I was excited to be invited to the “Lights, Camera, Almonds!” event in Chicago at Kendall College last Spring. The Almond Board of California partnered with the fabulous Food52 on this event to walk dietitians through, step-by-step, how to create a fast-motion video using just your smartphone and simple editing software on your computer. While I have tons of on-camera experience, it is mostly live TV interviews and videos where I’m on camera. I’ve never done these overhead videos a la Buzzfeed’s Tasty-style videos. By the end of the workshop, we left with a fully filmed and partially edited almond recipe video to use, as well as the tricks and tools you need to create your own. So, I’m sharing some of what I learned with you!

I was so excited (and relieved) that I was paired up to work with Serena Ball of Teaspoon of Spice. Not only is she a master at Facebook Live videos, we used to work together at the Dairy Council many moons ago, and have been friends ever since.

Serena and I were assigned to create and film a hummus recipe. We were given the recipe, the ingredients, and some video shoot guidelines. We followed the steps and filmed the various shots for our video and then proceeded to the editing. That part was not so easy – no surprise. However, the folks at Food52 were very helpful as we worked our way through various glitches with our images, footage, and the editing software.

All too soon the evening was over. Our video wasn’t finished! Thankfully, we weren’t the only ones. Serena and I planned to regroup virtually to finalize our video. However, both Serena and I had travel on the books. So, I asked my 17-year-old daughter, Sarah, if she wouldn’t mind helping us finish the video. She happily obliged! Don’t you just love tech-savvy teenagers? Sarah wanted to use a popular song in the video, but I warned her about copyright usage. So she surprised me by creating her own original music for our video – what a treat!

When my 9 year old son, Michael, watched our video, he said, “I love this music! But how many almonds did it take to make that video?!” I reassured him that no almonds were harmed in the making of our video. He giggled.

Here are some “hands and pans” video tips we learned from Food52:

  1. Arrange your tripod so that your phone/camera is suspended above your food prep area with the phone/camera facing down for filming.
  2. Arrange your ingredients on the counter with space for text (when viewed on the video screen)
  3. Prepare your recipe in steps – filming each step separately.
  4. Get creative with ingredients and text.
  5. When editing, you can alter the video by speeding it up, cropping/cutting out excess video footage, rearranging clips in the timeline as desired, adding transitions between clips, adding text to the screen (i.e. ingredients, steps in recipe, etc.), and adding music.
  6. Here’s an online tutorial that walks you through the steps from set up through editing

For more information on creating your own videos, check out my blog post and resources: Who Needs the Media? Videos & Podcasts Increase Your Visibility & Build Your Brand

Here are some great almond resources we learned about:

  1. Almond-Topped Hummus with Veggies recipe
  2. Health & Nutrition infographic
  3. Almond Recipe Center
  4. About Almonds: lifecycle, history, storage tips, sustainability, and more
  5. Almond Snack Center

Here’s a few of my pics of the yummy almond snacks we enjoyed at the event to fuel our filming and editing:

Almond Cherry Energy Bites

Watercress, Strawberry and Almond Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Tropical Granola Parfait

And finally (drum roll) here’s the finished product – my first hands and pans video. We had so much fun creating this and I hope you enjoy watching it!

Get the Almond-Topped Hummus with Veggies recipe

Let us know what you think of our video and connect with us on social media:

California Almonds on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook
Serena Ball on Twitter and Facebook
Melissa Joy Dobbins on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

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