Life Stories: Erotic Cookies (view this story)

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Rep: 444
Eric Seals March 2, 2012, 8:07 p.m. permalink

Hi Phil,

I love the erotic cookies story and was hoping to see them right at the start.
Sometimes slowing revealing the surprise to the viewer is good because it keeps them engaged. For this story however for me there was a long and slow build up to 1:10 which was the heart of the story when Isabelle talks about not wearing lingerie and her "lover" who wishes she did wear lingerie so she started doing these cookies.
That fun moment when she said this is where the story started for me. It's perfect and I love her attitude and smile. "Costco underwear 10 years for a 6 pack" FUNNY!!!

You did a good job capturing her uniqueness and you can tell she really loves this job.

I don't think subtitles were necessary and I love her accent.

Was this a onetime visit to Sweet Isabelle? Was there a chance to go back?
I ask because I wanted to see more details of the cookies and work it hard. Just more nice video of a variety of the erotic cookies shot in many different ways. 
Think in sequences as well even perhaps a good time lapse of cookies and the frantic pace around the kitchen area with all the rolling, baking, cutting and decorating would have been good to see.
It could work perfectly if some of the questioning was about how busy her shop is this time of year (Valentines Day) and the amount of erotic cookies sold.  A time lapse could just be a 15 second clip but would work well under audio like that.

If this was a one off kind of deal then I understand things like what I mention would be hard to do. I'm just thinking of the bigger picture and the best ways to approach it not knowing the time elements.

The one thing I really, really was looking forward to seeing was good moments around that curtain marked 18+. That is so cool and unique but you only gave us a glimpse of it.  Working that more would have been awesome.

Was it possible to find another voice? A male or female shopper then have some fun with that questioning?  As a good general rule of thumb I've been told at least have two different people in a piece. Not sure how you feel about that but it was needed here.

On another note my wife and I might be coming to Montreal in June for the F1 race. When the plans become final I'll let you know, we should hook up.

Hope this helps.


Rep: 14
Phil Carpenter March 3, 2012, 2:50 p.m. permalink


Thanks Eric.  Dude, I WISH I had more time to shoot.  Sadly I had about an hr or so and then I had to edit!

Also I really wanted to speak to a client - especially to find out about the aphrodisiac ingredient and whether it works for them -something fun like that.  Yes, it is important to get ore than one voice, for sure. 

And yes, I hear you abut getting more of people reacting to the 18+ section.  Grrr!!!  But I had one Sunday evening to shoot and edit it.

Can't win 'em all I guess, but thanks for the feedback.  Really helped.

As for GP this June, just holler when you know for sure man.

Take care.

Rep: 444
Eric Seals March 4, 2012, 12:01 p.m. permalink

Yeah Phil, I figured  you only had a short amount of time to work this story. Good job though knowing you just had one hour to shoot then edit it. 

You were at the mercy of the clock and who came in, what occurred during that time.   

It's so nice to have the luxury of time on our side when doing some pieces but when we don't the pressure on us is for real. 

I just did a piece yesterday and had about 20 minutes to shoot a wild turkey that was attacking a 69 year old woman, I felt rushed and very challenged so know how you feel.


Rep: 4
Billy Calzada March 5, 2012, 9:57 a.m. permalink


Delightful story. The woman's enthusiasm is wonderful and you captured her well. The story is well told and complete.

I think the video would be more effective with a tighter edit. I'm thinking perhaps starting with the young girls peeking behind the curtain. A little narration then to clarify, and cutting to the woman showing and talking about the naughty cookies. Concise, ironic and complete.

Good job!

Rep: 91
Peter Huoppi March 5, 2012, 11:45 a.m. permalink

Yeah, tighter edit. I think your story starts at 1:15 with the "my lover.." quote. I think all of the info before that is unnecessary to the story. A quick sequence of G-rated bakery activity might create a funny juxtaposition with her quote about lingerie, and then reveal the erotic cookies.
Overall though, a terrific find - an engaging subject with a funny and unique story. I think the kids peeking into the 18+ curtain was one of the best moments. Maybe a strong place to end.

Rep: 14
Phil Carpenter March 5, 2012, 3:33 p.m. permalink

Thanks for the feedback guys. 

About starting the story where she talks about her lover, I was trying to lead the viewer into the story by setting it up then unfolding it, rather than revealing everything straight away.  Following a school of thought that says a story should be revealed in layers rather than all at once. 

So what i tried to do was set it up so viewers see it's a cookie store that is family friendly.  I thought that if I revealed the erotic cookies first, the viewer would have no reason to stay and watch. 
So I tried to build it to climax, but I think I could've started her talking about her lover, at second 00:48 or so.  I also i think I coulda shaved off even a bit more of the first minute, if I had voiced it. 

I thought about voicing it, and I usually do for pieces like this.  But i had little time, and i also thought that her character was so strong it probably didn't need voicing.  I'm still having thoughts about it though.

Thanks again.

Rep: 19
David Brooks March 7, 2012, 5:12 p.m. permalink

This is a great find and the perfect story for a video. My first thought was that my paper would never run this story! But I really liked it. On my first viewing I felt it was too long by a minute but upon watching it again... for this story... I'm fine with breaking the 4:00 mark. The pacing was fine, I understand your feeling of wanting to build a story and since in the title it reads "Erotic Cookies" you have the viewers attention and I believe they would watch the video to at least get a look at these unique desserts and by that you didn't have to show them in the first ten seconds.

On a personal note, I would have liked to see more varied compositions on Isabelle's interview... wide or tight... just to mix up the visual variety (I often change up my composition during interviews as I'm asking a question so as not to interfere with a good quote) and maybe a few detail shots using a tripod not sure if that was even possible because it did look crowded in there. Overall it's great. Thanks for sharing.

Rep: 21
Peg Achterman March 12, 2012, 1:28 p.m. permalink

Here here Phil - nice work. I'd agree on the length and the start with the "my lover." The key is you found a great character in this owner/creator. Great work for such a tight turnaround too. I think the details on the cookies were plentiful - made my mouth water - that's good. And - the time around the "18+ curtain" was just enough. Got the point across that it's just one thing they do. 

This one - like the movie Being Elmo - just captures a person's passion so well. Thanks.

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