If you think your house might make an interesting backdrop for a video, contact freelance producer Lisa Stark at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Normally, the streets inside the gated Heritage Landing community on the Tennessee River are clear and quiet, except for the occasional landscaping crew.
However, on a recent Friday afternoon, trucks, cars and rental vans are lined up on the street. A couple of EZ-up tents are crowded together at the top of the driveway to keep the rain out.
Underneath are prep tables and gas grills. Inside the garage is a makeshift editing bay with monitors and computers manned by an engineer. In the house are more prep tables covered with food watched over by more technicians. Cables snake from the garage to the kitchen. Even on a rainy day, the kitchen feels open and airy. It's plenty spacious for a home cook, but with five members of the crew, plus a large camera and tripod, lighting and rigging for overhead shots, the room is full.
With a gas cooktop on the counter against one wall and an induction cooktop on the island, the layout makes it a perfect fit for the shot, producers say. Their goal is to shoot one video showing how to use cast iron on an induction stove and another to introduce Lodge's stoneware line.
Behind the camera is Grady Upchurch. He's filming Kris Stubblefield, product and test kitchen coordinator for Lodge Manufacturing, as he prepares a dish to be baked in one of the manufacturer's new stoneware dishes.
Tyler Beasley of Fancy Rhino, a local production company that works with Lodge and other local and national companies, leans against a countertop and looks over his four-page shot list. The stoneware recipe has 25 steps and several more camera shots. None lasts more than a few seconds. Beasley is the producer on the set, while Caleb Rexford is creative director and writer on this 10-member crew.
The day before, they worked on the first how-to video, for using cast iron on an induction stove. Such models use a electromagnetic field below the glass cooktop surface rather than radiant cook for cooking.
Today the production crew is preparing enchiladas in a stoneware dish, made out of natural clay and glazed in vibrant colors.
"That's a new line for us," says Lodge PR and advertising manager Mark Kelly.
The pieces are fired at high temperatures, similar to the heat that forges Lodge's cast iron.
Videos like the ones being filmed here are used by the company for promotion, education and advertising. They are quick clips that feature no dialogue or on-screen text so they can be used by distributors around the world.
Beasley says they do about four a year, usually two at a time.
"There are a lot of shots, but the videos are one or two minutes with a lot of quick shots so they are easy to watch."
Lisa Stark is a local freelance producer and casting and location agent. She is constantly on the lookout for locations. She finds them through online homes-for-sale sites, friends and even strangers.
"I found one from a guy at a dog park once," she says.
The homeowners are compensated for the use of their home, with the amount starting at around $500 and going up depending on the amount of time and how much of the house is used.
"We also put them up in a hotel if need be," she says.
Homeowner Debbie Godbold is trying to sell her house in Heritage Landing where the Lodge shoot took place. She is out of town for the shoot, but says later that she's proud to have been asked for the use of her house and glad to know both Lodge and Fancy Rhino are local companies.
"I think that's pretty cool," she says. "I tried to get them to wait a week so I could be there to watch, but they couldn't. They were very professional, and I've watched some of the videos online, and they are very well done."
She probably won't need to watch the upcoming video about using cast iron on an induction stove, except to see her kitchen. She says she already uses a Lodge cast-iron pan on that stove all the time.
"It works great," she says.
Contact Barry Courter at email@example.com or 423-757-6354.