Food stylist reveals the ‘secret’ way actors pretend to eat on camera: ‘This might’ve broken movies for me’
What is "Food Acting"? If you don't know the answer to this question, you are in good company.
Millions of TikTokers are learning about the phenomenon right now - all thanks to David Ma.
Ma is a filmmaker and professional food stylist with a widely used TikTok page sharing the filmmaking tricks he has learned throughout his career. In a recently released clip, he revealed the "secret" trick to eating in front of the camera.
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"Eating Acting" or "Eat-Acting" is a term used when actors are required to pretend that they are consuming food or drink during their performance. As Ma explains in his video, this concept exists because films often require multiple shots of the same scene. For example, it would be impossible to get someone to eat, say, 100 cupcakes in a day.
According to Ma, there is a simple trick to pull this off.
Ma shows examples of "Eating Acting" in several popular films and TV shows - from The Office to Moneyball to Pulp Fiction. In each, he points out how the camera performs quickly after an actor has eaten in front of the camera.
So, says Ma, actors can spit out their food. In every scene Ma shows an actor biting into something. Then the camera quickly cuts away. Then the director cuts the scene so the actors can spit out their food without swallowing.
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“Thanks to the editing, everything feels real and seamless,” explains Ma.
The explanation came as a big surprise to many TikTokers. Some even said it "ruined" films for them.
"That could have broken movies for me," wrote one user.
"Damn it, I'll notice it every time now," added another.
Ma's viral videos are part of a longstanding trend in the app where TikToker have unique jobs sharing the industry secrets they've learned in their careers. In 2020, a professional prop master went viral for sharing how he makes "fake" books for movies. A few months later, a dog groomer attracted millions of views after revealing the saddest part of her job.
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