Case Study

Hooked on video

A splash of live-stream

Based 40 miles from the sea and a hundred miles from the nearest fishing port, the Fish Society has been delivering fresh, wholly frozen produce for the past 25 years. Applying the same attention to detail to the cuts of fish as to the customer relationships, the company’s marketing team noticed a popular trend of recording and live streaming how-to cooking tutorials during the pandemic. With this in mind, the UK’s leading online fishmonger decided to appeal to this demographic by building a studio kitchen to create their own video content.

Establishing their brand with underwater-themed colours and wallpapers splashed on the wall, the new studio space is homely and comfortable, consisting of a dining area, a small washing up area and a fully stocked kitchen with a striking ceramic hob. “I really wanted the kitchen space to feel authentic so when viewers watched, they felt comfortable – like they could easily achieve this recipe at home,” says Amy Birse, Marketing Content Manager at The Fish Society. “We got a lot of inspiration from Master Chef – the way in which they did their filming is how we want to encapsulate our audience. But we don’t want it to feel as sterile as that – we want our content to feel trendy and fresh.”

Savouring the solution

In need of a high-quality broadcast system, the Fish Society turned to Flipside, who opted for BirdDog cameras and Audio-Technica microphones for the kitchen’s audio-visual needs. “The team wanted a high-quality system with cameras used for recording and streaming live content and after going through various options, we mapped out a solution that was just right for them,” recalls Flipside Managing Director, James Cooper. “When they mentioned Master Chef as their inspiration, I had a felling there would be a technical challenge that is in a separate studio kitchen, but I think we mapped it out just right with the camera and mic positioning to get some good footage – it’s a proper broadcast set up after all.”

Three BirdDog P200 PTZ cameras in total have been installed in the studio, with two placed at different angles facing the kitchen and one placed directly above the cooking station for an aerial view of chopping and prepping. Along with two sub-miniature wireless Audio-Technica 892 headset microphones to be attached to the chef on screen, two Audio-Technica shotgun mics have been placed on equal sides of the kitchen along with a large diaphragm XY microphone.

“The XY covers the general background noise,” mentions Cooper, “but the two shot guns are focussed on the cooker and grill, to capture that crisp sound from the grill and the chopping board counter area so that you have just enough audio in the mix to be able to fiddle around with it a bit so it’s not just dry close mic sounds. It’s not an echoey room so you can fiddle about and try and get it to sound as natural as possible.”

Quality content delivery

For the Fish Society, capturing the perfect audio aesthetic is crucial. “I’m quite obsessed with the Lurpak butter adverts,” adds Birse. “The sizzle, the chop, the flames – I wanted to make sure that we got that drama in our videos. These mics are going to be great for that – not only do they capture the energy from the cooking, but also our tone of voice and our brand as a whole.”

Flipside also installed a PC based rig for live streaming and recording mixed output. “They can record the mixed output, but they can also record the continuous feeds from the cameras if they wanted to do more post editing for a more polished video,” adds Cooper. “So, it ultimately had to be a computer rather than any sort of hardware video mixer to have total control. The joystick controller from BirdDog, for example, means they have some pre-set recall and movement on the cameras on a separate unit.”

A slight challenge during the install occurred when one of the originally placed aerial view cameras needed to be repositioned, avoiding any steam on the lens from the stove area. Birse adds: “there were a few setbacks with the re-positioning, but the Flipside team just said ‘no problem’ came back to studio, moved the camera and dropped another one down. They were really helpful with that.”

The Fish Society are confident they now have the studio kitchen built to produce quality content; waiting eagerly to fire up the grill and start filming in the new year. “An install like this really motivates you to use the space as much as possible,” Birse concludes. “It’s quality equipment, we’re really chuffed and Flipside have been incredibly helpful during the entire process – I cannot fault them in any way!”

Kit List

  • 3 x Birddog Eyes P200 cameras
  • Birddog PTZKey camera controller
  • Custom Ryzen and RTX streaming and editing PC
  • Adam A5M studio monitors
  • Streamdeck controller