Pizza with melted mozzarella, delicious ice cream, crispy fries and a mouth-watering burger are among the most frequently used foods in the world of TV commercials. It's a challenge to shoot a burger, especially if you don't know the tricks. Let's start with the meat.
I had plenty of burger commercials so far and in the beginning I used a real meat. The problem with the real meat is that it changes its diameter after it is cooked and half an hour after being put in front of the camera it starts to change colour and juiciness. But what if we use plant-based meat? It looks the same as the real meat, but retains its diameter and colour for a long time after cooking. That's why it's a much better choice on set.
You can use a real cheese, but you have to melt the cheese in a perfect way, so you need a hot air gun to control the melting. The colour of the cheese is easy to change with food colouring or even you can make it fake by using agar agar or gelatine.
As fresh as possible. For that you need a thermoelectric cool box on set and cut the vegetables with sharp knives just before the shot. For the lettuce, I always use a small nail scissors with which I can cut the most beautiful leaves.
In a TV commercial, perfection is a necessary. That's why I don't use ready-made burger buns, but prepare and bake them by myself so that I can achieve absolute perfection. Sure, you can buy ready-made burger buns, but they're often crushed on top and they are not fresh enough for a good close up of commercial. Sunflower oil on top with a brush makes the burger bun shiny.
Toothpicks, super glue and styrofoam are just a few of the non-food items that keep the burger in a straight line for the shot.
Artificial smoke or steam are often client desired effects and they are easy to make if you have special smoking paper or a steamer on set.
Remember, if no one is drooling on set, the frame is not ready yet.