Meet Matt Shaw the Producer/Director behind Fresh One Productions (@FreshOneTV) owned by Jaime Oliver, showcasing remarkable entertainment for all food enthusiasts.
How did you end up working for Fresh One Productions?
I worked on a TV series for them in 2006 as Assistant Producer then returned at the start of 2010 to help grow this little unit within the wider company. Like getting any job in the media, it was a combination of persistence, hard work and a bit of luck.
How would you sum up your job in three sentences?
I produce, direct (and sometimes film & edit) video content for digital platforms with a variety of chefs and passionate foodies. I get to eat loads of great food on location. I love my job.
What does an agency such as yours look for in terms of talent?
That’s a hard one as there’s no template for a great food talent. The question below goes some way to answering that but two of the most important qualities are being committed and genuine. Making recipes accessible is also crucial – they have to be tantalising but achievable considering the financial and time constraints a lot of people have at the moment. People need to think “wow – that looks great, I want to give that a go” but they also need to know they can achieve it. Spare a thought for your ingredients too, unless you make virtue of being exotic and extravagant, remember that what is readily available in trendy Camberwell may not be so easily found in Carlisle.
What tips can you give to food bloggers who are looking to move into the wonderful world of television?
It sounds obvious but stick to what you know. For now. Audiences want to see people who are confident, passionate, authoritative, relaxed in their own skin and above all committed. People can spot a faker a mile off. Imagine you were having a heated debate in the middle of a busy street with a complete stranger and you had to convince them why you and your food was worth their attention. Would you win them over?
How is food blogging/bloggers viewed on your side of the industry?
It’s a great way to spot new talent, trends and ideas and to get a vibe for what people are thinking and talking about. Things can move so quickly in the digital age it’s often a job keeping up, but the ability to get instant and direct feedback from an audience is hugely valuable – and entertaining.
What effect do you feel that food blogging has had on the industry in general and, specifically, with regards to television?
It has helped increase open debate about food to an unprecedented level. Everyone has an opinion on food now – discussions are no longer the preserve of middle-class dinner parties. The plumber who installed our bathroom has his own method for cooking mushrooms, which he described at length and with a passion. It used to be that every series connected with food on TV had an accompanying book. That’s still true, but now they all have a facebook page, twitter feed and social network, all of their own. Audiences now expect a way to have their voices heard and be part of a club. TV is no longer a one-way street.
What are you most excited about seeing at this year’s FBC?
I’m looking forward to the displays and and seeing people who work with food. If you can hold a crowd in a bury room while making your dishes look great, that’s a valuable skill. And of course sampling some amazing food. Did I say I like eating?
Are there any food blogs that you follow in particular?
Our work is all video based so I mostly follow people who have that as a key part of what they do.
Right now I really like:
Barry Lewis, My Virgin kitchen – A young dad cooking great, simple meals in his own kitchen for his family to enjoy and having a laugh doing it.
Sorted – 4 mates in a kitchen cooking up quick, impressive meals and inviting you to feedback.
Then there’s Epic Meal Time – It’s so very, very wrong but hugely entertaining. Only in America!
Back on this side of the pond I’ve recently been recommended MsMarmiteLover which I’m just starting to get into.
Interview by William Dobson
|VIEW THIS YEAR'S PROGRAMME||REGISTER NOW|
|VENUE, TRAVEL, LODGING||SPEAKERS LIST|