Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Crash Test Kitchen Vlog Critique

I chose to watch the vlog “Let the Jelly Roll: Spring Roll Recipe from Waz’s Nana” (http://www.crashtestkitchen.com/). I really liked this vlog because 1) I love watching cooking shows and 2) it seemed unintimidating. It was just two people in their kitchen making a jelly roll recipe that they got from someone’s grandma. There were no fancy cuts or graphics: when they switched from one person being in front of the camera to the other, they weren’t afraid to have awkward camera movements or to have strange pauses. This kind of took the fear out of making a vlog for me. Also, they made baking something as seemingly complicated as a jelly roll seem easy as well. I like the way they broke down each step and offered substitutes to some of the ingredients or some of the steps. They were afraid to make mistakes in this part either and I think that they really tried hard to make baking seem fun, especially the part where the man is whipping cream for the filling.

In terms of audience, I think that this vlog was created for average people who are not experienced in cooking or baking, but want to learn. One of the biggest reasons that I think this is because everything seems so ordinary and simple. It wasn’t filmed in a fancy state-of-the-art kitchen with the best appliances. They aren’t using exotic ingredients that you would have to travel to another country to obtain. Instead, they are in their kitchen in their house and using ingredients that everyone most likely already has in their cupboard. In addition, the woman does a really good job of breaking down information and explaining ingredients that people who are chefs might not be familiar with, such as self-rising flour. Finally, I liked the way that the cameraman asked the woman questions as to what she was doing, acting as a voice for the audience who might have the exact same questions.

There aren’t too many video editing techniques applied to this video. Mainly, editing was used to cut down on time by taking out parts that weren’t needed. However, there were some parts that could have been edited out, but were left in, such as the cream whipping part. But I feel that this was kept in to make the vlog more entertaining, so I guess it serves a purpose. Other than that, there was a lot of movement of the camera from the woman’s face as she was explaining something to the bowl she was mixing in and back and forth. This seems to serve to give the viewer the feeling that they are right there watching the woman bake as the camera follows what seems to be the man’s moving line of vision.

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