by Mike Houston and Dan de Graaf
For the New Orleans episode of Mind of a Chef, we were asked to depict the origins of the Po‘ Boy sandwich. We loved the rawness of the story, so we decided to approach the segment by time-lapse painting and collaging the historical timepiece on a 14 foot canvas.
We conceived of, storyboarded, painted, and shot the segment.
The shoot was over four days in a studio with no A/C in the hottest week of August in NYC, using a three-camera time-lapse setup with one motorized dolly rig.
The main challenge of the piece was nailing the timing of both the painting and the camerawork essentially on the fly. Even though we went into the studio with a well-timed storyboard, we still had to calculate how we would achieve that timing based on the amount of hours it would roughly take to create the entire scene, and then deciding the camera motion distance and frame intervals accordingly to match our vision for the specific shot.
We had a lot of fun doing that though, and it was exciting to embrace the elements of chance and performance to accentuate the raw sentiment of the piece.
A panoramic picture of the Brooklyn studio during the shoot.
All the characters were jigsawed, propped, and painted on the fly.
A big spoon.
Painting letters while balancing on a paint bucket.
Caught in the act of jigsawing.
Dan programming the dolly.
Dan and Mike carrying the spoon for a frame by frame entry.