Ancient Roman Philosopher, Marcus Tullius Cicero said “Cultivation to the mind is as necessary as food to the body.” Well, hopefully most of us definitely agree with the food part, but the mind needs inspiration as well, especially to cultivate a promo.
On her 9th anniversary at Food Network, I asked Writer/Producer, Olivia Mazyuk, to share some little known facts on where inspiration comes from for a Food Network promo, in regards to one of her most challenging spots to date, Feasting on Waves — to promote a 4-part series featuring Alton Brown’s personal journey exploring the Caribbean.
- For the initial brainstorming session, everyone involved took an afternoon trip to Chelsea Piers to literally watch the water move for ideas on how to begin. They watched the current, the flow of the Hudson River, observed the atmosphere – all in an attempt to find ways to evoke these themes into a graphics look.
- The original script was written as a first-person narrative for Alton to record. Alton, being Alton, recorded something different, and we then adjusted it to a third person account. This collaborative effort is the version that went on-air.
- The idea for the look of the spot, was inspired by the movie Stranger than Fiction starring Will Ferrell. The team wanted to express Alton’s unique point of view, so each video clip contained a graphic expressing Alton’s thoughts – similar to what was done in the box office film.
- The original music was composed (in-house) at Food Network, and inspired by reggae songs like “Holy Mount Zion” by Alborosie and “Tranquility” by Gentleman.
- The collaborative effort is the most inspirational; it took about 120+ hours, and about 8 people to create the 30 second promo.
Sommer, Creative Services
What is the best thing you’ve ever eaten? I know what you’re thinking. Today? This week? Ever?? Well, Food Network’s newest show, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, asks Food Network stars to divulge their favorite foods by food type, and tells you where to find them. In case you missed the sneak peek last week, it was all about : Fried Foods. So, what’s the best fried food you’ve ever eaten?
Watching the show, I took notes on eateries I’d like to visit and unusual foods I might or might not want to try (Fried shrimp heads, Duff? Really?). But at the end I was just plain hungry, craving my two favorite foods: French fries and donuts. I dove into our site and decided to satisfy my fried foods craving – my “best foods” craving – at home.
So Pizza Hut plans to change its name to “The Hut,” capitalizing on what I suppose you could call its iconic architecture. That’s not entirely unremarkable, following as it does in the wake of what seems to be a trend of restaurants-that-serve-unhealthy-food-rebranding-to-remove-all-reference-to-unhealthy-food (cf Kentucky Fried Chicken). And I eat at “the Shack” and “the Wallah” so not like I can talk on that front, anyway.
Stranger news in the world of food nomenclature is that Wolfgang Puck is aiming to petition the Internet to create a top-level domain of .food, which he’d own and presumably license out, and possibly also .wine and .restaurant.
So theoretically, this site could become “foodnetwork.food” — and we could then also have food2.food, and food.food, should we want to. And I thought “Culinary Writer, Culinary Production,” which is what it says on my business card, was redundant.
Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer (Culinary Production)
The FN Dish will be interviewing the beautifully frugal Sandra Lee this Monday, June 22. All of you readers came up with such great questions for our interview with Ted Allen, so we’re opening the doors to you once again!
Stuck planning your July 4th celebration? Need some money-saving advice for your next picnic? Post all of your questions for Sandra Lee in the comments, and we’ll pick a few to ask her on Monday!
- Submit Questions to Susie
- Read Episode 2 Viewer Questions
- Watch Susie’s Answers – Episode 1
Want to know what Susie really thought about The Next Food Network Star, Episode 3? Now you can ask her!
Thank you for all your submitted questions)! Comments are now CLOSED for this week’s “Ask Susie” Episode 3. Click on the links below to watch Susie’s Answers to your questions.
- Watch Susie’s Answers – Episode 1
- Watch Susie’s Answers – Episode 2
- Watch Susie’s Answers – Episode 3
Food Network hasn’t officially announced this yet
….so we’re leaking the news to you:
On Monday, Food Network will announce our nation-wide talent search for the 2010 season of The Next Food Network Star. But TODAY, we’re giving you a heads up on the yet-to-be-released audition dates on The FN Dish!
Phoenix, AZ – Wednesday, July 8, 2009 from 10am-4pm
Embassy Suites Phoenix/Scottsdale
4415 East Paradise Village Parkway, Phoenix, AZ 85032
Chicago, IL – Sunday, July 12, 2009 from 10am-4pm
Affinia Chicago Hotel
Chicago, IL 60611
Austin, TX – Friday, July 17, 2009 from 10am-4pm
Hyatt Regency Downtown
208 Barton Springs Road, Austin, TX 78704
As Bob Tuchsman’s assistant my job is to manage his schedule (i.e. make sure he’s on time for meetings) and keep my eye out for the next big talent. Which is easier said than done since: A) Bob has a schedule that rivals that of President Obama and B) There is only one Rachael Ray. I’ve been his assistant for 2 and ½ years, and let’s just say that I’ve learned more than a couple of things:
1. Bob’s phone line is not the complaint hotline.
Yes, I know that your upset that Emeril was canceled, and I’m sorry that you’re having difficulty finding the latest Unwrapped episode, but calling the network and asking to be transferred to Bob Tuschman’s office isn’t the best way to getting your complaints heard. We have a complaint hotline, and the number is (865) 560-3663…for my sake, please use it.
- (image courtesy Marlene Ramirez-Cancio)
Continuing once again with the food pareidolia thing, a friend of Jonathan‘s snapped this picture over the weekend. While it’s hard to tell whether the popcorn is simulating something else or whether something else is simulating popcorn, I’m hoping for the sake of food safety that it’s the latter.* Which I guess would make it reverse pareidolia, or a simulacra of pareidolia? My head hurts.
(*That said, I have actually consumed an actual popcorn ball precisely once, about 10 years ago, at a bake sale outside a somewhat creepy concert, so for all I know they could all be like this, so grain of salt, people.)
Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer
(Ok, actually it’s beef.) And, though I’m grateful to El Pollo Loco (caution, sound) for digging through the 37-page ingredient document to reveal the hidden chickencow, gotta wonder what the motives were there, especially with this comment from EPL’s president and chief exec: “I can assure you that you won’t find any beef in El Pollo Loco’s fresh, natural, citrus-marinated chicken cooked over an open flame right in front of our guests.”
I mean, hey, always good to know there’s no beef in the chicken. (Or, for that matter, the fries.) And hey, it’s only been 152 years since the Sepoy Mutiny; there’s still plenty of time to learn a lesson from that.
Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer