How Realistic Fake Foods Are Made For TV And Movies | Movies Insider

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04:44   |   Apr 06, 2018


How Realistic Fake Foods Are Made For TV And Movies | Movies Insider
How Realistic Fake Foods Are Made For TV And Movies | Movies Insider thumb How Realistic Fake Foods Are Made For TV And Movies | Movies Insider thumb How Realistic Fake Foods Are Made For TV And Movies | Movies Insider thumb


  • - [Narrator] Is this food making you hungry?
  • Well, don't try to take a bite
  • because these delicious looking foods are actually fake.
  • (whimsical music)
  • TV shows and movies will try to use real foods
  • on screen when possible,
  • but there a number of reasons why food props
  • might be used instead.
  • For example, if ice cream is used,
  • they don't want it to melt between takes,
  • or if you need a lot of food in the background of a shot.
  • Companies like Independent Studio Services
  • and Display Fake Foods offer pre-made food props
  • that can be ordered in bulk.
  • But often times, movies need items specially made.
  • That's when they seek out a fake food artist,
  • like Lisa Friedman.
  • - For people who need something specific,
  • that's why the reach out to me.
  • I'm an artist.
  • I went to school for art and I also love to cook and bake.
  • There's not a lot of us out there that do this.
  • - [Narrator] Brenda Chapman also makes
  • fake foods in Oklahoma.
  • - I just kind of figure it out.
  • I've had no formal training, didn't go to college.
  • I started this just so I could be a stay-at-home mom
  • with my kids.
  • - [Narrator] Both women work out of studios in their homes.
  • They can recreate pretty much anything.
  • Much of their day-to-day business
  • is in restaurant displays and food shows.
  • But prop masters will contact them
  • if they need food items for movies.
  • - In the last 20 years, I've done almost 3 million dollars
  • worth of fake food business.
  • - [Narrator] Brenda has had her work featured
  • in a number of productions.
  • For Glee, she made some ice cream for this diner scene.
  • - [Brenda] In their diner scene,
  • they wanted milk shakes and hot fudge sundaes
  • and banana splits that were new, half-eaten, quarter-eaten
  • so that they could switch them out during the takes.
  • - [Narrator] She says you don't always know
  • where your food will end up.
  • Like when some of her items popped up in the Muppets.
  • - When Miss Piggy eats my doughnuts,
  • I didn't realize they had bought my doughnuts.
  • (gluttonous munching)
  • - Pardon moi, Mademoiselle Cochonne?
  • - Can't you see I'm busy!
  • - [Receptionist] Of course.
  • - [Narrator] And sometimes your food
  • doesn't even make the final cut.
  • - Thor, the movie, actually bought like
  • $500 worth of doughnuts,
  • and they had a building that said Donut Shop
  • or Donut Land, they never went inside,
  • so I didn't get to see my doughnuts.
  • I was very sad. (laughs)
  • - [Narrator] Here's a creamsicle Lisa Friedman made
  • that was featured in a scene from
  • Kevin (Probably) Saves the World.
  • - The coldest thing they have.
  • - Oh, thank you.
  • - [Lisa] I guess, his eye was swollen,
  • he got hit in it.
  • - [Narrator] While the details may vary based on the artist,
  • the creation process is pretty standard.
  • We stopped by Lisa Friedman's home in New York
  • to see how she makes her fake foods.
  • After the order is submitted,
  • typically the customer will send her a real version
  • of they want duplicated.
  • Then she will produce a mold out of the item
  • to get the exact size and shape.
  • - We try to mold it close to the color,
  • so that we're not starting with a blank white canvas.
  • - [Narrator] Typically fake foods
  • are made with rubber or foam.
  • She pours the material into the mold and lets it set.
  • Foam rises like actual dough,
  • so she needs to prevent it from spilling out.
  • - [Linda] It's like I'm baking a cake, right?
  • I'm baking my bread.
  • - [Narrator] Then she sands the excess pieces down.
  • Once the item is dry,
  • it's painted and detailed to look like real food.
  • - With my background in painting,
  • I can color it to be as realistic as it is.
  • - You just kind of have to look at things
  • a little differently, um,
  • and think, okay, it's not made for this
  • but it does look like this.
  • We use a lot of Styrofoams,
  • a lot of stuff from the local hardware store, you know,
  • caulking, and dry wall patching, and sheet rock mud.
  • - [Narrator] To replicate granola and ground beef,
  • Lisa uses crushed cork board.
  • - Cork is kind of breaks up like granola,
  • so we took some cork boards and we started breaking it down.
  • - [Narrator] Sometimes real food is used.
  • Like covering actual popcorn, cereal, or candy
  • in resin to preserve it.
  • It's often hard to tell the finished product
  • from the original.
  • - I don't do this for the money.
  • It's more for the accolades,
  • when my customers write, oh, I love it, it came out great.
  • - [Narrator] And while these items
  • might make your mouth water,
  • they're only a feast for your eyes.
  • (whimsical music)

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Movies and TV shows tend to use real food when they can, but there are a number of times when they need something fake. We spoke with two fake food artists who specialize in making custom, inedible treats for restaurants, trade shows, and Hollywood.  Here's how fake food props are made to look so delicious.

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How Realistic Fake Foods Are Made For TV And Movies | Movies Insider