What makes a good Food Film?
With the increasing significance of short films in marketing and social media, the MPB Food Film Shorts category celebrates the best of food in motion and its power to tell stories and convey messages.
We spoke to judge Mick Watson, Head of Global Content Marketing, MPB and Nikithaa Kumaran, who won the category in 2023 with ‘Mango Curry’, for their top tips on how to make a good food film.
Mick Watson, Head of Global Content Marketing, MPB
- Tell a Story
The challenge with food videos is that the audience isn’t there for the payoff - the smell and taste of food. So instead of showing ingredients or an event, tell the audience a story. Think about how to hook them (always ask yourself why the digital audience should watch something they haven’t experienced?) and what the payoff is (a finished plate or someone serving or eating the food etc).
The 2023 winner 'Mango Curry by Nikithaa Kumaran’ brings us in with the whole process, everything from washing and cutting to tasting, seasoning, serving and eating.
- Think about Lighting
As the audience isn’t there make sure that the lighting makes the food as inviting as possible. Too light and the ingredients will look washed out, too dark and they’ll lose vibrancy. Is there natural light to use? Can you capture the ambiance of the location?
- Pacing and Editing
Deciding whether to use voice or music will help you with pacing, as will deciding whether to vary transitions and use slo-mo for impact. The key is to keep audience interest, so too many editing tricks can stop any flow and keep the audience from fully connecting, but too little movement and action can make the finished piece monotonous.
Nikithaa Kumaran, 2023 Winner of MPB Food Film Shorts
Keep it simple, we connect to the film better that way. I try to choose dishes that remind the viewer of a good memory.
- Human element
Always include a human element. I like to bring out the personality of the person making the dish rather than just focus only on the hands that make them. For. eg, my mother is always chatty when she cooks, I always try to include a bit of her laughter or talks in the videos.
- The everyday
Using everyday utensils gives a sense of easiness in the video as opposed to having complicated setups.
Have drama for eg, the slow dripping of water after washing vegetables, steam coming off a cooker, deep frying a dish etc.
Films for the MPB Food Film Shorts category can be about food in any context and from just a few seconds to 3 minutes long. The winner of the MPB Food Film Shorts will win an MBP voucher for £1000 GBP to spend on any used photography or videography equipment at MPB.com, T&Cs apply. Please see details on all our prizes.
Find out more about the MPB Food Film Shorts category and watch previous finalists here.
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