Because few restaurants seem to employ a full-time cinematographer / photographer / digital artist, Ahab has followed Christian Seel for a very long time. And last week, Chicagoist published an interview wherein he chronicles his story. The entire interview is interesting, but two items in particular are worthy of comment.
First, Seel explains he was reluctant and that Chef Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas were forced to push him to do video:
Chef Achatz was interested in video right from the beginning. A month before we released the first video I produced, he did a live webcast from the kitchen with Gizmodo. He was really interested in showing people the restaurant and the food. Obviously, when you are creating something that people find impressive, it behooves you to have some kind of infrastructure to get that out…
I should say that both Nick and Grant are totally brilliant in just marketing and seeing the potential for for video to forward the brand enormously. I owe my entire career to those two because I was very interested in still work but very reluctant to get into video.
Chef Achatz and Kokonas have mused about doing a revolutionary cooking show, which Ahab always has assumed was a reason they keep Seel on staff. Unfortunately, there were no television-related questions in the interview (do your homework next time Paul Leddy!).
Second, Seel mentions that a few of his videos for Alinea and Next have been taken down because of music copyright issues:
C: When the Childhood video was released, I recall everyone commenting on watching it. They said how beautiful the video was and that it brought tears to their eyes. Then you had issues with the music in the video and had to take it down, right?
CS: Yeah, we didn’t have permission to use that music. A record company and a film production company owned the song on the video so it became very complicated very fast. Those are people with legal teams at their disposal.
C: Why couldn’t there be an approval with you paying a fee or use a different song?
CS: Music is so important to the video. To take out the song and to re-edit the video, it would be a completely different project. In the Next opening video, we also didn’t have permission, but we put a link to the song on iTunes. I think they sold something because of that.
Unfortunately, Seel must not be an Ahab fan because he doesn’t acknowledge that “Aviary is now open” was taken down for precisely the same reason. Guess this means we won’t be getting a remix. (There will be more on these intellectual property issues later.)
Incidentally, since the brain trust employs such a talented cinematographer / photographer, can’t it do better than the poorly scaled up, extremely crappy photo on its Facebook wall? Come on.
Elsewhere match that bloom of theirs, ye cannot, save in Salem, where they tell me the young girls breathe such musk, their sailor sweethearts smell them miles off shore.