We recently spent a day in the studio filming several how-to videos for the website. The subject? Cakes! How to assemble a cake, how to write “happy birthday” on a cake, and some really easy and fun ways to dress up a plain frosted cake. The kitchen was full of cakes, cupcakes, and big tubs of frosting…it smelled fantastic and tasted even better (when we finally got to sample all the treats at the end of the shoot).
It’s amazing how much time and effort was involved in shooting these videos: assembling all the props like bowls, kitchen towels, cake stands, and spatulas; styling hair and makeup for our star, food editor Dawn Perry; filming take after take while making adjustments for lighting, camera angles, sound, the position of the ingredients on the table; and on and on. Luckily we had plenty of back-up cakes and frosting to use for all the different takes. Which also meant a lot of leftovers for the crew.
We’ll be rolling out the videos on RealSimple.com in a few weeks, but in the meantime, here are some photos for a behind-the-scenes sneak peek. And look out for the full cake story—complete with plenty of recipes and ideas—in our May issue of Real Simple.
All the ingredients and equipment for each video are laid out on a tray at the beginning of the day so that setting up for each shoot is easy. Plus, keeping everything organized means you won’t forget anything.
Here’s an assortment of pretty bowls, platters, and utensils for possible use in the videos. The more options, the better—you never know what will look good or what works and what doesn’t until you see it in the shot.
Here’s what the kitchen looked like before we started filming. Notice all the cupcakes and the stacks of wrapped cake layers; the cakes are labeled so we know which cake is being used for which video. And all those containers lined up on the left? They’re full of different flavored frostings. Yum!
Here’s our prop stylist, Krista, and our food stylist, Vanessa, setting up for one of our videos.
Using melted chocolate, Dawn pipes “happy birthday” onto a cake while a cameraman captures all the action.