TREATMENT / VMLY&R / OSCAR MEYER / CLAUSSEN
Pilsen Photo Co-op is a pair of creatives: Caleb and Rebecca. We’re relentlessly pursuing our craft, infusing it with perspectives gained from a lifetime of travel and adventure. Having been to over 30 countries and living in a few of those, we’ve had the privilege
of trying all sorts of foods. Different things dominate the everyday culinary experience and that’s what tends to excite us the most. Elevating that experience and showing it with respect is a big part of our culture as a team.
We’ve worked to include some fantastic local collaborators to achieve the creative vision shared with us and are securing a couple of natural light studios in Kansas City to achieve the approachable yet polished look needed for this shoot.
Food Stylists aren’t magicians but sometimes they feel like it. Sarah Jane Hunt has a great ability to make even the most simple ingredients feel special. The combination of natural light and relaxed yet intentional styling will definitely inspire loyal as well as potential customers to dig in on the recipes. We’ve already come up with a plan with Sarah for securing everything we will need for the shoot. During these strange times we live in, we will be securing all ingredients using a mix of online inventory searching and ordering between Omaha and Kansas City to insure we have ample product to work with throughout the week of shooting. Her depth of experience will ensure consistency and excellence across the shoot as well as having a fantastic energy. She’s worked with some of the top food photographers in the US and it shows.
2020 is a unique time to be putting together a production. Teams need to be smaller and nimble, remote communication is a top tier requirement and safety is paramount. To help get all of these production perspectives dialed in we brought Marie Dougherty Gough onboard as a producer. From heading up RW2 productions to now freelancing, she has fantastic relationships with all of the crew and will be chipping in to make sure every element of the shoot is running smoothly. Her experiece with big brands and productions followed by all the good vibes and professionalism will keep everyone on track for success.
One of the big concerns in 2020 is safety so we’ve tapped a Covid-19 compliance officer to be on set, ensuring all local guidelines are being met while keeping all surfaces clean. Not only will everyone be more safe on set but we can focus on creativity and problem solving knowing our health is being looked out for.
Considering the number of shots and the need for approval we’ve come up with a workflow that will not only be efficient but will leave room for the appropriate feedback mechanisms, ensuring everyone is on the same page for deliverables. We’ve brought on Jason Tracey as a digital tech. Early in the pandemic he was one of the first in Kansas City to dial in a tech workflow to account for remote production realities. Using a mix of capture one and Zoom we’ll be able to colaborate with creative and show what’s happening on set in real time. Jason will be monitoring the tethering, creating backups and uploading JPGs to the agency server so selects can be made.
At the end of each day with selects in hand we can get RAWs off to the retoucher to stay well on schedule for final deliverables. Kansas City has some of the fastest internet in the country, so we know that on our end files should have no problem hitting servers in a timely fashion, keeping the energy moving in the right direction. Our retoucher, High Heart Creative, is the best in KC. Their ability to make things polished and natural gets them frequently tapped for work with great clients.. The added complexity of this shoot with .GIF deliverables is something they’re well versed in and with the quick turnaround of selects from agency creatives will allow them to get to the detailed work of retouching the 3-5 images needed to create some really fantastic movement.
Our studio space is in the historic Acme Lofts building in midtown KC, full of windows and with a great open kitchen to working area floor plan.
Natural light really helps bring food to life and makes things feel approachable but sometimes you have to help augment the existing sun or diffuse what’s coming through the windows. We’ve allowed for a pre-light day on Monday, December 7th to insure all of those refinements are dialed in. Using rolls of diffusion paper we’ll be able to tame any strong light coming in and also be able to fire strobes through to approximate natural light for creating a consistent vibe throughout. It’s essential to bring a warm and approachable environment to the forefront for this series of images.
Part of setting up our workflow includes extra refrigeration to accomidate the quantity of ingredients as needed. On our pre-light day, our food stylist will be doing prep along side the prop stylist so we’ll actually have a few approximations of final dishes and set to truly be able to judge our progress.
We will have two sets in studio at all times available to keep the ball rolling. That means we can start by shooting on one, and while approval is in the works from that set, we can be starting in on refining the next for the following shot. This will reduce down time and allow for the ability to stay on or ahead of schedule. There are two shooters when you hire Pilsen Photo Co-op, so if as needed one of us can start in on the next shot while the other is wrapping something else. It’s a part of our core working method to be collaborative and to divide and conquer when a project calls for it.
We will have various larger surfaces available to communicate the different types of spaces needed for the two clients. Claussen pickles calls for a lighter neutral surface to really help the pickles stand out and Oscar Meyer will get a warmer and richer take, with lots of darker wood and cutting boards. While lots of the shots call for overhead angles we will have painted hard surfaces in place as our different “walls” when a shot calls for a side angle. There is a need for creating a spring/summer seasonal feel that touches on a patriotic theme without being super over the top. We would accomidate that with some color coordination and some red checked linens so it’s flexible enough to be a regular backyard bbq or a Fourth of July celebration equally.
Rebecca has extensive experience as a professional hand model, working for the Nordstrom studios as their go-to for handbag modeling in the midwest as well as providing the human touch in much of our work as Pilsen Photo Co-op. We would love to incorporate our tight knit working relationship for this project to keep on-site crew numbers down as much as possible for complying with local covid guidelines. Since we work with food frequently she has a ton of specific experience making the perfect dip or drip happen. In fact it’s a topic she actively looks out for, knowing it’s what can really draw people to food.
We’re over the moon that you’re coming to us with this fantastic project. We know that we have a solid team and plan assembled to achieve all the goals of creating the 28 final retouched images with up to 5 Gifs and a fantastic library of images to really beef out the social feeds with current looking content. The food revolution is here and we want to show that these brands are a part of it - approachable with the ability to be their best in the eyes of the consumer. The recipes will empower consumers with creative ideas and nothing feels better than helping people find ways to enjoyably feed themselves and their families. Feel free to reach out with any questions you all have and we’d be happy to fill you in on our thoughts!