Delivering a broad range of fresh fish a hundred miles from the nearest fishing port, The Fish Society has been running for 25 years and is now the UK’s leading online fishmonger. Having witnessed the online spike of a home cooking being filmed for YouTube and TikTok during the pandemic, the company decided to branch out and build a studio kitchen within their Guildford-based offices to deliver their own ‘how-to’ video content. An authentic, lifestyle kitchen inspired by MasterChef; the space is fully equipped for a filming session and with the help of Flipside AV, the content promises to be as high-quality as the dishes prepared on screen.
“The team wanted a premium system with cameras used for recording and streaming live content and after going through various options, we mapped out a solution that was right for them,” recalls Flipside Managing Director, James Cooper. “When they mentioned Master Chef as their inspiration, I had a felling there would be a technical challenge that can often happen in a separated studio kitchen, but I think we mapped it out just right with the camera and mic positioning to get some good footage – it’s a proper broadcast set up after all.”
“The main objective for me was to for the space to feel authentic at so that when viewers watched, they felt comfortable – like they could easily achieve this recipe at home,” says Amy Birse, Marketing Content Manager at The Fish Society. “We got a lot of inspiration from MasterChef –the way in which they did their filming is how we want to encapsulate our audience. But we don’t want it to feel as sterile as that –we want our content to feel trendy and fresh.”
The kitchen studio has been installed with three BirdDog P200 PTZ cameras, with two placed to the left and right facing the kitchen, and one directly above the cooking station for an aerial view of chopping and prepping. Along with two sub-miniature wireless Audio-Technica 892 headset microphones to be attached to the chef on screen, two Audio-Technica shot gun mics have been placed on equal sides of the kitchen along with a large diaphragm XY microphone.
“The XY covers the general background noise,” mentions Cooper, “but the two Shot Guns are focussed on the cooker and grill, to capture that crisp sound from the grill and the chopping board counter area so that you have just enough audio in the mix to be able to fiddle around with it a bit so it’s not just dry close mic sounds. It’s not an echoey room so you can fiddle about and try and get it to sound as natural as possible.”
For the Fish Society, it was important to capture this audio aesthetic. “I’m became obsessed with the recent Lurpak butter adverts,” adds Birse. “The sizzle, the chop, the flames – I wanted to make sure that we got all of that drama into our videos. These mics are going to be great for that – not only do they capture the energy from the cooking, but also our tone of voice and our brand as a whole.”
Flipside also installed a PC based rig for live streaming and recording mixed output. “They can record the mixed output, but they can also record the continuous feeds from the cameras if they wanted to do more post editing for a more polished video,” adds Cooper. “This ultimately had to be computer-based rather than any sort of hardware video mixer to have total control. The joystick controller from BirdDog, for example, means they have some pre-set recall and movement on the cameras on a separate unit.”
A slight challenge during the install occurred when one of the originally placed aerial view cameras needed to be repositioned, avoiding any steam on the lens from the stove area. Birse adds: “there were a few setbacks with the re-positioning, but the Flipside team just said ‘no problem’ came back to studio, moved the camera and dropped another one down. They were really helpful with that.”
With a prepped studio in place, Flipside are confident in the Fish Society to fire up the grill and produce some high-quality video content. “We just wanted to work with real people and as soon as we spoke with Flipside, we knew they were the kind of team we wanted to work with,” concludes Birse. “They have a diverse background with various installation stories, and they just dived straight into this project so efficiently – I cannot fault them in any way!”
For more information about Flipside AV, visit: flipsideav.co.uk