Behind the Scenes at our USDA Kitchen
Today, Evermore turns eight years old. As a birthday present to ourselves, we created this video to document how our food is made. Over the years, we've been approached by numerous agencies and production companies trying to sell us their video services. Every time, the quote for telling our story was too far beyond our reach. Then, much like Dorothy at the end of The Wizard of Oz, we had the revelation that the solution might be closer than we thought. I've been fortunate enough to swim in creative circles and personally know so many talented professionals. Rather than pay someone else a bundle of money to outsource the process, we were able to work with people we know and respect to produce something that made us happy—within our budget.
We met our cinematographer, Stephen Ling, through a mutual friend (thanks, Karina!). He was an absolute pro under incredibly difficult shooting conditions and gracefully navigated around nonstop activity in a very cold kitchen during a process that moves quickly, even when powders and fluids came close to his camera and oven steam fogged up his lens. By the end of our production day (which starts before 6am), we had 3 memory cards filled with amazing footage.
I met Teresa Torchiano, our editor, back in 2004, when I briefly worked at Vicious Cycles, a custom mountain bike fabricator in New Paltz, New York. We both worked in the paint shop, at different times. Luckily we graduated onto other things with plenty of brain cells in tact. Teresa did a wonderful job of sorting through lots and lots of footage to create a coherent and interesting narrative of our process.
Alison's husband Noah (aka Quarterbar) created an upbeat and engaging soundtrack to accompany images of organ meats and assembly-line work. This was no easy feat. I find myself watching the video over and over specifically to hear his music.
I did the voiceover. Originally I ad-libbed it at the kitchen while Alison dealt with a production hiccup (there is never a dull moment). It was actually pretty hilarious, but the sound quality wasn't great, and there was some key information missing. I happen to have friend and neighbor, Adam Chimera, who is an audio engineer and adept at vocal recording. The final version isn't quite as spontaneous and funny as the original, but I'd like to think it has its charm.
Of course, the true stars of this video are Alison and the hard-working folks at our kitchen who work tirelessly to make our food. It has been an absolute privilege working with Alison for the past eight years. She pours her heart and soul into making our food as great as possible. Every single ingredient she purchases is subjected to the utmost scrutiny, research and attention to detail. She operates with absolute integrity and never stops trying to improve our food. If "the better is the enemy of the good," then Alison is the nemesis of "the better" as she only strives towards the best. My favorite moment in the whole video is comes at the very end, when she is genuinely taking an unscripted moment to appreciate the food that she has just orchestrated.