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How do you like Alton's new show?

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Mark Suszko
How do you like Alton's new show?
on Sep 8, 2008 at 6:36:16 am

I forget who it is that works on "Good Eats" here. Maybe he'll see this and can give details...

Watched Alton's new show tonight, "Feasting on Waves" where he searches the Caribbean for authentic island dishes on a pair of 50-foot sailing catamarans. They shot P2 and posted on the boat using an Avid, according to a gizmodo article I read.
Pretty much a dream job, from my POV. I idolize Alton Brown, and I enjoyed tonight's content very much.

However...

Now, my home TV is not great, but, I felt that, especially compared to all the very saturated colors of other Food Network programming and commercials all around it, they really bled a lot of color out of the footage on the new show. Also, It seems (again, on my crummy TV) that when grading the show they put a lot of straw or gold tint into just about every shot. I thought maybe a bit too much gold, all the time. I like my Caribbean colors, the many blues and greens, to really pop, and the high dynamic range of dazzling sand and sparkling waves versus lush greens and blues. and I didn't get that the way I'd like tonight. They can't have shot everything at sunset, but the color grading of the show gave that impression, at least to myself.

One of the cams used was a tiny hand-held palm-sized AVCHD consumer type unit, held by Alton, used extensively for XCU's of some of the cooking and the plates, as well as candids. I saw what to me seemed like soft-edge vignetting all around the edges of just those shots, and I wonder if this was something from adding on a wide-angle adapter, from condensation in that humid air, or what. The AVCHD cam also seemed to add some pulldown-like temporal artifacting that did not match the bigger cams (which I think were Panny 200's) and I found that shutter-stutter a little jarring. Maybe it was just me? I think when that wee little cam is just held still, the pictures out of it are remarkable, considering the size and cost.

The interstitials and graphics for the show are awesome, retaining some "Good Eats" feel and identity, but definitely showing an "island aesthetic". Apparently the ektachrome shots Alton took were used for these? Anybody know?

Finally, just wanted to say I appreciated the solid sound and how well-lit everything seemed to be, even in locations I know had to have been problematical. This show seems to have broken new ground for big network looks on a relative shoestring. Would love to read a Behind the Scenes production diary on it.



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Kerry Brown
Re: How do you like Alton's new show?
on Sep 22, 2008 at 6:29:17 am

He is Walter Biscardi.

KB


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