The world watches on to see images of devastation with reports of over 10,000 dead and hundreds of thousands of people displaced, as one of the worst storms in history rages through the Philippines.
Recent gripes over the loss of broadband or a broken fence panel in the UK ‘storms’ a couple of weeks ago seem petty and inconsequential compared to what the people of the Phillipines face now, just days after Typhoon Haiyan has struck.
unearthed® supports Action Against Hunger, a humanitarian charity working to end child hunger. They’ve been in the country since 2000 providing services in nutrition, water, sanitation, and hygiene, food security, and natural disaster prevention and response. This means, they were right there when it happened and have been able to respond straight away. Via their teams on the ground they’ve been keeping us in touch with what they are doing.
Their emergency response team was deployed initially to conduct a rapid assessment and mount additional emergency programmes. Some areas in Eastern Samas and Leyte provinces have lost almost 80% of their shoreline infrastructure, including, homes, schools and hospitals. What this means is that more than 4.3 million people are affected by the disaster.
In the short term, millions of affected people are at risk of running out of food and clean and their priority is to ensure that children and their families receive access to safe drinking water to avoid lethal diseases such as cholera. Their teams have begun setting up mobile water treatment plants, massive “bladders” for distributing clean water, and emergency pumps and filtration systems to ensure access to water in the coming weeks. Additional staff and emergency materials are also en route as reinforcements.
They’ve launched an emergency appeal to be able to continue to respond and every penny REALLY does help their teams on the ground. You can donate here
In the meantime our thoughts are with those who have lost and are lost. And our admiration goes to those who are out working on the front line to make a difference.
Hot on the heels of last month’s hints and tips on film-making we’ve got more! With entries coming in for the unearthed® ‘food in film’ award, film-maker Beth Wilmshurst shares some of her foodie film-making tips with you all…
The food video. It comes in thirty-second abstract spurts; in friendly, five minute tutorials; as a lengthy vent about that new raw food cafe; or it endeavors to sell you a sumptuous new product with its pornographic close-ups of drizzles and crumbles and euphoric consumption.
It is used by manufacturers and cafes and You-Tubers and bloggers, and with myself being a sporadic producer of the latter, unearthed® asked me to share a few tips for putting together a finger-licking food video.
Firstly, I must express that I claim to be no pro, and the majority of the videos I have produced have been done with self-indulgent, playful intent – as a way to extend the creative outlet of baking and cooking even further – but it would only be rude not to share my own creative eye’s perspective, so let us begin.
- Get a good camera. It doesn’t need to be top of the range, check-out-the-size-of-my-lens stuff, just something high definition and reliable. Even better, a bottom-range SLR with interchangeable lenses would allow for more fun and flexibility.You won’t regret it when you see your pulled pork on the big screen with all its juicy, highly defined flakiness.
- Presentation is key. Get the lighting right; play about with your centerpiece in daylight and near warm ambient lamps to see what suits it best – just make sure there’s enough light so the picture quality stays intact. Use interesting crockery, props and compositions – try to create a distinct atmosphere or scene.
- Keep it short and sweet.People’s attention spans these days are awful (mine included). We’re used to getting things now and getting them quick, so a concise, upbeat video will give your viewers the immediacy they’re looking for (just remember to mention its snappy nature in your description so that they actually press play).
- Think up themes. Keep yourself inspired by concocting a themed video series. I once did a short series called ‘Kitchen Shortcuts’, which involved videos between thirty-seconds to a minute long and were accompanied by a musical soundtrack (watch out for music copyright laws!), showing the processes of how I’d made particular dishes. Their purpose was blatantly not to be instructional, but to provide a quick, food porn-esque engagement. More importantly, the continuing theme gave me motivation to keep making. See what I mean below
- Share it around! What’s the point in putting the time and effort into making something visually stimulating, when nobody else gets to enjoy it? It goes without saying that your friends and family will lap it up when you slip a tasty vid into their Facebook or Twitter feed and with that done, you might as well go the whole hog roast and post it on the popular video sites. Two minutes of close-ups displaying your retro cheese fondue night might just make someone’s day. Mmm…Gruyère.
With entries open for the unearthed® food in film award, we thought some hints and tips on film-making might come in handy. Here film-maker Dan Joyce, shares some of his knowledge…
Tip 1 – content
Think about your film first – what is the story you are trying to tell?
Your story should take you on a journey – it should have a beginning, middle and an end. There are exceptions to this rule, you can make the end the start etc. (Quentin Tarrantino does this a lot)
Tip 2 – equipment
Don’t worry too much about what equipment you have (it’s all about the story.) I’ve seen some amazing videos shot with an iPhone. Try to make your shots stable – can’t stress this enough.
