We love recipe videos. Point-of-fact, everybody does—the view numbers don’t lie. But we've hit a point of saturation on them: “OK, we get it, newsfeed. Show us fewer ways to pimp out cauliflower, and more updates on what our exes are up to.”
But what if there was a way to change things up? To make food recipe videos that not only showed how to prepare a dish, but had all the cinematic wonder and visual cues of your favorite movies? AND what if Quentin Tarantino, Michael Bay, Wes Anderson, and Alfonso Cuarón all got together and made recipe videos of their own?
Well, that hasn’t quite happened (yet). But the next best thing has.
Feast your eyes (literally), on Food Films:
Created by director David Ma and his team, each Food Films installment depicts a brilliantly art directed recipe video modeled and shot in the trademark style of a different famous film director. As Ma tells The Feast, “Being a huge fan of food and film, I'm constantly inspired by both. As a director in the food space, I'm always looking for ways to show food in a different, unexpected way that gets viewers to look at food in a way they haven't seen before.”
Mission very much accomplished.
For the first season of Food Films, Ma explains he chose directors in part because of their wide range of style. “With Michael Bay, you've got over-the-top explosions from multiple angles, lens-flares, and incredible sound-design, and [we’re] shooting everything from low angles to make them seem larger than life. Whereas Cuarón's Gravity was quiet, clean, choreographed, and symphonic in music and movement.”
But the most difficult part of pulling off professional parodies? Making sure the food remained the star of the show. “As a commercial food director, I'm used to working with real food in my shoots, but with the scenes we came up with, it was quite a challenge to build rigs out of real tomatoes that shot a fountain of tomato juice two feet in the air. Or to stack and re-stack a tower of crispy Belgian waffles, only to blow them up and topple the tower. With all the cool practical effects shot in camera, I worked closely with my food stylist Hannah Kirshner and prop master Brian Haimes to ensure the food still looked delicious in every scene.”
Ma says a second batch of Food Films are already in development, and that he and his team are exploring ways to take on directors like Christopher Nolan, Tim Burton, Alfred Hitchcock, and more in the future.
“At the end of the day, I love food and movies. Food Films was a way for me to take that love and create something different for the category. Shooting food doesn't [always] have to be overly serious and dramatic, it can be irreverent, action-packed, colorful, and even a little silly.”
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