Posted on September 30, 2010
I happen to love peanuts so, when in Georgia, I was in peanut heaven. We were surrounded by them. In the field, at the factory, on the manufacturing lines. Peanuts everywhere. Enough to keep a herd of elephants happy for years to come.
If you have ever wondered what really happens during the filming of a TV segment or want to know how long it takes, this post’s for you. One shot that made the cutting room floor: an interview atop a truck-load of peanuts. Since we probably spent an hour on that interview alone, you can imagine what a long day it was. All for a finished piece of about three minutes.
This was the shoot for the Fisher Mixed Nuts with Peanuts. We shot video in two states — the first was in Georgia at the John B. Sanfilippo & Son (JBSS) plant in Bainbridge. I was there with a camera crew that was hired by the production company that produces Unwrapped for The Food Network. Coincidentally, the producer and I both went to University of Colorado, graduated with the same emphasis and in the same year but had never knew each other. The cameraman and I had worked at the same station in New Mexico but at different times. So, we all knew the same people but not each other and that set a fun tone for the shoot and what I like to refer to as “reporter geography”. (I am a former television news reporter).
For this piece, Unwrapped planned to follow the peanuts from the field to the can. It was a great fit because John B. Sanfilippo & Son is vertically integrated meaning they are involved in every step.
It was about an 18-hour day by the time I got back to the airport in Atlanta. We started around sunup at the manufacturing facility where the head of peanut procurement and other facility people were interviewed. They showed us through the maze of different machines that the peanut goes through on its way to join pecans, cashews, almonds and filberts at the Elgin, IL facility.
Then it was a race to beat the sunset to get footage of peanuts being harvested in the field. The field we were going to was a short drive away but recent rain made getting there a four-wheel drive event. Peanut farmers were standing by and we were able to get some gorgeous shots of peanuts in the field just before the sun went down. Photographers and videographers consider this a “golden” hour in the day because the lighting is beautiful and forgiving – though challenging if you don’t work quickly.
The second location was in Elgin at JBSS/Fisher Nuts headquarters/manufacturing facility a couple weeks later. We shot an interview with me as company spokesperson in the Fisher Outlet Store – where you can find all your favorites in one place. One of the quotes that ended up in the piece was of me saying “Nuts are so goooood.” Not very profound but certainly true.
Shots at the manufacturing facility in Elgin showed nuts being roasted, salted, mixed and canned. A little bit of editing magic along with Marc Summers, host of Unwrapped and you can now see the segment on at facebook.com/fishernutsbrand. The most recent Unwrapped piece was on Fisher Fusions Ice Cream Sundae Mix and stars JBSS/Fisher CEO Jeffrey Sanfilippo. Be sure to see it!