Vimeo Weekend Challenge: Cook up a Recipe II

Categories Video

As part of my video learning adventures I discovered that Vimeo has a Video School with free tutorials and projects. They have a group called Weekend Challenge where a different video project is announced each weekend. The challenges have rules like time limits, editing requirements, themes, etc.

James had been talking about chocolate cake all week. This past Thursday, I decided to bake his dream cake, but it couldn’t be just a plain ole chocolate cake. It had to have dark chocolate chips, tangy buttermilk, and a layer of bananas. My favorite flavor combination is chocolate and peanut butter, but James can’t have nuts. Aw nuts, right? So not to neglect him of taste bud heaven, with seed butter I made seed butter frosting like peanut butter frosting. And for some reason I was inclined to film the whole process.

The next morning, I received a message from Vimeo’s Weekend Challenge Group. As serendipity would have it, this weekend’s challenge was for a recipe video that is under 3 minutes. (For details on this challenge:

When I first joined the Weekend Challenge Group I wondered if I’d actually participate, now how could I not?! I had the film down, now I could work on my editing. Since I didn’t plan for the 3-minute time limit I had to think of a way to cut down the video so the recipe would still be coherent. I decided to show clips of the ingredients, the measuring utensils, and a bit of the processes like whisking and frosting. While playing back the video I noticed it had a quirky, unrefined…off-rhythm? Is that a thing? I didn’t want to use a narrative, or the original sound because I felt it would take away from the video’s playfulness. Baking, for me, is a time to be messy, make mistakes and have fun. My friend Mike Molaro’s song “Having Fun with You” was the icing on the cake (sorry, I had to), causing the video to have a hug evoking effect.

The biggest challenge of the filming process was lighting. Including the cooling time, baking takes a couple hours. Within those hours natural light shifts so I had to adjust the brightness of some clips making the video grainy and inconsistent. By the time we cut the cake it was night, so the lighting came from the kitchen and a sad little lamp in the living room corner.

In the future, I’d like to spend time planning and have the song picked out so I can edit to the rhythm. There was absolutely no planning making this video and it is apparent with the change in screen resolution (oops!), but it was important to me that I just did it anyways. I couldn’t bake another cake for the video’s sake; too much cake gives me a tummy ache! (Yes, this is who I am. I may be a little bit sorry.)

I hope you enjoy the video and the cake!

Bananas for Chocolate Cake from Lisa Chin on Vimeo.

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