In this episode of Taste the Culture, Justin teams up with Chef Bryan Furman to bring BBQ and mentorship to the masses.
Our first season of Taste the Culture went all over (and occasionally outside of) the city of Atlanta. But we met Bryan Furman in one of the most unassuming locations this town has to offer: an abandoned building that will eventually become the site of his new restaurant, Bryan Furman BBQ.
See, Bryan is a neighborhood guy. And the future location of his restaurant is strategically positioned to keep him on the Westside, where he knows the people and the people know him. As Justin discovered, this is because Bryan is all about giving back to his community. He’s found great success as a pitmaster and he’s revered for his skills, but where he finds the most joy is using his success to raise others up too.
To help tell this story, our team of producers, along with director & showrunner Jordan Nowlin, worked with Bryan to set up a specialty of his: a pop-up event at local favorite, Second Self Beer Company. To pull it off, Bryan brought in some help in the form of Big Perm, a Nashville-based pitmaster who has been Bryan’s mentee for years. Perm is a perfect example of Bryan’s style. Instead of seeing Perm as competition and jealously holding the secrets of his amazing barbecue, Bryan took Perm under his wing and the two have become like family, helping and learning from each other in turn.
Finding the Story
We thought the structure of the episode was set from the beginning, but documentary filmmaking has a way of surprising even the most prepared crew. Learning to roll with the punches and follow your nose is part of telling great stories!
In this case, we knew that Bryan would talk about his roots in the community, and the importance of mentorship, and that he would have Perm’s help in putting on the Second Self event. But what became clear to us as soon as we met Perm was just how close he and Bryan were. We knew this was the real heart of the story: an encapsulation of all the themes our team & Justin wanted to bring to the surface.
And so, sensing Big Perm had more to say, we found the time to interview him before the event kicked off and boy, were we glad we did. His emotion and his respect for Bryan drove home just how impactful Bryan is for the people he meets and helps. Bryan’s a humble person, so having Perm there to unabashedly sing his praises made a huge difference.
There’s nothing quite like barbecue. The lengthy time investment, meticulous process, the thousands of minute variables that separate the juicy from the desert dry. On the surface, it’s a simple idea, consisting of few ingredients. But the patience it requires and the attention to detail it requires lend it an air that’s almost meditative, even poetic. Plus, it looks really, really good on camera.
Our team of DP Trey Gregory, along with Camera Ops Alesso Graci, Haley Fusia, and Sebastian Chamaca captured a mouthwatering collection of coverage and provided it to Lead Editor Cameron Shaw to string together, trying not to get too hungry in the process.
The combination of amazing food footage, the clarity of the theme, and the easy chemistry between Justin and Bryan made this episode a winner.