Our Adventures

  • 24 Jan 2015

    Behind the scenes: Creating YouTube recipe videos for kids to enjoy making

    Posted: 24 Jan 2015

    If you've ever watched one of my videos and wondered how I do it, I'm about to reveal all. Allergy Adventures' YouTube channel hit 10,000 views over Christmas, but what goes into creating a one on my 'free from' flicks for children to enjoy rustling up?

    Well, although my short films of foodie fun look effortless (I hope!) the reality is that they're heaved over the line, fuelled by coffee in the early hours. So come with me into the twilight world of a part-time movie maker and see the graft that's involved. But if you haven't got time for that, just head straight to YouTube and see the finished recipe videos!

    First up: recipe creation
    I put my thinking cap on. I made that sound simple didn't I? It involves thinking of fun dishes that are simple for children to make (with a grown up!), researching the scientific nature of ingredients and various methods to help things rise, crisp, stick, thicken, colour, flavour, etc. for the best results. I'll also make sure that parents and carers will be able to get the ingredients easily, and contact the manufacturers to double check that no allergens (or traces) are included.

    Just to note all of my recipes are free from these nine allergens: milk, egg, nuts, wheat (and other cereals containing gluten), soya, peanuts, fish, shellfish and sesame. But always remember the golden rule; to check every packet label for allergens. Manufacturing processes and ingredients can change over time.

    Next up: testing, testing...1,2,3
    I test a few methods and ingredients out, some fail, some meh. So I adjust, tweak, and test again. The only down side in my attempt to strive for perfection is that I'll have to buy multiples of everything whereas my niece loves the fact she gets to eat multiples of everything, even the naff ones!

    Sketch a storyboard 
    This ensures I don't miss out any important recipe steps, but also sets the scene, and gives me an idea of the various camera angles, props, lighting and equipment needed. I'll scour eBay for props and dressing up items for the video. It sounds like fun, but in between working on the allergy workshop for schools, attending meetings or responding to emails and calls, it's a quick blitz searching for Rudolf onesies and plastic spiders!

    Lights, camera, action!
    The filming gets underway. This can take anything from a couple of hours to a full day. It's a good thing my niece is such an enthusiastic, patient assistant! We also have a small kitchen, so it's can be an assault course of jumping over tables and standing on sides to get the shot - much to the amusement of others watching from afar.

    The video edit
    I disappear into my editing cave, hunch over my computer and start on the coffee. Editing, recording voiceovers and adding sound effects can take a couple of days. At the end of the editing process I emerge blinking into the light - like a bear out of hibernation - and upload the finished video to YouTube.

    Then there's just the small matter of creating an online recipe version in the Kids section of Allergy Adventures and mocking up an A4 PDF for you to download and print. Finally, I check that all the links work and ensure the web pages are looking delicious. And just before I pour myself a stiff drink and collapse, I send out the link on social media inviting you all to come and see.

    You keep me going! Thank you
    It's a lot of effort but it's all worth it when you comment on the videos or I hear you've made the recipes and they've gone down a storm; jackpot! That spurs me on and my brain starts buzzing as I begin thinking about the next recipe. Which reminds me, there's another fun recipe in the making as we speak! 

    Get them while they're hot! Subscribe to my YouTube channel
    If you'd like to find out when my next video is live, the easiest way is to subscribe to my YouTube channel (it's free). All this means is that you'll receive an email when each new video goes live. Because, who doesn't want a steady stream of allergy-free recipes for the kids (and you) to enjoy watching and making?

    Subscribe now.

    I hope you enjoyed 'a week in the life of an allergy video'. If you or your little adventurers have any requests for future recipes leave a comment below or drop me a line on Facebook or Twitter.

    Right, I better get on with filming the next recipe! 

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