12/10/13

 

Isomalt Winter Sculpture

Isomalt Winter Sculpture

Isomalt Pumpkin Carriage

Isomalt Pumpkin Carriage

Gumpaste Coral Reef

Gumpaste Coral Reef

Chef Michelle "Mitchie Munchies" Curran's A Night Before Christmas with Simi Isomalt as Snow!  26 Hours to create this amazing scene for Make A Wish!

Chef Michelle “Mitchie Munchies” Curran’s A Night Before Christmas with Simi Isomalt as Snow! 26 Hours to create this amazing scene for Make A Wish!

Simi Cakes & Confections

 

Hello everyone, 

I hope you all are creating wonderful cakes, cookies, and surprises for Christmas!  Please send us your pictures to share on Face Book and Twitter, we love to show you off!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Simi-Cakes-Confections/121435164568456

https://twitter.com/Simicakes

 ****************************************************

It’s not too early to think about January in Florida at the Florida ICES Mini Classes!  From Jan 24 through the 26 in Orlando it’s an all star line up of amazing teachers, a great vendor hall with extra hours this year and a new Night of Sharing Social!  I’ll be teaching the Gumpaste Coral Reef & the Isomalt Pumpkin Carriage and we will be demoing all weekend at our booth in the vendor hall.  Stop in to shop and take a few classes too!  All the info is on the website: http://www.flices.org/

 ****************************************************

Check out: Michelle “Chef Mitchie” Curran of Las Vegas, who created “Marley’s at the Door” from A Christmas Carol in a cake decorating collaboration for Bake a Christmas Wish to benefit the Make a Wish Foundation.
The movie and scene she chose to re-create in edible medium is from the 2009 animated version of “A Christmas Carol”. As Ebenezer Scrooge returns to his home from his bleak & miserable work day he encounters his old business partner in place of his home’s door knocker. The scene from the animated version is INTENSE & SUSPENSEFUL!

With almost 10 edible mediums, including Simi Isomalt for the snow, this project took nearly 26 hours to create.  Each brick is carved by hand and used 3 shades of petal dust to make it look aged. She wanted to capture every intricate detail possible in this project to make it realistic. Chef Mitchie says, “By far, my favorite part is the snow. I love how the final picture allows you to sense how cold the stone is.  I’m very proud to have been asked to take part in this beautiful artistic collaboration.”  Check out Chef Mitchie’s facebook and other cakes at the Bake a Christmas Wish links below:

https://www.facebook.com/MitchiesMunchies
https://www.facebook.com/bakeachristmaswish

 

Upcoming Classes and Events

 

Dec. 22-Orlando-Holiday Isomalt  info@simicakes.com

9-12noon              Casting Poinsettias, icicles, snowflakes, ornaments and more in isomalt 

Jan 24-26-Florida ICES Mini Classes-Orlando FL www.flices.org

Vendoring and demos all weekend

Sat

11:30-2:30            Gumpaste Coral Reef

3-6pm                    Isomalt Pumpkin Carriage 

Feb 15- New Orleans Beginning & Advanced Isomalt Classes  mausb90@yahoo.com

Mardi Gras Isomalt Classes TBA

Feb 22-23-Austin, Tx -That Takes the Cake Show  http://thattakesthecake.org/index.php/main/

Sun 8:30-11:30 Victorian Isomalt Class

Sat/Sun-Demos and Vendoring at our Booth 

March 15, 16, 17-Nashville, TN-Tennessee ICES Isomalt Classes & Day of Sharing

Contact Heather: LetThemEatCupcakes@comcast.com

Sat-                                        

10-12                     Chocolate Garnishes

2-5pm                    Chocolate Sculptures

Sun-                                      

Day of Sharing and Isomalt Demos Westward Balloon!

Mon-                                      

8:30-10:30            Intro to Casting Isomalt

12-5pm                  Isomalt Pumpkin Carriage

March 29 & 30-Fairfax, VA-National Capital Area Cake Show http://www.cakeshow.org/

Chocolate & Isomalt Classes, Demos and Vendoring at our booth

April 12 & 13-Farmington, NM Isomalt Classes TBA with DOS

Isomalt Spring Sculpture Class 

May 2-4-Frosting Creators of San Antonio, TX  http://www.frostingcreators.com/

Isomalt & Chocolate Classes and DOS Demos along with Vendoring 

July 12, 13, 14-Shreveport, LA-Icing on the Cake Competition

July 31-Aug 3-Albuquerque, NM-ICES 14 www.ices.org

Oct 19 & 20-Westminster, MD-Great American Cake Show-Class, Demos, Vendoring with Simi Cakes

                       http://greatamericancakeshow.com/

Tip of the Week!

