Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on Sep 13, 2010 in Korean Food | 5 comments

Behind the scenes: Eat Real Festival 2010 video

My husband and I attended the Eat Real Festival at Jack London Square in Oakland, Calif., on Aug. 29, 2010, the last day of the event.

This was the fourth Koreafornian Cooking video we recorded outside the confines of my father-in-law’s kitchen. Shooting outdoors adds several layers of challenges to the movie-making process, including problems with lighting and background noise control.

On sunny days like the one during our visit to the festival, facial shadows are a big problem, particularly at midday. Solutions include:

  1. Moving the subject to a shaded location and using portable lights to balance the darker subject with the bright background. Yet portable lights bright enough to illuminate as well as the sun-lit background are very expensive.
  2. Illuminating the subjects face with a portable light. As just mentioned, powerful portable lights can be pricey.
  3. Reflecting sunlight back on the subject to fill in the shadows. Collapsible hand-held reflectors are relatively inexpensive. An even less-expensive option is to use a white-colored foam-core poster board as a reflector.
    1. To prevent too much squinting from the subject, try to position the reflector as far away from the subject’s line of sight to the camera as possible, such as close to the ground and off to the side. (Or just wear sunglasses, like I did.)
    2. However, it is important to hold the reflector rock-steady to prevent wind from shaking it and causing distracting variations in subject illumination.
  4. If you have two helpers, you can use a somewhat translucent white cloth or collapsible diffuser reduce the direct sunlight and a reflector to light up the shadows.

Our portable lighting rig includes 600-lumen LED camera light and a collapsible reflector with silver and gold-and-silver-striped sides. In direct sunlight, the reflector wins for filling shadows. For the opening and closing sequences as well as an as-yet-unreleased on-camera piece at Seoul on Wheels, I was so close to the camera that my husband and I were holding two corners of the triangular reflector to keep it from twisting in the wind.

We did not come into this with a detailed script, so all my on-camera parts are improvisational. However, we did use my Sept. 2 blog post on the festival as the basis for the voice-over script we recorded after we returned from the festival.

Scenes shot during the festival were the noodle-pulling demonstration, a kimchi-making class as well as footage at several Korean taco trucks and restaurants. We snacked on selections from Santa Clara-based MoGo BBQ and Seoul on Wheels of Emeryville. We now have enough material for at least a couple more videos to release soon.

While I was talking briefly to Delilah Snell after her kimchi making class, someone came up to me and asked where I got the T-shirt I’m wearing in the video. The shirt says, “Korean Drama Queen. Shhh… Your Highness Has the Remote Control.” I bought it on at a shop called Idkwhat2wear, based in Hawaii.

Every video has its own unique feel that needs to be matched with the right music. We went back to Creative Commons-licensed music source to find just the right song to match the tempo of the festival scene. This time, we used a song called “1984 (Instrumental)” by a Dutch band called Silence is Sexy, from the instrumental version of their 2008 album This Ain’t Hollywood.


  1. Actually 배추 is pronounced like &quot;bay-choo&quot; rather than &quot;beck-choo&quot; as you pronounce it in the video. It&#39;s actually pretty easy to learn how to read Korean writing.<br /><br />You should have done away with a lot of the voiceover narration and let the sounds of the event take over, particularly for the demos. Would also have been interesting to chat with the people there.

  2. We do have a video coming up where we interviewed someone at one of the Korean taco trucks. It&#39;s hard to find someone to talk on camera but we did find a brave soul willing to tell us what he thinks of Korean street food! 🙂

  3. Also – I think the reflected light on the face, with shades, was not the best way to go. In fact it looks a little unnatural. Indeed I would probably just go with natural lighting.<br /><br />Also, you should get it consistent – koreafornian cooking or koreaNfornian cooking – make the choice and stick with one of them.

  4. @anonymous II: Artificial lighting is quite common in outdoors video production of a &quot;standup,&quot; i.e. reporter with a microphone in front of a camera. Natural lighting is not preferred for that. Granted, the reflector was too close for the standup at the beginning of this video but not for the closing sequence.

  5. @anonymous I: &quot;The sounds of the event take over&quot; too many amateur event videos. Even the E! network limits the &quot;sounds of the event&quot; during standup reports from spring break beach reports.<br /><br />The noodle-pulling demonstration had virtually no narration; the chef speaks little English. The kimchi demonstration will have its own video.

Leave a Reply

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This