniques at your disposal, as these videos demonstrate, there are a variety of methods you can use to capture their enthusiasms, and tell their story engagingly.

Happy viewing... and bon appetit! We hope you'll enjoy these tasty morsels.

No comments: