Cocktail Bar

Cocktail Creations

The process of a cocktail making video

It’s a fun one!

So, you’ve all seen our food recipe videos, right? But have you seen our cocktail making videos? They’re just as fun to watch and to make too!

We believe it’s as important for drink brands to have videos as well as food brands. Cocktail making videos are very useful as they bring the cocktails to life, while making sure the audience is engaged and keen to try the cocktails for themselves.

We’ve made plenty of cocktail making videos and along the way we’ve learnt not only why it’s important for brands to have these but also how to make them engaging enough to get the traction they need and so we’re here to share our insights!

Firstly, let’s look at the important factors that we need to think of before creating a cocktail making video.

  1. Length
  2. The steps
  3. The visuals
  4. Supporting props and backgrounds
  5. Edit style

Length is very important – we all know that as humans our attention span is deteriorating! Thankfully, most cocktails are usually nice and easy to make (visually at least!) with fewer steps than food dishes; which means we can create short and snappy videos. We could create anything from as short as 10-15 seconds up to a minute, depending on how detailed the steps need to be.

Which brings me to the steps. Each cocktail making video will have it’s own set of steps, even if you’re just aiming to make a 15 second promo video. How much detail we need for each step depends on how closely your audience will need to follow those steps. In order to ensure the audience is engaged, the steps should be as clear as possible and not confusing. These steps are thoroughly developed in the pre-production stage so that when filming the video we know exactly what to do. This also ensures that no crucial ingredient is wasted on extra takes – in particular the alcohol 😉

An easy way to plan out the steps is to storyboard – this helps give a visual representation of the process whilst ensuring that everything is covered. It’s easy to spot if something is missing when it’s visually in front of you instead of just words, so this is an important step for us when planning the video.

It’s also pretty easy to do if you were making your own cocktail making video – the images don’t have to be super detailed and pretty if they’re just for your reference. You can also do this digitally using reference images and text.

We can also use typography in the finished video as well, particularly if we need to give viewers instructions, so that’s also worth considering early in case we need to allow for copy space. We always advise these to be as trim as possible, never using full sentences as they’ll be hard to read on small screens and are likely to slow down pacing as well.

Now that the steps are all laid out, it’s time to think visuals! We can just have one shot throughout, but we’d prefer to have two or in some cases even three alternative angles to add additional visual interest, pace and complexity – which helps to achieve viewer engagement. Our usual tactic, depending on requirements of every client of course, is to have two different angles. When we create food recipes, one of our angles would be a top down, however we know that in some cocktail recipes a top down isn’t very helpful, as we can’t see much from that angle as a lot happens side on.

Therefore, depending on the requirements of the cocktail we will have a top down or most likely a straight side on, which is locked-off and untouched throughout the shooting process. We can add zoom-ins and crops to this in post-production, so there’s no need for us to worry about doing any of that on the day.

We then have a second angle which is much more involved; this camera captures all of the dynamic shots that the top down or straight on can’t. This gives us our chance to be creative and keep the video engaging which is our ultimate aim with any creation. We keep the camera moving at all times and ensure we move the camera from each step, allowing us a different angle to cut to when needed. Another reason for having a second angle is so that we can cut out time/mistakes/spillages, as they do happen!

Video example with one camera angle:

Video example with two camera angles:

Props and backgrounds can really make the difference in any cocktail making video or recipe video – it’s important that we represent a style. For example, if it’s a summery cocktail then we will want to ensure we use bright summery colours, however if it’s for Halloween then we will want to represent that theme by using appropriate colours and props.

Styling is great because it really gives you the control to portray mood, flavours, time of year and more! It’s also really fun to play with props to see what does and doesn’t work, and over the years we have certainly learnt a lot. Although props are very important, if you are making your own cocktail making videos at home you don’t have to go overboard. In some cases subtle props and details can make the world of difference. So don’t panic if you’re experimenting with these at home and don’t have the number of props you wish for – small touches can make the biggest differences. Even some blurred out fruit in the back 😊

This also goes for cocktail photography too, which we have also done a fair amount of – we’ve learnt that in terms of props and styling, sometimes less speaks louder than more – and keeps the viewer’s focus on the drink and not what’s surrounding it. Sometimes, just having the right background and base is all you need.

Espresso Martini Society
Cocktail Bar
Fine Cocktails

Now the editing. This is where the magic truly does happen. Our talented team work through the mountain of footage we shoot to create whatever the brief needs. The style of the edit should always be in mind when filming. Sometimes we deliver more than one type of video with the same footage and so we have to be mindful of both purposes.

The editing process can be quite lengthy depending on how much we have shot, how many takes we did and how much typography or graphics are needed – however sometimes, the editing can be really simple, and that largely comes down to the planning.

If we’re making videos for different social media channels then we’re also mindful of the different formats required for each. So if we’re making a recipe video for Instagram, the layout will be slightly different than for YouTube or Facebook.

Again, if shooting cocktail making videos at home, there are plenty of apps available that allow you to edit yourself; so don’t be afraid to try yourself if you’re thinking of experimenting. We have recently written a blog Filming At Home Tips – some tips are towards people filming dialogue to camera, other tips such as lighting will be helpful for cocktail making videos.

Lauren Hodge, Production Director

Lauren Hodge of Pocket Creatives

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