Have you checked out SugarEd Productions Sugar Art School by Sharon Zambito? It’s amazing! I spend hours watching and learning.  Great video and written tutorials with step by step instructions that are extremely comprehensive.  There are celebrity guest instructors like Kathleen LangeWayne Steinkopf too.   New tutorials with Sharon and new celebrities are added all the time.  There is an online community message board, printable recipe bank, on-line resources, shopping and so much more. It’s a great price at $100 a year or with monthly payment options at $10 a month.  There is a premium subscription with one on one consultations with Sharon and 20% off discount in the store.

  Here’s the link:
http://www.sugaredproductions.com/

Keep Life Sweet,

Sidney

http://www.simicakes.com/


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7/9/13

Hand pulled & sculpted Isomalt Mermaid

Hand pulled & sculpted Isomalt Mermaid

Isomalt Sculpture made with Simi Isomalt & Simi Flex Form(c) Molds for my You Tube Tutorial

Isomalt Sculpture made with Simi Isomalt & Simi Flex Form(c) Molds for my You Tube Tutorial

Simi Isomalt & Simi Flex Form(c) Molds for the You Tube Tutorial on Isomalt Sculptures

Simi Isomalt & Simi Flex Form(c) Molds for the You Tube Tutorial on Isomalt Sculptures

Simi Cakes & Confections

 

Hello Everyone!

Hope everyone had a happy and safe July 4th with their friends and family!  We are excited to get on the road this week for our cross country caking adventure!  We will see all of our cake friends in Shreveport, Las Vegas and Dallas!  Find us at the Icing on the Cake Competition & Classes, LA Day of Sharing, Sweet House Confectionary Supply in LV, Cake Camp, & Cake Carousel in Dallas!  Check our schedule below for all upcoming classes.  If you are interested in Isomalt Structure Class THIS SUNDAY in Shreveport, LA at the Icing on the Cake Competition, email me ASAP to sign up info@simicakes.com   You will be able to sign up at the show if there are seats available, just send me a quick email to let me know you are signing up so I bring enough supplies!  

We are busy finishing up our prep for fun and creative classes we will be teaching.  Most of our supplies are packed and ready to go so I have been creating a couple new classes while I’m waiting for go time.  A few of my favorite new classes I’m putting together are an isomalt Mermaid Figure Sculpting Class and Gumpaste Reef Workshop. It will incorporate beautiful musculature and anatomically correct features along with airbrushing, painting, and dusting to bring pieces alive.

Last weekend I filmed the long promised YouTube video tutorial on our Simi Flex Forms© and all of their wonderful sugar uses!  I was editing all weekend and it is ready for viewing!  Enjoy the Simi Flex Form© YouTube Tutorial here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AC6DNaqGb3Q

One quick note, there are only 4 seats left for my ICES 13 Convention Class-Isomalt Shoes, Roses, & Gems!  Online registration ends July 14!  Get your registrations in and I’ll see you there! www.ices.org 

Classes & Events with Simi Cakes

July 13-15-Shreveport, LA-Icing on the Cake  http://www.quotaicingonthecake.com/home/
Sat                        Vendoring and 10am Demo
Sun 1PM                Isomalt Blown Sugar Structures 4 hours, email
 info@simicakes.com to sign up
Mon                       LA Day of Sharing-Demos and Vendoring
July 17-Las Vegas, NV-Sweet House Confectionery Supply http://www.sweethouselv.com/
Wed 5pm               Isomalt Demos at the Store-Come join us for a sweet, fun and creative evening
July 18-21-Henderson, NV-Cake Camp http://www.cakecamp.com/
Vendoring and demos

July 27, 28, 29-Dallas, TX-Cake Carousel http://www.cakecarousel.com/
Sat 9-12                         Isomalt Ribbons & Bows with Brooch Centers
Sat 1-5                           Blown Sugar Bubbles & Hearts Sculptures
Sun 10-3:30                   Pulled and Hand Sculpted Isomalt Flowers
Mon      10-3:30              Advanced Blown Sugar Animals

