BTS: Burn

To be A WOMAN. This aptly named food-and-drink-meets-female-energy series has been a joy to create. Each film—Smokescreen, Regale and now Burn—puts our women in control of themselves from start to finish.

This exploration of womanhood set in unexpected situations wraps with the third film, Burn. The premise: A woman gets relief from the heat. Whereas Smokescreen (the 1st) is seductive and mysterious and Regale (the 2nd) is whimsical and deliciously girly, Burn checks off hot and sexy, and not just figuratively. From poblanos to jalapeños to habaneros, the pleasure and pain of heat is definitely palpable.

The film is set in a garden patio area during the summer. To keep things manageable and avoid having to light an entire backyard space, I opted to shoot at Album Studios and specifically in their Studio A. Their outdoor patio was spot on: ivy covered walls gave us the perfect backdrop and required only the addition of some potted flowers like marigolds—our hero bloom—to spruce up the set.

In order to achieve our golden late afternoon-early evening look, DoP Zachary Koski and crew blocked out all the natural light spilling into this rectangular space. Shooting 10 hours of magic hour is something we obviously couldn’t achieve naturally with the sun. So the crew pushed in warm light that was dappled to create interest and movement.

Our props this time around weren’t too complicated. Food & props stylist Nicole Billark found the right shade of orange for our surface, along with beautiful glassware to tell our story. Loads of peppers were brought in, some for torching and others for biting. For the bathtub, I found the perfect clawfoot tub (that was surprisingly not as heavy as it looks!) to create our garden bath scene.

All in all, this was a beautiful and serene ending to this series and I’m so grateful to our entire team. A big shout out to our gorgeous talent, Sarah, who bravely bit into some seriously hot peppers multiple times (brava!). And despite the number of shots we needed to knock out in one day, the entire production was super chill thanks to a fantastic team of pros. Zach, Tommy, Abe, Igor, Nicole, Sarah, Anika: thank you for a killer shoot that was also super fun!!

Check out the film below!

Written, Directed and Produced by Deepi Ahluwalia

Director of Photography: Zachary Koski

Edited by Deepi Ahluwalia & Harp Ghoman

Talent: Sarah Caamano

1st AC: Thomas Lee

Gaffer: Igor Alves

Grip: Abe Roberto

Food & Prop Stylist: Nicole Billark

Hair/Makeup: Sarah Zap

Wardrobe: Anika Cutajar

Shot at Album Studios on RED Gemini in Toronto, Canada

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