Digital Video - May 2008 - (Page 32)
GLOBAL GASTRONOME SHOOTING HD IS ON THE MENU FOR NO RESERVATIONS. BY JON SILBERG I ntrepid videographers Todd Liebler and Zack Zamboini spend most of their time these days flying to exotic locals throughout the world with chef and author Anthony Bourdain, shooting video as he learns about the culinary tastes of people in the most remote corners of the world. The Travel Channel series No Reservations, now in its fourth season, takes the intrepid Bourdain and crew from Laos to Romania, Japan to Jamaica, with each new situation as unique as the indigenous recipies. Wherever Bourdain goes, meeting local people and checking out local haunts, the two videographers are in tow. Each one-hour episode shoots for 10 days in a different country. The videographers currently use the Sony V1U HDV camcorder in 1080 24p mode. “These are decisions made by production,” notes Liebler, who is curious to try going tapeless in the future. “I think networks want HD on a budget and they’re not yet ready to get their feet wet by basing a show entirely in the digital realm with P2 or the Sony compact flash. It would be nice to try those things, but we’ve had a lot of success doing it this way.” dv may 2008 There is very little prep time between when the unit arrives at a place and when Bourdain and the producers expect the cameras to start rolling. Says Zamboini of the work method, “It’s very run-and-gun. We walk into any given location and have maybe three to seven minutes to work out our shooting positions.” After pondering a moment, he adds, “The times where we have seven minutes are rare.” Liebler sums up the three objectives, in order, for every shoot. “Make the host look good; Give him depth and nice lighting. So we try to put him in the just the right place using available light. If there’s backlight of any kind we work with that. Then we want to make his companion look good. And third, is to make the food look good, but often we’ll get insert shots afterwards where we can maneuver and adjust for lighting.” Still, they have very minimal resources to light and generally work with what’s available to give the food a mouthwatering look. Is that possible without the kind of extensive styling and preparation that goes into traditional food photography? “I think you’d be surprised,” says Liebler. “Especially in Asia, inside these www.dv.com 32
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