Apple Behind The Scenes News Smartmoviemakers YouTube, , , , , , , — December 21, 2012 0:14 — 3 Comments

Punk flavour for cooking show filmed on an iPhone 4S

Crowding the Pan; Sam Auen; punk rock; cooking; TV; show; Kristian Day; iPhone

Chef Sam Auen on the set and being filmed by Kristian Day

Anarchy in the kitchen as ’thrash-metal’ chef Sam Auen is the topic of a new cooking show, shot entirely on a smartphone


A new cooking TV show to be aired on the Fox network in the US has been shot entirely on an iPhone 4S. “Crowding the Pan with Sam Auen is a sort of a punk rock cooking show for syndication,” says its creator, indie filmmaker Kristian Day.

Each week Des Moines chef Sam Auen creates new meals as well profiling local farmers and restaurants while juggling his own business and family life.

Day says he decide to adopt the iPhone 4S for this project when some of his camera gear was stolen from his car.

“I had a TV pilot [Crowding the Pan] to shoot in three days. I don’t like solving problems with money. I believe there is a ‘work around’ for everything,” he says.

His old JVC HD-110 camera was on its last legs, he says. “It was held together with electrical tape and I was shooting on HDV. I kept thinking, man it would be great if the iPhone could let me shoot in HD and at 24p. So I started reading online about iPhone filmmaking … Filmic Pro had become available as well as Almost DSLR.

“There is some YouTube video out there where a guy mentions that if he doesn’t have his DSLR camera with him, he can shoot on an iPhone and insert the shot into his timeline and you would never know the difference … so I decided to give it a try.”

Crowding the Pan; Sam Auen; punk rock; cooking; TV; show; Kristian Day; iPhone

Kristian Day gets the shot, using his iPhone 4SKristian Day gets the shot, using his iPhone 4S

Although Day says he loves the smartphone for its adaptability and flexibility, cheap gear and the fact that he can use a lot of his old kit such as tripods, levelcam, jib, with a sidekick adapter or the OWLE – he likes heavier cameras more.

“I got really good at doing handheld with my old and heavy JVC. This was a huge reason I never switched to DSLR because it was light.”

He also says the workflow takes some getting used to when using a smartphone: “I shoot with Filmic Pro which I need to copy all my footage to my camera roll (taking up twice the amount of space), then it needs to be captured in Aperture, then I export the h.264 footage and bring it into Mpeg Streamclip and export it as Apple Prores (w/deinterlacing). It is a lot of work. But the footage looks gorgeous. I import into Final Cut and away I go.”

The idea for the show came about when Sam Auen, former guitarist in thrash-metal band Black Market Fetus and a local celebrity chef, posted online that he wanted to have a cooking show.

Day was a fan of his band and he has a local business called Tacopocalypse that he frequents. “They make tacos like chicken curry, bacon chorizo, and wasabi brisket. He has also been the head chef at a number of high-end restaurants in town. First thing in my mind when he posted online was ‘that’s brilliant’. That was way back in October, now it’s December and the pilot airs this Monday (24).

Day says the ‘punk’ element of the show can be interpreted in many ways. “It was put together very quickly without permission for a lot of things. We just packed up and went. But the show itself is assembled very differently than a normal cooking show. Lots of thrash metal over prep montages. We develop a relationship between Sam and his apprentice as well as including his family and friends.”

KDSM is a FOX affiliate for central Iowa and the channel was immediately interested from knowing who Sam was, says Day.

“I had a bit of notoriety from my documentary film Capone’s Whiskey: The Story of Templeton Rye, I had a regional theatrical release in over 40 theaters as well as a made-for-TV documentary on the same subject that aired alongside Ken Burns’ Prohibition series.”

For those outside of Iowa, there will be weekly YouTube segments of specific dishes Sam is preparing.

“I am working on setting up distribution through an online carrier but we will see how that pans out. I still own the programme so I can sell it to anyone really. Foreign markets are always generous!”

For those interested in how the series was shot, Day says: “The show was shot entirely on an iPhone 4s using Filmic Pro 2 with either an Olloclip or an OWLE as the lens converter. Other gear included a level cam, kickstand, and a gorilla pod. Audio was captured with a zoom H4n (either with a boom or lapel mic).”

Day says the iPhone is not a complete replacement camera for him, “but for reality/unscripted television stuff, this is perfect. I am personally waiting for the Digital Bolex to finally come on the market. That will become my regular film camera”.

The first episode of Crowding The Pan premieres on 25 December at 8am on  KDSM Fox 17, for more information check out the show’s Facebook page. Tasty!

Check out the show’s promo video:

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About the author

Tony Myers has written 866 articles for Smart Movie Making

Fooling around with the iPhone since 2010. Taking it to the next web by writing about new media, new technology, new wave cinema and the digital revolution.

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