Although based 100 miles from the nearest port, The Fish Society has been supplying a wide range of fresh fish for 25 years and is now the UK’s leading online fishmonger.
After witnessing the online spike in home cooking videos produced for YouTube and TikTok during the pandemic, the company decided to branch out and build a studio kitchen in its Guildford offices to provide its own “how-to” content. “. The ‘lifestyle kitchen, inspired by MasterChef, is fully equipped for a shooting session thanks to Flipside AV.
“The team wanted a high-end system with cameras used to record and stream live content, and after looking at various options, we came up with a solution that worked for them,” says James Cooper, general manager of Flipside. “When they mentioned MasterChef as an inspiration, I had a feeling there would be a technical challenge that can often occur in a separate studio kitchen. But I think we mapped it perfectly with the positioning the camera and mic to get good footage – this is a proper broadcast setup.
Amy Birse, Content Marketing Manager for The Fish Society, says: “The main goal was for the space to feel authentic, so that when viewers watched, they felt comfortable – like they could easily make this recipe at home. We took a lot of inspiration from MasterChef – the way they filmed is how we want to engage our audience. But we don’t want it to feel as sterile as that. We want our content to be trendy and fresh.
The kitchen studio was set up with three BirdDog P200 PTZ cameras, two placed on either side of the kitchen and one directly above the cooking station for an overhead view of food preparation. In addition to two Audio-Technica 892 sub-miniature wireless headset microphones to attach to the on-screen chef, Audio-Technica shotgun microphones have been placed on either side of the galley, in addition to a widescreen XY microphone diaphragm.
“The XY covers the general background noise,” adds Cooper. “Both shotguns are focused on the stove and grill, to capture that crisp sound from the grill and cutting board counter area. There’s just enough audio in the mix to play around with a bit, so it’s not just dry, close-to-mic sounds. It’s not an echo piece, so you can play the violin and try to make it as natural as possible. »
It was important for The Fish Society to capture this audio aesthetic. “I’ve become obsessed with the recent Lurpak butter commercials,” Birse adds. “The sizzle, the sizzle, the flames – I wanted to make sure we put all that drama into our videos. These mics are going to be perfect for that, because not only do they capture the energy of the kitchen, but also our tone of voice and our brand as a whole.
Flipside also installed a PC-based platform for live streaming and recording mixed releases. “They can record the mixed output, but they can also record the continuous feeds from the cameras if they want to do more post-editing for a neater video,” Cooper adds. “It ultimately had to be computer-based rather than any type of hardware video mixer, to provide full control. BirdDog’s joystick controller, for example, means they have preset recall and movement to cameras on a separate unit.
The installation ran into a challenge when one of the overhead cameras had to be repositioned, so that the lens would not be affected by the steam coming from the stove area. “There were some setbacks with the repositioning,” Birse adds. “But the Flipside team just said ‘no problem’, came back to the studio, moved the camera and dropped another one.”