Aug 8-11-Lexington, KY-ICES Convention-Vendor Booth #429  http://www.icesconvention.org/Welcome.html
Fri Aug 9, 2-3pm-     Blown Sugar/Isomalt Snowman Demonstration
Sat Aug 10, 9-11am-Isomalt Class-Shoes, Gems, & Pulled Sugar Rosebuds
Aug 23-24 Tulsa, OK -Tulsa Cake Retreat
  http://www.allthingscakeshop.com/Tulsa-Cake-Retreat.html
Friday
8-11am                   Hand Pulled Isomalt Flowers
2-4pm                     Intro to Casting-Brooch Bouquet
4:30-7:30                Chocolate Sculpture Class
Saturday
9-6pm                     Vendor & Demos all day
4:30-6:30                Cupcake Toppers in Chocolate, Fondant, & Isomalt Techniques
Sept 5-Ft. Walton Bch, FL-Just Think Cake
 http://justthinkcake.com/
TBA                        Gumpaste Coral Reef Workshop
Sept 8-Huston-Houston Cake Club Cake Decorating Extravaganza-    http://www.houstoncakeclub.com/dos/dosann.htm
9-4pm                    Day of Sharing Demo with Debbie Brown, Liz Dickson, Gary Homan, Ximina Sempertegui, & Me!
Vendoring at our booth
Sept 14 & 15 Sweet Life Cake & Candy Supply,
 http://www.sweetlifecakesupply.com/
TBA                        2 Day Isomalt Classes
Sept 22 & 23-Greensboro, NC with the Central Carolina Cake Club 
buttercream2011@gmail.com
Sunday
12-2pm                   Casting Isomalt
3-5pm                    Fall Isomalt Flowers
Monday
10-12pm                 Isomalt Bows & Ribbons
1-3pm                     Blown Sugar Bubbles & Hearts Sculpture

Fall 2013-Ladybug Cake & Candy, Southbury, CT

Oct-Great American Cake Show, Westminster, MD

Nov-Edible Artists Network Isomalt Classes, Chicago, IL

Dec 7-Jacksonville, FL Isomalt Flower Workshop

 

Until Next Time…

Keep Life Sweet,

Sidney

  http://www.simicakes.com/ 

https://twitter.com/Simicakes

                                 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Simi-Cakes-Confections/121435164568456

10/24/12

Simi Cakes & Confections, LLC

 

Hello everyone,

Happy Fall!  I’m so excited to announce my first cake decorating DVD is now available!  It’s titled Isomalt Techniques and is great video for beginners to isomalt and a refresher course for more advanced students.  On the video you’ll find step by step instructions on how to create a casting of the bubble flower in a silicone mold with Icing Images, two pulled sugar flowers (the rose and calla lily), blown bubbles, and two-tone ribbons as well as tips and tricks along the way.  Chris Kridler, owner of Sky Diary Productions, was my videographer/director and did an amazing job.  I highly recommend her for all your photography and videography needs.  Plus check out her blog and all her talents on her website: http://www.chriskridler.com/ 

I’ll be on the road teaching most of November.  Please note that if you would like to place an order we will be unavailable by phone or to fulfill orders from Nov 5 thru Nov 22.  Please place any orders by Sunday, Nov 4.  We will reopen on Black Friday, Nov 23.  We will have access to our email intermittently on our trip, so if you have a question, need any information about a tool or class, or would like to place to be filled when we return, we will get back to you while we are away.  We are planning some fun discounts for the Holidays so stay tuned!

 

 Classes

Nov 2 & 3-Southbury, CT- Ladybug Cake and Candy Supply- http://ladybugcakeandcandy.com/
Friday
6-8:30-             
Casting Isomalt including gems, molds, Icing Images, color and more
Saturday
9-11:30-           
Pulled Roses & Blown Sugar Bubbles
12-6pm-           
HolidayIsomalt Fun Making Blown Sugar Snowmen, Penguins, Bows, Icicles, Snowflakes & More…

Nov 4- Sunday-Waldorf, MD Holiday Isomalt Fun  info@simicakes.com

10-5pm-            Isomalt Snowflakes, Icicles, Blown Sugar Snowmen, Penguins, and Bows

