Novel Studios Captures the Mastery of Iron Chef USA's Marc Forgione

Mon, Mar 20, 2017
Iron Chef Marc Forgione on set with Novel Studios
Chef Marc Forgione on set with Novel Studios. Source: Novel Studios

It’s not everyday that you get asked to cook up a video for a food convention, but when Maines Paper & Food Service, Inc. approached Novel Studios to produce some promo videos with celebrity chef Marc Forgione (resident chef of Iron Chef America ), founder and Director Howey Mitsakos knew this was right up their alley.

“The 2017 Maines Food Show 2017 was featuring Marc Forgione as the guest speaker for this year’s convention. They wanted two videos: one that would go out to the attendees in an email and through social media, and the other to be played during the show on a giant screen. When we heard about this opportunity, we were super excited to work with them,” said Howey.

The Task

For the convention’s main ceremony, the creators wanted a brief Q&A video of Forgione coupled with clips from in and around his many restaurants in New York City. However, the challenge with filming inside of famous restaurants is the constant flow of customers. To avoid interfering with the restaurant’s business as much as possible, the team had to shoot everything quickly and precisely.

“We only had about 2 hours with Chef Forgione and that included the interview. After that, we only had about 5 hours of shooting time which included every restaurant we needed to film.”

Bolt used on set with Marc Forgione
Teradek Bolt 300 mounted to Movi Pro stabilizer.

Howey and his crew decided to use Teradek’s Bolt 300 for part of the acquisition. The Bolt is a video transmitter that sends a visually lossless feed to receivers using RF. Feeds are sent instantly from Tx to Rx for real-time monitoring over long distances ranging from 300 ft. to 3000 ft. (depending on the model).

Culinary Capture

The first task was to film a Q&A with Forgione in his eponymous restaurant, Marc Forgione. To capture the warm, rustic ambiance of the dining area, Howey and his crew employed 2 Kino Flo Select 20 LEDs in white and color modes to illuminate the talent. A Sony PXW-FS7 video camera, fitted with the Bolt wireless system, filmed and transmitted a video feed to a SmallHD 1303 13” production monitor.

Novel Studios shoot in restaurant Marc Forgione for Maines Food Show
Marc Forgione is all smiles in his rustic American restaurant.

After capturing all of the Q&A shots, the crew attached the FS7 to a Movi Pro stabilizer. Maneuvering in limited space, Howey took the Movi Pro and filmed around the restaurant while his 1st & 2nd ACs controlled focus and tilt from Video Village in the dining room. He was able to film Forgione with restaurant staff in the kitchen preparing ingredients while his crew and Maines’ director and producer watched from a monitor. The same workflow was done in Forgione’s two other restaurants, Khe-Yo and American Cut.

Filming at Khe-Yo restaurant with Movi Pro
Howey Mitsakos on site at Khe-Yo.

“American Cut’s kitchen was located downstairs in a super small cellar, so there was really no way for the entire team to walk around with me. Also, with the way you operate a Movi, it’s almost impossible for anybody to see what’s being acquired other than the operator. With the Bolt, my team and our clients were able to stay upstairs to watch and assist with the shot,” explained Howey.

Restaurant Marc Forgione with Novel Studios
Production set in restaurant Marc Forgione.

Time is the most precious resource to have on a production set, and in many circumstances you really only get one shot at it. Where Howey would have spent hours adjusting and reshooting (interfering with restaurant business), Bolt’s zero-delay wireless video feed allowed him and his team to see the shot and make the correct adjustments on the fly, getting everything they need quickly and as planned. It also allowed him to move through compact spaces without needing his team following close behind, making for a more efficient production set.

“The Bolt 300 helped us to capture footage that would have otherwise been impossible to get. When you only have 1 hour with the talent to get as much B roll as possible, every single minute counts.”