How We’re Creating Content In A Pandemic
The world stopped, but our content pushed forward. We're sharing how we managed to continue creating content in a pandemic.
For almost four years, we’ve run our blog and YouTube channel as a team. Getting together every Sunday to film and photograph delicious plant-based recipes. But when COVID-19 escalated and caused Ontario to go into lockdown, all that changed.
Contrary to many viewers’ beliefs, we don’t actually live together. The primary “set” for our videos is Kat’s kitchen in her Toronto apartment, but Dev lives about an hour away. Every Sunday Dev would drive to Kat’s place and we’d spend the day cooking, filming, and laughing… lots of laughing. No, really. Her neighbours would comment that they always knew when Dev was over because they would hear so much laughter.
Alas, with the implementation of lockdown restrictions, we had to pivot.
Creating content during a pandemic...
What made Two Market Girls what it is, was the complimentary skills that we both brought to the table. Kat is an excellent cook and photographer, and Dev loves videography and editing. Together we could create all the content needed to run Two Market Girls. But apart, that changed.
Even though we loved being able to get cinematic and dynamic shots together, we knew we could still produce good recipe videos if we simplified it. Kat started filming the recipes solo by setting her camera on a tripod and showing each step. Granted, this is how lots of food bloggers and YouTubers in general create their content, so it’s not unusual to viewers. But it was still a big change for our content.
Dev didn’t get to flex her videography muscle as much, but she did start practicing another skill more — cooking! However we wanted to keep the classic TMG intro and outro where we discuss and taste the recipe together. This meant that both of us needed to have the recipe to taste, so Dev started making every recipe that Kat made. Then we'd jump on a video call together, hit record on our cameras, and stitch the conversation together in post so it mostly still feels like we’re together.
The shift in our Whatever Wednesday videos...
These video calls also became a huge part of our Whatever Wednesday videos. The whole concept around those videos has always been that they can be exactly what they say they are — whatever! Typically this would involve testing cookbooks, experimenting with recipe concepts, taste tests, and the odd vlog. To make it work in isolation, we’d hop on a Zoom call, record the whole thing and also record on our cameras as we go through a recipe or cookbook together. This way we still got to do it “together” and our audience still got that typical Kat and Dev banter that we love bringing to the Whatever Wednesday videos.
Challenges of creating content in a pandemic...
Of course, these changes didn’t come without some challenges. When you run a food blog and suddenly the act of grocery shopping becomes much more stressful, you have to shift your recipes to cater that. This meant using simpler ingredients, considering substitutes that could be used in a recipe, and using pantry-friendly items when possible.
From a technical standpoint, our online storage needs increased a lot. Kat now needs to upload all her footage, so that Dev can download it for editing. Even though the internet has had its slow moments for us, we’re thankful its mostly been able to support our file transferring and excessively long video calls.
Dev's attempt at the recipe ☝️
Kat's photogenic masterpiece ☝️
Where we stand now...
Four months into our time apart, we still tell each other every week how much we miss filming together. However we are glad we’ve been able to make it work. It’s working together that has always made Two Market Girls the fun “side hustle” that we both love so much. We’re not sure when we’ll be able to film together again, but we know for certain that the delicious recipes and good times of TMG aren’t stopping any time soon.