Nov 9-10-          Belgium-
Zoetjes &Toetjes Show (Sweets & Desserts) Isomalt Demos & Vendoring  http://www.zoetjesentoetjes.be/Zoetjes_&_Toetjes/Welkom.html

Nov 11 Sunday-Sint Niklaas, Belgium-Isomalt Bootcamp-http://www.tlcs.nl/a-27355346/workshops-en-cursussen/isomalt-bootcamp-11-nov-belgie/

Nov 12 Monday-Ronse, Belgium- Coffee & Curiosa http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=436775513036164&set=a.130678120312573.21545.126723054041413&type=1&theater
10-3pm            
Introduction to Isomalt

Nov 15, 16, 17  & 18-Lelystad, Netherlands-Cake Atelier with Sidney Galpern  http://www.cakeatelier.nl/workshops/isomalt-simicakes/
Thursday
9-1pm-             
Chocolate Sculptures
2-6pm-              Chocolate Sculptures
Friday
9-6pm-             
Casting Including Icing Images, Stained Glass, Flowers, Blown Bubbles & Hearts and more!
Saturday
8-12pm            
4 hour hands-on casting and isomalt demo class
1-5pm               4 hour hands-on casting and isomalt holiday demo class
Sunday
9am-6pm         
Casting Including Icing Images, Stained Glass, Flowers, Blown Bubbles & Hearts, and more-
SOLD OUT

Dec 2-Palm Bay, FL Holiday Isomalt at Simi Cakes   info@simicakes.com
11-5pm-            Hands-on poinsettias, snowflakes, icicles, penguins, blown sugar snowmen and more!

Dec 8-Jacksonville, FL Holiday Isomalt   info@simicakes.com
12:30-6pm-       Hands-on poinsettias, snowflakes, icicles…and demo on blown sugar snowmen, penguins and more!

Dec 9-Brevard Cake Artists Holiday Gathering  info@simicakes.com
1-5pm-              Games, Food, Fun, and Friendship!

Jan 12 & 13-Connecticut ICES  Days of Sharing  
http://www.ctices.org/CT_Ices/About_Us.html
Saturday
9-12pm            
IsomaltSugar Garden Sculptures-Casting and Pulled Isomalt Hands-On Class
2-5pm              
Vineyard Cake-Isomalt, Fondant, Painting, and Stenciling Hands-On Class
Sunday
9-10am            
Demo-Spun Sugar Bowls, Blown Sugar Hearts, & Painted Chocolates for Valentine’s Day
10:30-11:30       Demo-Icing Images in Isomalt-Beads, Flowers, Drops, Broaches, Borders and More
1-2pm              
Demo-Gumpaste Water Lily

Jan 18, 19 & 20-Daytona Beach, FL, Florida ICES Mini Classes- Hands
-On Classes & Vendoring http://awbksales.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=2
Friday
8-11am            
Gumpaste Water Lily
12-2pm             Icing Images Suspended in Isomalt Cake
2:30-5:30          
Blown Sugar Dolphin and Bubbles
Saturday
8-11am            
Stained Glass Sugar Butterflies
12-2pm            
Basic Fondant
2:30-5:30          
Dragon!  Rice Cereal Carving & Fondant Modeling
Sunday
8-11am            
Pulled Sugar Ribbons
12-2pm             Fondant Dog Figures
2:30-5:30          
Isomalt Roses, Gems, and Shoes

 

Tip of the Week

This week’s tip of the week comes from Debbie Coughlin, the owner of Icing Images in Winchester, VA.

Debbie says, “Not using your printer regularly? Do not remove the cartridges for storage. Just print something on regular paper. Printers like to be used and the best way to keep them happy is to use it, not store it!  Increase your imaging business by adding iiDesigns to your sugar art! Icing Images are no longer just used to put a picture on a cake…. Accent and design with Icing Images!

You can order from Icing Images and find the incredible iiDesigns program at:  http://www.icingimages.com/

                   

Until next time…

Keep Life Sweet!

Sidney

http://www.simicakes.com/

10/14/12

Simi Cakes & Confections, LLC

 

Check out our great friend and talented cake artist, Teri Tarbox.  She has made quite a few You Tube Videos on the art of working with Icing Images in a variety of methods including using isomalt to make her Icing Images bows.  http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTetLWAAmWC7aEAqsZgpo1w?feature=results_main

They are beautiful and her easy to follow tutorials make your cake go from “Flat to Fabulous” in no time.  After you check out her 8 educational videos, you can take her class, Fantasy Fun Flowers with Premium Icing Sheets, at the Cake Decorators of Tidewater 29th Annual Cake Show in Virginia Beach on Saturday, Oct 20 from 10-12 noon.  Here is the website:  http://www.cdotcakeshow.org/2012-class-information/teri-tarbox-s-classes/

We are so excited that Teri will be hosting us in Waldorf, MD to teach our Holiday Isomalt Fun Class.  Thanks Teri and we’ll see you Nov 4th!

 

Upcoming Simi Cakes Classes-

 

Nov. 2-3-      Southbury, CT at Ladybug Cake and Candy

                    Casting, Blown Sugar and Roses, Holiday Isomalt Fun

                   http://ladybugcakeandcandy.com/3101.html

Nov. 4          Waldorf, MD Hosted by Teri Tarbox

                   Holiday Isomalt Fun

                   info@simicakes.com 

Nov. 9-10-     Belgium, Zoetjes & Toetjes

                   Demos & Vendoring

                   http://www.zoetjesentoetjes.be/Zoetjes_%26_Toetjes/Welkom.html 

Nov 16-17-18-Lelystad, Netherlands at Cake Atelier

                   Isomalt Master Classes, Holiday Isomalt Fun, Intro to Isomalt

                   http://www.cakeatelier.nl/

Dec 2            Palm Bay, FL at Simi Cakes

                   Holiday Isomalt Fun

                   info@simicakes.com

Dec8             Jacksonville, FL Hosted by Cathy David

                   Holiday Isomalt Fun

                   info@simicakes.com

Jan 12-13      Connecticut ICES  Information soon

Jan 18-19-20 Daytona Bch, FL at Florida Mini Classes

                   Classes and Vendor

                   www.awbksales.com Website will go live 10/15/12 

More Classes and Events listed soon at http://www.simicakes.com/

 

Until next time…

Keep Life Sweet,

Sidney

http://www.simicakes.com/

 

9/7/12

Simi Cakes & Confections

Hello everyone,

Thank you to our amazing students in Panama City and Gulfport, MS for hosting Simi Cakes Sugar Classes last month!  We had such a great turn out even with the threat of Hurricane Isaac looming in the background!  We were so glad to hear that your areas didn’t sustain any major damage.  We will be on the road again starting next week to the northeast and we can’t wait to see all our northern cake friends next!  Thank you to Icing Images, Satin Ice, and Get Sassie for supporting our classes.  We couldn’t do it without you!

We filmed our first DVD this month and hope to release it in the fall.  A huge thank you to Chris Kridler for her amazing photography and videography.  We had quite a fun day of filming trying to work through a huge rain storm with rain hitting a skylight, the weather alarm going off, and thunder in the background!  Chris can work her magic in editing and we can’t wait to see the final project.  You can follow Chris’s exciting adventures, and I mean EXCITING, on her blog and website:  http://www.chriskridler.com/

Have you checked out all the tutorials on our website?!?  I just put the new Spun Sugar Bowls tutorial I wrote for CakeFu.com on there today.  There are more than 12 tutorials to check out.  See them here:

http://www.simicakes.com/Tutorials.php and check out the new one here:  http://www.cakefu.com/quick-and-elegant-spun-sugar-bowl/

 

Up Coming Classes

 

Sept 21/22-Southbury, CT at Ladybug Cake & Candy Supply http://ladybugcakeandcandy.com/

Friday-

6-8:30pm-Casting Isomalt including gems, molds, Icing Images, and more! 

Saturday

9-11:30-Pulled and hand sculpted Isomalt Roses & blown sugar bubbles

12-6pm-Koi Pond Sculptures-Blown and sculpted Koi with pond and water lily, including airbrushing isomalt class

 

Sept 23-Colonia, NJ Sweet Treat Cake Competition http://thejerseyitgirl.com/cake_competition_FORMS.html

12:30-3pm-Blown Sugar Bubbles & Pulled Sugar Roses

 

Sept 29/30-Mobile, AL 2 Day Isomalt Class Series www.simicakes.com

Saturday

9-5- Casting gems, molds, Icing Images, & more!  Pulled sugar garden sculptures.  Blown sugar bubbles and spun sugar

Sunday

9-6- Hand pulled, multi-colored ribbons and bows, Stained glass sugar, blown sugar dolphins, swans, and hummingbirds.

