Food52 Life

How to Make Your Own Cooking Videos

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December 15, 2011

Ever wonder how those snappy videos of Amanda & Merrill in the kitchen are made? FOOD52's fabulous videographer Elena Parker shows us her tricks for shooting and editing cooking videos quickly and painlessly, with just one camera and a cheap mic.

This post is brought to you as part of our Food & Technology Series, in partnership with Intel, a company that is all about making our lives better with technology, just as Food52 is with food.

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12 Comments

Vicki B. June 1, 2013
I've been using a Flip video as well for my videos and it's just not doing the trick. I either shoot my face or my hands, rarely both because my island is two different heights. I read that it's recommended to shoot one video of just your face and another video of your hands. Now a separate mic for making editing easier. How is this all done and edited? I do have other cameras that I'm going to start trying to use but what software do you use for all this? I noticed you had this video on Vimeo - did you edit in there or someplace else? How difficult is it to edit voice, hands and face? Is there a tutorial someplace that I can review? I need to make changes to my videos and would love some guidelines. Thank you.
 
CambCook-Lee April 9, 2012
Elena, this is great, thanks for posting. And the comments/replies are terrific too.
 
Rhonda35 March 5, 2012
Thanks for sharing this great information with us, Elena. Somehow, tricks of the trade or not, I doubt I will ever be able to make videos as lovely as yours!
 
Helen R. December 27, 2011
Hi Elena, <br /> <br />I loved your ideas on how to make cooking videos. I've been doing it for a few months and am still struggling with audio. My sony handycam doesn't allow me to plug in an external microphone and the flip camera I was using before didn't either. I solve this problem by recording everything twice (once with showing my hands and once with showing my head talking) so that the audio level doesn't change, but it is a bit of a pain. any suggestions? is buying a new camera the only option? I hope not, since I just bought a sony handycam and the quality of video seems to be a lot better than flip.
 
elenakathryn December 31, 2011
HI Helen -- <br /> <br />That seems really curious. Is this your camera: <br /> <br />http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&partNumber=HDRXR500V#features <br /> <br /> <br />It should have an external mic plug in near the headphone jack.... it would use the same size plug as headphones - a 1/8 inch input - and may very well look like a second audio-out feature. But it is actually for a mic like this one (which has the same type of jack as headphones, and not a larger input like an XLR): <br /> <br />http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-media/product-gallery/B00006I51V/ref=cm_ciu_pdp_images_0?ie=UTF8&index=0 <br /> <br /> <br />In my humble opinion, you're absolutely right to move away from the flip, i never liked the quality -- and this one seems like a nice buy. I seriously doubt that there is no way to plug an external mic into it. I think that, perhaps, you're looking in the wrong place? If there really isn't a way, you can always record audio on a completely separate device like a zoom recorder and then sync with the camera footage. <br /> <br />Hope that helps -- Would be happy to help identify the mic input if you sent along pics-- Let me know if you can't find it and i'll send you my e-mail. <br /> <br />Elena
 
elenakathryn December 31, 2011
HI Helen -- <br /> <br />That seems really curious. Is this your camera: <br /> <br />http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&partNumber=HDRXR500V#features <br /> <br /> <br />It should have an external mic plug in near the headphone jack.... it would use the same size plug as headphones - a 1/8 inch input - and may very well look like a second audio-out feature. But it is actually for a mic like this one (which has the same type of jack as headphones, and not a larger input like an XLR): <br /> <br />http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-media/product-gallery/B00006I51V/ref=cm_ciu_pdp_images_0?ie=UTF8&index=0 <br /> <br /> <br />In my humble opinion, you're absolutely right to move away from the flip, i never liked the quality -- and this one seems like a nice buy. I seriously doubt that there is no way to plug an external mic into it. I think that, perhaps, you're looking in the wrong place? If there really isn't a way, you can always record audio on a completely separate device like a zoom recorder and then sync with the camera footage. <br /> <br />Hope that helps -- Would be happy to help identify the mic input if you sent along pics-- Let me know if you can't find it and i'll send you my e-mail. <br /> <br />Elena
 
elenakathryn December 31, 2011
HI Helen -- <br /> <br />That seems really curious. Is this your camera: <br /> <br />http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&partNumber=HDRXR500V#features <br /> <br /> <br />It should have an external mic plug in near the headphone jack.... it would use the same size plug as headphones - a 1/8 inch input - and may very well look like a second audio-out feature. But it is actually for a mic like this one (which has the same type of jack as headphones, and not a larger input like an XLR): <br /> <br />http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-media/product-gallery/B00006I51V/ref=cm_ciu_pdp_images_0?ie=UTF8&index=0 <br /> <br /> <br />In my humble opinion, you're absolutely right to move away from the flip, i never liked the quality -- and this one seems like a nice buy. I seriously doubt that there is no way to plug an external mic into it. I think that, perhaps, you're looking in the wrong place? If there really isn't a way, you can always record audio on a completely separate device like a zoom recorder and then sync with the camera footage. <br /> <br />Hope that helps -- Would be happy to help identify the mic input if you sent along pics-- Let me know if you can't find it and i'll send you my e-mail. <br /> <br />Elena
 
ATG117 December 17, 2011
Had no idea. Still wouldn't know how to use the editing software, but fascinating none the less.
 
edamame2003 December 16, 2011
thanks for the tips! love all the videos. any lighting tips?
 
elenakathryn December 16, 2011
HI There -- <br /> <br />I'm actually not so great with lighting, but I do have two words for you: China Ball. <br />http://pearlriver.com/v2/FramesCat.asp?iGroup=278 <br /> <br />Nice soft light. Super cheap.
 
edamame2003 December 19, 2011
so funny! i just bought some for my backyard. double duty! love it. thanks and keep those awesome videos coming!
 
Blissful B. December 16, 2011
Elena, this is awesome! I don't even shoot videos, but now I want to.