Part of the show is shot out in the field where the team shoots in a documentary style to capture as much footage as possible, giving the editors more material to work with. For location shooting, they use S1H, S1 and GH5 cameras. DGA Productions Director and Director of Photography Jan Maliszewski was an early adopter of LUMIX cameras starting with the GH2. “I'm a firm believer in having the right size production solution for whatever you're faced with,” he explained. “I love the LUMIX line of cameras because they fit our production footprint on the road.” Maliszewski, who has won 3 daytime Emmy’s for directing Milk Street, considers the LUMIX cameras critical tools for the show.
Shooting on the road, the team is usually just Maliszewski and camera operator and Emmy-nominated editor, Michael Andrus. For a recent shoot in LA, they used two S1Hs and an S1, which they used mainly for time lapse. “What we'll typically do, even if it's two people on camera, we’ll set the S1H up on a tripod to shoot 4K a little wider so our editors can punch in,” explained Maliszewski. “And then Michael and I operate the close up and the guest camera from the side. Those shots are usually handheld, or we'll use a monopod. This approach allows us to be nimble while capturing beautiful images.”
Shooting an interview in Xochimilco, Mexico City (Clockwise, left to right: Christopher Kimball, Chef Eduardo Garcia Guzman, Jan Maliszewski, and Michael Andrus) (Photo courtesy of DGA Productions)
Since they don’t have a 4K delivery requirement, Maliszewski and Andrus usually record FHD (1920 x 1080) V-Log files at 23.98-fps in 200-Mbps ALL-I, but will sometimes shoot in 4K to capture a larger canvas for post. Regarding lenses, Maliszewski uses several L-mount lenses for his S1H and S1. He also uses several Canon EF mount lenses with the Sigma MC-21 L-mount adapter.
Maliszewski and Andrus also use the GH5 for B-roll with the LUMIX G LEICA DG VARIO-SUMMILUX 10-25mm, F1.7 ASPH., along with the Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 lens. “Those two lenses astound me," revealed Maliszewski. "The close focus and range of the Panny/Leica saves having to carry 3 prime lenses and the Oly, with the amazing sensor stabilization of the GH5 allows me to smoothly operate a very long, fast lens handheld - working fast and stealthy with no tripod needed. Having less gear to tote around allows one to constantly be looking for B-roll moments. The lightweight form-factor staves-off the fatigue of lugging heavy gear all day.”
“A lot of times, we'll be shooting a segment at regular speed,” added Andrus, “and then something will be happening that I would like to shoot in slow motion. Now, we have another camera at the ready that's already set up for slo-mo. You don't have to go into the menus – just pick the camera up and shoot. It’s more efficient working that way rather than stopping the whole production to go through the menus. The key is remembering to put it back to regular speed.”
Without a 4K delivery requirement, DGA Productions usually records Full HD (1920 x 1080) V-Log files at 23.98-fps in 200-Mbps ALL-I but will sometimes shoot in 4K to capture a larger canvas. (Photo courtesy of DGA Productions)
Shooting on location, Maliszewski and Andrus often shoot in commercial and home kitchens. According to Andrus, the kitchens are sometimes small, so they carry a small lighting package with just a few Litepanels and Quasar tubes. “We have to put a lot of stuff underneath the range hoods to get some light,” explained Andrus. “We bring little handheld lights for food beauty shots, which we try to get as much as possible. I don't think we'd be able to shoot these travel pieces with traditional larger cameras. With all the traveling and shooting on streets, we don't draw as much attention as we would with larger cameras.”
Maliszewski and Andrus also do not use HDMI monitors with their LUMIX cameras to be more agile. “If we're outside, I find the viewfinder to be amazing in the GH5 and the S1H, so if it’s bright out we are operating by simply looking into the camera’s viewfinder,” explained Maliszewski. “Dressing up the camera with too many add-ons is unnecessary in our working mode and just adds pounds and encumbrances that add weight and batteries, all of which can slow down the production. As has been said before, ‘Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.’”
Camera operator/editor Michael Andrus and Director/DP Jan Maliszewski prepare to shoot the ancient Aztec canals in Mexico City. (Photo by Christopher Kimball)