 

Oct 7-Palm Bay, FL at Simi Cakes www.simicakes.com

10-2-Basic Buttercream & Fondant Techniques

2:30-6-Gumpaste Water Lilies & Fondant Figures

 

Nov TBA UK Isomalt Classes-More info Soon!

 

Nov 17/18-Netherlands Master Class-Isomalt Techniques  http://www.cakeatelier.nl/international-masterclasses/isomalt-simicakes/

 

Dec 8-Jacksonville, FL-Holiday Isomalt   www.simicakes.com

12:30-6pm-Poinsettias, snowmen, snowflakes and more!

 

Dec 9-Palm Bay, FL at Simi Cakes- Holiday Isomalt  www.simicakes.com

1-4pm-Poinsettias, snowmen, snowflakes and more!

 

Tip of the Week

 

This week’s tip comes from my wonderfully sweet and talented Wilton Instructor, Betty Redd:

If you want an ubber delicious pineapple upside down cake, use virgin coconut oil to substitute for equal amounts of whatever fat the cake calls for.

Here is the recipe I used to hand out when I sold Princess House.  I modified the recipe so that I used ½ cup virgin coconut oil instead of 1 stick butter.  Then I replaced the stick of butter in my boxed cake mix with another ½ cup of coconut oil.  I think this will work for any recipe. 

What’s nice about this covered casserole dish is that it keeps things from sticking.  However it took my cake over an hour to bake.  I don’t think the given recipe bake time is correct.  It is a dense cake, so it took almost 1.5 hours to bake in this casserole dish.  If you use a regular cake pan, make sure you prepare the pans as usual.  Enjoy-Betty

 

 

PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

 

1 stick of Butter

1 20 oz. Can Sliced Pineapple (drained)

1 cup Brown Sugar

1 Yellow Cake Mix

 

Put melted butter in 3Qt Fantasia Covered Casserole. Drain sliced pineapple and place slices in bottom of dish.  Sprinkle brown sugar over pineapple

 

Prepare cake mix according to package directions using pineapple juice in lieu of water.  Pour over pineapple and brown sugar. Cover

 

Bake at 350º for 45 minutes.

 

Until next time,

Keep Life Sweet!

Sidney

http://www.simicakes.com/

 

6/5/12

Simi Cakes & Confections Blog

 

Whether you are teaching or promoting your cake business, chances are you will end up in front of a live camera giving a demonstration.  When you film a food segment it presents its own set of circumstances that you have to be prepared to work with.  Like camera angles, being prepared to change cameras or stop and start again, or controlling noise and background distractions. Also, working in a studio on a green screen-don’t wear any green, blue, or metallic colors and your cake, desserts or tools can’t be in those colors either or they will disappear!  I’ve had the opportunity to film a few segments for the local Today in Brevard Lifestyles Show, one with Chris Kridler on location and three with producer and video journalist, Caroline Perez, in the studio. They both have taught me a lot.  It’s a fascinating world in video journalism and Caroline was happy to fill us in with some information and helpful tips for you when you find yourself being invited to guest on a food segment or demo on camera at your next ICES Day of Sharing.   

Caroline Perez, Producer and Video Journalist

 

Caroline produces a weekly 27-minute Lifestyle Show.  She plans the show budget, edits and/or shoots the video segments, coordinates centerpiece studio guest(s), writes scripts when needed and shoots on location or in their TV studio. 


SidneyHow did you get interested in video journalism?
Caroline-Back in early 2000s when I was going to San Francisco State University for journalism, I was studying news writing. Each student is supposed to spend at least two semesters on the student publications. I worked on the newspaper and online newspaper. Back then, we were making audio slide shows with Flash. We didn’t learn video. I didn’t learn how to shoot video until I came to FLORIDA TODAY (Newspaper). However, I do remember when I was a freshman or sophomore in high school, I interviewed my little cousin on cassette tape (remember those?). You could say I got my journalism practice early.

SidneyDid school prepare you for the real world?
Caroline-Yes and no. Yes because that’s where I learned the basics and foundation of journalism. No because technology has changed so much since 2005, when I graduated. The way we consume news affects how we produce the news products. However, there are always tools that never change and are always taught, such as ethics, reporting in a fair and unbalanced manner, how to gather facts, etc.

