How do we make our cooking lessons?

Producing the Kitchen Ninja Cooking Lessons takes a lot of work, but we love it! Here is a summary of the steps we go through to produce each lesson.

Step 1 – Research & Scripting

We always start with research when we build a new lesson. We want to know what our learners are looking for in a given topic and what they struggle with. Once we have some guidelines, we can start planning and designing the lesson.

Scripting involves both structuring the lesson (what will it contain?) and writing the video script (how do we show it?).

Timeframe Step 1 can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to complete, depending on the topic, it’s level of difficulty and its popularity.

Tools we use for this step:

  • Feedback from our readers and followers
  • Libre office Writer – part of the Libre Office Suite
  • Boardreader – Searches discussion forums throughout the internet and shows us what questions people ask and what needs they have
  • iSeek – High-end search engine that keeps your search results organised
  • Google – Everyone’s favorite search engine
  • Duckduckgo – A good alternative to Google. Doesn’t use Bubbling Technology, so it picks up things that don’t show up on Google.
  • Amazon Reviews – Shows us what people are missing from the products already provided by the market

Step 2 – Learning Materials

Once we are done with the scripting stage, we can start writing the lesson’s supporting materials, such as recipe and fact cards. If there is a need for additional learning materials, such as an interactive spreadsheet or check list, we make that too.

Timeframe Step 2 normally takes around 7-10 days, though it can take longer if a subject is particularly complicated or confusing.

Tools we use for this step:

  • Apple Pages or Scribus – Desktop publishing software
  • Pixabay – Stock image resource
  • GIMP – Image editor (similar to photoshop)
  • Inkscape – Vector graphics software (similar to illustrator)

Step 3 – Animation and/or additional art

It wouldn’t be The Kitchen Ninja’s Dojo without ninjas! We always take the time to make some ninja art or animation to go with the lesson.

Timeframe Step 3 can take as little as 1 day or as much as 2 weeks, depending on what is to be created, level of detail, render times, etc.

Tools we use for this step:

  • Blender – All-in-one 3D CGI, animation and video editing suite
  • Pixabay – stock image resource
  • Darktable – professional photo editor
  • GIMP – Image editor (similar to photoshop)
  • Inkscape – Vector graphics software (similar to illustrator)

Step 4 – Recording

We record in our own kitchen using a set of good cameras and, when needed, audio equipment. We don’t use studio lights, so all our lighting is a combination of ceiling lights and natural lighting.

Because we depend on natural lighting, this stage can sometimes take quite a long time when the weather is unfavourable.

Timeframe Step 4 usually takes 1-3 days. It takes longer if we have to re-shoot or the weather is bad and we have trouble getting the lighting right.

Tools we use for this step:

Step 5 – Editing and Post-production

This is one of the most challenging steps. We need to get the video looking good, match it to good audio and get everything down to below 10 minutes per video. That’s easier said than done!

Timeframe Step 5 usually takes 3-7 days. However, it can take longer if we have a lot of footage to work through, need to do a lot of corrections, need to reshoot or have to solve other technical issues.

Tools we use for this step:

Step 6 – Uploading and posting

Phew! We finally have our lesson and learning materials!

Now we upload the learning materials and post the lesson. It rarely takes more than a few hours – and that’s all there is to it!