CINEMA & SPICE
Cinema & Spice is a web-based cooking show where Natasha and Julianna teach you how to cook an entire meal inspired by a film. They dress up in costumes and talk about interesting facts from each film while they teach easy, delicious, healthy meals you can recreate at home. They also include decorating and craft tips, so you can host your own dinner and a movie night if you want! And, best of all, this is offered completely for free online!
Cinema & Spice began when Natasha (a chef) and I (a USC film school grad who loves to cook) serendipitously moved into the same Santa Monica apartment. Almost immediately we became best friends. When she asked me to help her film a cooking video, I jumped at the chance. We had so much fun that day, we thought, “let’s do this all the time!” Thus, Cinema & Spice was born.
Since I love movies and Natasha loves food, we figured, why not combine them? It’s fun to have dinner-and-a-movie nights! So we set out to make our own version. Our first attempt was more or less a disaster. But let me tell you, the food rocked. We made homemade pizzas from scratch and the crew devoured them. So we kept going. We learned from our and focused on what we knew we were good at: cooking great food.
Now, a year or so later, we have nearly 40 videos on YouTube, episodes themed around six movies online (ranging from Woody Allen’s Annie Hall to the Coen brother classic, Raising Arizona) and a fanbase that keeps coming back for more. But we are just starting. We are building a website, planning local events, and making friends with popular online food personalities. We were even on the news recently! Please visit our Youtube page here.
Still, things haven’t been easy. As much as we try and spread the word about Cinema & Spice, our views are still lower than we’d like them to be (what do we need? kittens!?) But we know if we keep consistently releasing videos (we release at least one video every Friday) we’ll eventually get where we want to be. And then we had this idea of launching a Kickstarter…
Crowdfunding is brilliant. Not only do you raise funds for your project, but it’s a great way to get the word out about yourselves! Our views on YouTube have jumped dramatically since we launched our Kickstarter, our Facebook followers have multiplied, and new fans have emailed us out of the blue. Free publicity, plus we can afford to make more episodes! It’s like a dream come true! That’s not to say it isn’t work: if you don’t meet your goal, you don’t get to keep any of those dreamy pledges. But the good news is that it’s fun work! I love getting on my computer every day, connecting with our new backers, exchanging emails with people who are interested in Cinema & Spice. The crowdfunding process has been so exciting and overwhelmingly encouraging.
So, where to go from here? It’s scary and exciting all at once. We have a plan—a business plan and goals of where we want to be one, two, five years from now. But the business of Internet shows is uncharted territory. The market is quickly expanding, the avenues of sharing information ever multiplying. Being successful means staying current, being flexible, and being willing to look at your project critically and making changes based on what your audience wants to see. This doesn’t mean you have to undermine your artistic vision, but you need to be open to changing things that don’t work.
Case in point: Cinema & Spice used to be completely different. Each episode was one long video. It was edited at a slower pace, and we didn’t leave our silly line flubs or ridiculous moments in. But we asked for feedback from trusted friends and family members who told us what they thought (ding ding ding! Asking for feedback is SO important), and slowly we made changes. We decided to split the videos up into bite-sized pieces so people could watch whatever recipes they wanted, one at a time. We decided to make the show sillier, more fun—more us! We’re constantly changing, evolving, learning. This is the key. We know that if we keep learning from our mistakes, being adventurous, and working hard, there’s no way Cinema & Spice won’t be successful.
So please, take a look at Cinema & Spice! We love getting feedback from fellow filmmakers. (Plus we want to hear what films our movie buffs want us to make episodes out of!). And if you have an idea you are passionate about, don’t hesitate to start. Even if you don’t know exactly how it will work or what form your idea will take on, just go for it. You’ll make mistakes, but you’ll also fix them as you go. Just do what you love, and if you work hard, a great result will follow.
One more thing…we’re so close to meeting our Kickstarter goal! If you could take a look at our page, and pass it on to your friends, we’d be so grateful! You rock!
-Julianna (co-founder of Cinema & Spice)
If you’re addicted to Facebook like us, check it out!
Julianna is an LA transplant from Kansas. She grew up playing the Bluegrass fiddle and cooking vegan food with her family. She moved to LA to go to USC film school where she fell in love with movies: specifically MGM musicals and anything with Jimmy Stewart (isn’t he dreamy!?). She currently works at the most fun startup in town: Movieclips.com.
Natasha is a SoCal native with an extensive theater background. She went to school for acting, but eventually decided that she loved cooking too much to do anything else. Now, with culinary school under her belt, she works as a chef for Miele and spends her free time creating healthy versions of classic comfort foods.
More great video interviews on the Film Courage Youtube Channel
BEFORE MIDNIGHT – In Theaters May 24th!
This is coverage of the BEFORE MIDNIGHT press conference in Los Angeles featuring Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy & Richard Linklater.
STAY TUNED….to Film Courage video interviews with Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy & Richard Linklater (coming soon)!
In BEFORE MIDNIGHT, we meet Celine and Jesse 9 years on. Almost 2 decades have passed since that first meeting on a train bound for Vienna, and we now find them in their early 40’s in Greece. Before the clock strikes midnight, we will again become part of their story.
Directed by: Richard Linklater
Written By: Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke