Recipe for Success

Guidelines for Making a Video

Three minutes will go by fast! A little organization will keep your video brief and engaging.

Before the camera rolls

  • Outline the key steps in your recipe: the ingredients you are using, the preparation steps and the final product. Show us these key steps.
  • You may not be able to show us everything, that’s OK. You can use captions or narration to help us understand what happens off camera.
  • Set up your ingredients and equipment ahead of time so you don’t have to waste valuable camera time. You can pre-measure some of your ingredients into small dishes to have them ready.
  • Avoid showing product brand names to the camera. Here are some ways to do this:
    • Position products so the labels are facing away from the camera.
    • Cover the labels with paper or masking tape.
    • Put the ingredients in bowls and cups or on plates.
  • Don’t wear anything with visible logos, trade-marks, third party materials or inappropriate sayings or phrases. Feel free to be creative with your costumes (e.g. funny aprons or chef hats).

Lights, camera, action

  • We want to see what you’re cooking! Set up your work station so it takes advantage of available light or other light source. Avoid backlighting—having the light source behind your work station makes it hard to see. It’s best if the light source is behind the camera (i.e. In front of your subject).
  • Minimize distracting noises as much as possible. Turn off ringers on phones, avoid using the fan on the stove, and try to minimize outside noises by closing windows and doors.
  • Consider removing distracting clutter. Focus in on the action as much as possible.
  • Rehearse the action, but be spontaneous and natural.
  • If shooting with a tablet or phone, turn device horizontal, not vertical.
  • If you have a tripod, use it. Otherwise, set your camera on a fixed object at a height and distance that will capture your subjects well.
  • Limit panning and zooming. This can become distracting if used too often.
  • Make sure we can see and/or hear participants interacting.


  • When editing the video, aim for a final time of 2:58 minutes as uploading it on YouTube may add a second or two. This will ensure your video remains in the 3 minute timeline, which will be strictly enforced.

Don’t use any copyrighted music, photos or footage.