Seastar Bakery / Handsome Pizza

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The Seastar Bakery / Handsome Pizza videos came from an idea that I had about interplaying fast and slow. Slow footage of fires rolling, of people going through their day, set against fast-moving, hand-operated shots full of rack focuses and quick movements. I wanted to highlight the repetitive action of making food, the finesse and detail of the process of cooking, the busyness of a kitchen during a rush. I had the idea of using time-lapse, of rigging top-down shots, of super slow-mo footage of flames, and I brought all of them to Toby and Nick, expecting to be laughed out of the room or to be at least told to simplify.

Instead, they nodded and said sure, we could do that. And then we did.

I feel like filmmaking requires a “yes-and” approach. There is nothing more unpleasant in a film environment than someone telling you what you can’t do. You can’t do that. You don’t have the equipment. You don’t have the people. You don’t have the money. An approach that begins like that is going to end expensive, slow, and full of anger. You have to be able to say what can we do? What are the full range of options available with a bare minimum of gear? If you plan, prep, pre-visualize and keep things simple, you can save a lot of money.

It’s not like the shoot still wasn’t without its issues. We could have used more crew, additional gear, and an Assistant Director. The lens we used for the fire shots couldn’t open up wide enough, so those shots were noisy. We missed a few shots that we wanted to grab due to time. One shot came out overexposed because we misread the monitor.

But on the whole, I’m very proud with how it turned out. I had an idea, and we executed that idea. In order to do that, we learned new gear, learned new Premiere Pro editing techniques for slow-motion, learned DaVinci Resolve so we could color grade the footage ourselves. And ultimately, we executed an idea that would cost tens of thousands of dollars for a fraction of that amount.