Thursday, October 20, 2011

Behind-the-scenes secrets of food commercials

by Piper Weiss, Shine Staff, on Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:43pm PDT
Here's a look at some of the smoke and mirrors used by industry insiders to make food better looking in print and on camera.

It's not easy to get that perfectly frothy head on a pint of beer.
Sometimes you need a little help from silicone gel mixed with powder and water.

There's just something about a steaming hot plate of food.
So directors rely on a clothing steaming machine, just out of view, to provide that oven-fresh effect.

A little shoe polish never hurt.

The brown buffer stain you use to shine your loafers also makes raw meat look "just-out-of-the-roaster succulent," says Kamps.

Ice cubes will never look this good
That's because they're usually made from acrylic or plastic, for the express purpose of portraying un-meltable ice on camera. A single cube can cost up to $500.

Sometimes it's really motor oil,
according to Haje Jan Kamps, a photo editor who exposed food stylist tricks for the website Pixiq.

Ice cream isn't always what it seems.
“We used lard and Karo syrup for an ice cream client,” David Deahl, a tabletop director, told the Times. “The lights we have melt the product so quickly that it’s impossible to make ice cream look like ice cream. So we got permission from our client to fake it.”

And how do they keep pasta from slipping off that fork?
Glue. It's that simple. The white Elmer's stuff is particularly useful for fixing pies and for standing in as cereal milk too.

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