SidneyWhat are the pressures of producing a weekly show? And how far in advance do you shoot?
Caroline-I can shoot as much at 2-3 weeks in advance or two days before the Lifestyles show is due. The videos come from various sources (either I shoot videos, another visual journalist, possibly a freelancer or file videos). Additionally, the show host will write a script (sometimes I write it) and read it off a teleprompter. The host also does a centerpiece interview in the studio. Those interviews can be long (longer than 4 min).

It’s a lot of multitasking. The main pressure is I have to keep track of where all the videos will come from, estimate how long the video segments will be and if I come up short, figure out a way to fill the time. We generally do not have standalone videos ready on standby to be used. For the newspaper, there are wire stories that can be used to fill space. On a TV show, it needs content, so I’m constantly checking to see how much video I will have and if I need to shoot anything during the week.

SidneyIs it easier to film in the studio vs. on location so you can control your environment?
Caroline-It’s a little easier to shoot in the studio, but it takes just as long as shooting on location. Either way, I have to think about lighting, sound and making mental notes of what to film so I can edit. In a traditional studio, there is someone working controls for audio, for the cameras, several camera people at each camera and a director calling the shots. In our studio, I am often doing all those roles in one taping. Sometimes a coworker will help out and we’ll divide the duties.

SidneyYou have the opportunity to film many food segments, has anything ever gone completely wrong while filming?
Caroline-Luckily, I haven’t had any food filming mishaps (knock on wood). When you watch a cooking or food show on TV, remember there is a staff of camera people, a director calling the shots, someone to punch buttons to switch cameras on TV. When I used to film food segments on location, it was hard to make it look seamless while filming. There are things I do before filming, such as talk with the chef to know where his/her hands will be moving. So unfortunately, no funny food stories. Now our Adopt a Pet segments on the other hand …

SidneyWhat were your most complicated/hardest shoots?
Caroline-We occasionally live stream video events. Unlike TV camera people, when I stream video live, I set up my camera on my tripod, set up our laptop on my tripod, set up our internet and microphones. TV camera people can leave their tripod, whereas I am tethered to my equipment (which should be plugged in to an outlet). Even with a promise of internet, something can always go wrong with a live shoot. Also, sometimes folks tense up in the studio. It could take longer to film on location because of setting up lights, audio, the “set,” etc.

Sidney-What were a few of your most exciting/enjoyable shoots?
Caroline-I shoot video for all sections. I’m not tied to a specific beat, but I mainly shoot features. I used to shoot Metromix entertainment videos featuring restaurants and bars. People would always say, “You get to eat and drink for your job? How exciting!” We don’t do those kinds of videos anymore. Most recently, a reporter and I sailed the newest Disney ship, the Disney Fantasy last month. We went on a three night media preview cruise to the Bahamas and back. Let me tell you, the dining service was stellar and the food was amazing. The reporter even interviewed the Manager of Food Standards for Disney Cruise Line. The desserts included: Tahitian Vanilla Crème Brulee, Steamed Lemon Buttermilk Pudding with Citrus Reduction and Grand Marnier Soufflé infused with fresh Orange Zest and served with Crème Anglaise, to name a few.

 


SidneyWhat tips and tricks would you give your guests to make filming a food segment easier for you and for them?       

Caroline-One word: preparation! If there’s food that can be washed, cut, wrapped — any little thing that can be done ahead of time — it will make for a smoother filming process. You see it on morning talk shows or cooking shows all the time. The chef tells you what to do and cut to “ta-da!” there’s an example already pre-made.

A few more tips from Caroline before taping:
– Practice saying what you will say as you are demonstrating.
– Do a quick run through with the camera people so they can get an idea of where to move the camera to match you.
– In terms of taping, remember to face your actions toward the camera. For example, if you normally cut something in front of you, practice cutting it to the side (or just have it pre-made).

Thanks so much Caroline for all your helpful information.  You have an incredible artistic talent and I love your work.  You can see Caroline’s Today in Brevard Lifestyle show Mondays at 11:30 a.m., 4:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. on floridatoday.com and WBCC-TV, Brighthouse Channel 9 for Brevard residents.  You can follow Caroline and her amazing work on her Facebook Page:  http://www.facebook.com/carolineperezvisualjournalist

 

Keep Life Sweet!

Sidney

http://www.simicakes.com/