Litewave Media recently filmed two segments for ABC’s daytime hit TV show, The Chew. Now in its second season, The Chew hired our production team to film a Guiness Record attempt at making the world’s largest cup of hot chocolate. The other segment was filmed at the world-famous Columbia restaurant and focused on the history of the Cuban sandwich.
Producers from The Chew, which stars celebrity chefs Mario Batalli, Michael Simon and Carla Hall, connected with our Tampa video company through our website. “After speaking with our team and confirming that we had the camera, lighting gear, and experience they needed, we were hired,” says Litewave Media founder, Christian Schwier.
The first shoot was at Tampa’s Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI). To wrap up its Festival of Chocolate, the museum attempted to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest cup of hot chocolate. “We filmed different interviews and segments all over the museum,” says Schwier, “but the main event revolved around a gigantic cup of hot chocolate that was stationed in the courtyard.”
When the record was broken, five large catapults launched marshmallows into the 880-gallon cup of cocoa as a 30-foot fountain of chocolate spouted from the cup. “It was a fairly windy day,” says Schwier. “So more than a few of the closest onlookers got soaked in cocoa! Our cameras even got a little on the lenses, but we survived!”
Our Tampa video crew, headed by Schwier as the Director of Photography, also included Mike Barnitt as Sound Engineer and Rachel Lappe as Production Assistant. They were joined by ABC field producer Lawrence Weibman, and on-camera host Jason Roberts, a famous chef and restaurateur from Australia.
Footage was shot on two Panasonic HPX-170’s in HD. To capture the sound, our crew used three Lectrosonics lavalier mics, a Schoeps boom mic, and a multi-channel Cooper sound mixer.
The second segment was shot at the historic Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City. “The focus was Columbia’s Cuban sandwich and its cultural significance to the Tampa Bay area,” explains Schwier. Originally called the mixto, the sandwich is made of ham, roast pork, swiss cheese, and mustard on Cuban bread that is buttered and pressed.
Although the history of the Cuban sandwich is a bit murky, some claiming it was brought from Cuba and others swearing it all began in Florida, there is no denying how popular it was with 19th century Ybor City cigar workers. As Sicilians and immigrants from other parts of Italy joined Spanish and Cuban immigrants in the cigar factories, Genoa salami and pickles were added, transforming the mixto into the Cuban sandwich. The Columbia has been making them since 1905.
“In addition to seeing the huge kitchen where we watched Jason and the great-great granddaughter of the original owner make Cuban sandwiches together, we got a tour of the restaurant, including areas most have never seen before,” Schwier says. “We also interviewed patrons, but best part of course was when we got to sample some of the fine food ourselves at lunch!”
This was our Tampa film company’s second gig with ABC in the past year, having shot footage for an episode of Shark Tank last fall. “The ABC crew was really great to work for and we had a wonderful time with Jason and Lawrence,” says Schwier. “We hope The Chew will come back to Tampa for another story in Season 3!”
To keep up on all of our video projects, be sure to like our Facebook page, and if you have a video project coming up, contact our Tampa production studio today: e-mail us at [email protected] for a free consultation. Are you ready for your close-up?