Posted September 6, 2018
Last modified September 6, 2018
“Trap to Table” is a four-part web-based video series by the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative to promote new ideas for new shell lobster. My husband, Bruce Fernald, was one of four fishermen paired with a chef for a day of fishing, cooking, and eating.
You can see the video on the “Lobster From Maine” here.
The videos are professional and fun and will make your mouth water by seeing Maine “new shell” lobster prepared in interesting ways. Also fun, though you won’t see it, was the action behind the scenes. I’m happy to share some of it with you, because I was there.
On the day before the shoot, eight people came to check out our kitchen for possible camera and lighting options. The head camera man said, “Now don’t run around vacuuming and all that. All of these shots will be pretty tight.” Well, that was a relief. I was considering what I could do to de-clutter when Bruce suggested the crew use my family’s house on the island’s north shore.
The family house has an amazing view of Mount Desert Island, so of course that was their choice. “But the house hasn’t been opened up for the summer yet!” I wailed. For anyone with a seasonal home in Maine, you already know this means that there was mouse poop throughout the kitchen.
“They said they would bring someone to clean before the shoot,” Bruce replied.
“The film crew has their own clean-up crew?” I asked. That sounded better. “Well, I think they mean Marianne will do it,” he said. No way was I going to ask Marianne LaCroix, the marketing director for the MLMC and our friend, to clean up our family’s mouse poop. I went to the house early in the morning, emptying drawers, washing silverware, and wiping down surfaces to make the kitchen chef-ready.
Along with the rest of the crew, Marianne, and Molly from the marketing firm Weber Shandwick, arrived for cleaning detail just as I finished. We laughed about their close call as we stowed 20 box lunches in the fridge. The kitchen rapidly was filled with tripods, cameras, lights and reflectors, their cords and cables running out into the hall.
Outside, in front of the house, Bruce and his chef partner, Kwami Onwuachi, were hauling lobster traps accompanied by a large camera crew. On his way to meet the boat crew, Bruce had stopped at the co-op to get a hat with the Little Cranberry Lobster logo on it for Kwami, who wore it throughout the shoot.
Bruce also knows a thing or two about marketing.
I felt like part of the team as I found a table in the attic for Kwami’s work surface, retrieved a tablecloth, a lemon squeezer, and some more bowls from home, and picked flowers for the dining shoot. This was fun stuff. Then someone said, “We need to put a mic on you.” What? I didn’t sign up for this, but then, what the heck. I’m happy to do what I can to help promote Maine lobster.
When Bruce and Kwami arrived at the back door with their catch I was to come out and greet them saying, “Welcome to our family home.” Uh, no. Those would never be my exact words. I didn’t take direction very well on that one. I came out the door on the first take and looked directly at the cameras instead of walking to Bruce and Kwami. Acting is not my forté, but we had a good laugh over that. It’s easy to forget you are wearing a mic and Bruce and I just assumed they were turned off when we weren’t on camera. Then a technician came up and said, “Let me just turn off your mics for now.” We stared at each other wide-eyed, each trying to recall what might have been unintentionally heard in the last half hour. Another good laugh between us.
As they filmed Kwami in the kitchen, Molly and I were busy cutting up gooseberries and cherry tomatoes, and Marianne juiced about 100 lemons and limes. We could peek at the progress on a monitor set up on the washing machine.
The last scene was filmed outside on the porch. We ate and talked about families and the knowledge that gets passed down. Kwami’s lobster dishes were really two of the best I’ve ever eaten. What you can’t see is that the railing was torn apart to be repaired and the deck was in the middle of being pressure washed. I would have been freaked out about it had the camera man not talked about tight shots the day before.
A line of whitecaps and a sheet of rain were rapidly moving toward us as the shoot wrapped up. There is no sign of this in the video, either. All the cameras were inside before the rain started, barely. The whole day was fun and fascinating, and just the beginning because two weeks later we would meet up with everyone in New York.
Barbara Fernald lives, writes, and makes jewelry on Islesford (Little Cranberry Island).