Hello! I thought it would be fun to share a tour of my cake studio a quick snapshot of life behind the scenes of British Girl Bakes. I'll show you:
my cake studio set-up
how I film and edit my tutorials
some upcoming projects and recipes
other sneak peeks behind the scenes.
Let’s start with a little tour of my cake studio! This is where I prepare recipes, frost and decorate cakes, and record all of my tutorials and online courses. For the best audio quality and to reduce the echo, I’ve covered almost every flat hard surface with softer surfaces. I have curtains over the windows and doors, rugs on the floor, and sound boards on the walls and ceilings.
My favourite part of the studio is having fantastic light at any time of day. Using artificial lights means that the lighting is consistent throughout videos even if they’re filmed at different times. This works best for me because a lot of filming happens after my kids go to bed.
I have a fridge and two freezers full of cakes! These are cakes I’m still busy decorating or ones that took me so long to decorate that they’re not edible anymore. I’ll frost over them soon and use them for another cake design.
How I make cake videos for YouTube and my online cake school
Let’s take a peek at the process of making a video in my cake studio.
I mix, frost and decorate cakes in here while filming from different angles. On the left you can see what the bigger picture of what’s happening, but I don’t usually film that. Instead, I like to film close-up video like you can see on the right. This shows everything much more zoomed in so you can really see what's happening. It takes at least twice as long to film making a cake than it would without filming it.
Now we need to turn at least an hour of these video clips into a tutorial that’s much quicker and more interesting to watch. My videos and editing projects are stored on 14 external hard drives of 4TB each. The file sizes are HUGE!
I use Final Cut Pro for editing and I drag all of the video clips into a new project. First, I skim through them to check that everything looks good. Then I type out what I want to say to explain the recipe or technique or design I'm demonstrating. By taking time to think about it and write it out, I make sure I include everything I want to say but in the most concise way possible! This way, you don’t have to listen to me rambling about something I could say in a few seconds. I’m a very impatient person and I like to learn things quickly so that’s how I teach, too.
Ok, back to the cake studio for the next step! Now it’s time to record the audio and that’s what this microphone’s for up here. I used to record in my closet because it had the least echo in my house but I definitely prefer this space!
Back on the computer, I drag the audio file into my project. Then I trim the video clips to take out the unnecessary parts. I also time it so that as I’m talking about something, that part of the process is playing in the video.
Editing the video is REALLY slow. There’s almost always a lot of coffee involved! As an example, the final tutorial footage for slicing this Banana Layer Cake is just over 5 seconds long. How long do you think it took me to edit those 5 seconds? 9 minutes! Slicing shots are some of the most time consuming so it’s not all this slow though.
Ok, final steps! I upload the finished tutorial to my YouTube channel. I schedule it for a Tuesday, which is the day I share new tutorials each week. Then I drag my script onto my website for a written version of the tutorial. I slot in photos to show each step of the process and schedule this tutorial for the same time and date as YouTube. This way, people can read the tutorial instead of watching it. Now it's back to the cake studio to film the next cake!
And that’s the process! Here's how long each part takes:
One hour to decorate and film each cake
One hour to script the tutorial
10-15 minutes to record the audio
For the editing, it typically takes me 15 minutes to edit every 1 minute of finished video. For a tutorial of 5 minutes I spend about an hour and 15 minutes to edit.
One hour to create the website version of the tutorial
One hour to prepare a much shorter video for Instagram
What's new for British Girl Bakes
Baby Boy #3 will be arriving any day so life is going to get very busy in our house! I’ve been baking and decorating and filming a LOT of cakes over the last few months so I’ll be able to share new videos for the rest of the year. My YouTube tutorials and cake school content will continue as normal even if I don’t make it into my cake studio for a little bit after the baby arrives.
You can expect to see tutorials on some really fun cake decorating techniques like these naked cakes and some mouthwatering recipes for cake and frosting flavours. Also, I’ve just released my brand new MasterCourse on the Basics of Buttercream. You’ll find it on my cake school and it’s included in my ClubPLUS membership.
I hope it’s been interesting to see a bit of what it’s like behind the scenes! Ask me any questions in the comments or just say "hi" and tell me what kind of cakes you like to make!