The GoPro Black is amazing camera for the money (c.£350), it shoots 50FPS at 1080p which is great for slow mo. The only downside is that they’re terrible for camera shake due to the size. So I bought a brushless gimbal for mine – these are like a miniature steady cam and work really well. And you can buy them here. I mounted mine to the helmet using a dog ball chucker! I also attached it to a monopod with a counter balance, this was to get some vertical movement in my shots. This is very new and affordable technology and the results are that of much higher production value.
Although this is a BMX video, you can see how the camera in a head-mounted gimbal helps to prevent camera wobble: https://vimeo.com/71095315
My own foodie video
I shot a wedding recently and they had what I thought was one of the strangest wedding cakes I’d ever seen, it was a replica of the Titanic made from caramel profiteroles with nut brittle decking. This isn’t the sort of film I’d normality make, but I had a bit of fun with it and thought it was worth sharing, to show you what’s possible.
I used a Black Magic cinema camera with a Vinten tripod and an Edelkrone slider. The Black Magic is very heavy and needs a sturdy tripod. A slider is very good tool to create some movement in your shots and add an extra bit of production value to your shots. Try not to use it for every shot. The problem is when we get new equipment we tend to use it for everything!
I used a Samyang 24mm 1.4 lens – a great lens and not too expensive. It’s is a fixed lens, so no zooming here – be prepared to move around. To create a depth of field (background blurred out) you need to open the aperture right up, but the problem is this over-exposes your shots, so a Variable ND filter is a must to stop light getting in and keeping that look.
I would really have liked a big wide shot to end this film, but I didn’t get it. However I shot some 360 time-lapse. This was done with the Go-Pro camera taking a photo every 5 secs on an egg timer. I used Quicktime 7 to stitch all the photos together and exported them as Apple ProRes 422 LT, so that final cut would recognise the files.
Finally, I used Celine Dion’s ‘Titanic’ ballad over the footage for a bit of a laugh (just in case you didn’t work out what the cake was meant to be), plus it was a love story and these two were in love (ahhh).
Good luck with your foodie film-making!
Dan Joyce shot and edited our ‘193 course meal’ video (see here) and after working in television and cinema for 10 years as a Director Producer, has begun specializing in online branded content utilizing the latest developments in moving image and software application.
How’s this for a big launch – 28 new lines live on one day!? We think that might be a record, but one thing is sure, we’ve got a tasty new range to help take the edge off the nights which are drawing in! From fusion-inspired dips and houmous, to fresh new combinations of seafood and cured meats, we’ve broadened our horizons and widened their belts, to bring you a huge amount of new foodie experiences to enjoy this autumn.
It’s been an epic journey getting this many products ready for you, from the product sourcing, development and testing, pack design and printing. But we think you’ll be pleased with the results and we’ve got some great new lines for you to try. Some of our favourites include:
- Chorizo meatballs
- Galician mussels in a tomato sauce – in their shells and ready to eat
- Squid-less rings – made from surimi, a mixture of whiting and Pollock
- King prawns with chilli and tomato sauce – ready to eat or can be heated in their pouch
- Prawn and chorizo pinchos – skewered and easily heatable in the microwave or eat cold
- Alsace pizette – a sharing-sized tarte flambee – just 10 mins in the oven
- Special Reserve chorizo iberico – cured pork from free range pigs which has matured for 1 month
The complete Autumn Bay range can be found in 106 selected stores. Click here for product and store distribution list – but other stores will carry selected items. All of the lines across the Autumn bay will be on a fixed 2 for £5 price promotion.
After a lovely summer, the cooler temperatures are a sign that Autumn is here but hopefully you can set off on some foodie discoveries that will take you to warmer climates as the cold weather sets in. So get tasting with friends and family and enjoy informal eating at its best.
We’re great foodie explorers here at unearthed®, and we love discovering tasty new foods from fantastic places. But we also know that not everyone is able to enjoy food as much as us.
That’s why, in 2010, we started working with Action Against Hunger, a humanitarian organisation committed to ending child hunger. We decided that for every pack we sell we would donate 1p to them.
1p doesn’t sound like a lot, but over the last two years, the pennies have been building up and now, two years on, we’ve just reached the £200,000 donation mark. This is a fantastic achievement and we couldn’t have done it without our lovely customers buying our products! So a big thank you to everyone who supports us by buying our products in Waitrose or Ocado.
Far from being content to settle with just that though, our founder, Simon says “we’re really proud of the amount of money we’ve raised so far, but we’re not resting on our laurels – it has made us hungry to raise more!”
You can read more on how we support Action Against Hunger over on our charity page, but we’ll be helping them to promote their Supperclub Heroes campaign – just about to launch, as well as their Love Food, Give Food campaign later on in the year.
So what’s next for our Action Against Hunger support? Well it really is one of the things motivates us to work so hard. So one of our big goals for the future is to bring our customers closer to the projects they help to fund through buying our products and we have some imaginative ideas for doing that. We will be encouraging other food brands to get involved too.
We’ll keep you posted, but in the meantime, please keep buying, so we can keep donating to such a worthwhile and life-changing charity.