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Case Study: Luxembourg Cooking Show Produced with Blackmagic Design

Anne Faber’s passion for simple but delicious home cooking has led to her becoming one of Luxembourg’s most well known TV chefs. Her move to London twelve years ago, initially to study, and then as a permanent resident, led to two successful cook books and her television program, ‘Anne’s Kitchen’ and also greatly influences her style of cooking. For the third series of the popular show, which is broadcast on RTL, Anne marks her move back to Luxembourg, and reconnects with favorite people, places and flavors from her home country.

Anne's Kitchen trailer

Having previously produced the shows direct from the kitchen in her small London flat, Anne wanted a studio partner who could help recreate the quirky and friendly feel of the show with a professional finish. Fitting this brief perfectly was Radar, a three person boutique creative studio. Technical director, Tim Lecomte, tells more about the production, which relied on Blackmagic Design live production equipment and post production software at every stage of the process.

“Anne and her cameraman in London used to shoot for eight hours straight in very cramped conditions, so we knew we wanted to move to a purpose built kitchen studio, as this would give us the capacity to capture the right moment in different angles without interrupting the flow of Anne's cooking. Although production now takes place in a 100m2 studio, with a multicam camera set up, the production team is still very small; a director works alongside Anne in the kitchen, and I run the control room using an ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K to produce the program mix for the studio sections as live. This helps us retain the intimate feel of the original concept, but gives us much more creative flexibility.

The ATEM switcher is used for a program mix with a 'live' feel.

The ATEM switcher is used for a program mix with a 'live' feel.

“We use five Blackmagic studio cameras on the production; a pair of URSA Mini 4.6K are used for tight close ups and the medium wide shot as Anne explains the recipe. The URSA Mini 4.6K is the perfect choice for our lead camera unit; we absolutely love the images that the sensor delivers, and this has helped to bring an extra dimension to the show.

“Then we have two URSA 4K cameras, which are deployed for wide shots of the kitchen and covering the food preparation and cooking area. Finally, to provide a 360º shot of the kitchen, we installed a Micro Studio Camera mounted on a five axis gimbal, which I control via the ATEM’s Camera Control in the production gallery, for example, when I need to reframe closeups.

“The studio sections are also interwoven with exterior scenes where Anne visits favorite sights and friends across the region, and these sections are all filmed with the URSA Mini 4.6K in RAW, and this is where the camera’s wide dynamic range is a real advantage when dealing with brighter light conditions. The form factor fits our requirements so well, it’s light enough to move around to where we need it, whether we’re up close to the kitchen counter, or out on location.

“Each section is filmed as live, with the five camera streams all being taken into the switcher to produce the program mix. And because each episode is just fourteen minutes long, so we have a lot to cram in, so the ability to be able to handle all of the camera signals in a live environment with the ATEM feels very intuitive. The studio also has MultiView 16 monitors, which are set up for the director and the production gallery to keep a close eye on production.

“The recipe preparation segments are interwoven with Anne’s trips around Luxembourg, and these exterior scenes are shot with the URSA Mini 4.6K in RAW. The color latitude of the URSA Mini really comes to the fore in these segments, and you get such stunning images from the sensor. I also found the form factor perfect for these segments, as we could literally follow Anne around, and we had no need for huge fixed set ups.

“The series has been entirely edited and graded on DaVinci Resolve Studio, making it a full Blackmagic Design production workflow. For Anne’s Kitchen, we use Resolve’s multicam editing features extensively. DaVinci Resolve’s toolset is extensive, but simple to use, and the fact that we can just switch between edit and grade in the same project has sped up our post workflow immensely. 

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