Food in Film

Q&A with Carl Pendle – unearthed® food in film 2014 finalist

Carl Pendle was one of our Documentary winners of the unearthed® food in film award – a category of Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year 2014. His video Mushroom Hunting (scroll down to watch) is a lovely film, which features chef and mushroom forager Nik Westacott, out and about in the woods. We wanted to know what inspired Carl and how he got into food film-making.

Tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a photographer and filmmaker specialising in food. That could be from producing a video for Waitrose for one of their suppliers to a coffee roaster to going abroad for a tourist board and filming something food related for them.

How long have you been working in the industry, what is your background?
I’ve been a freelancer for about 25 years. I started out as a Press photographer for the Birmingham Daily News and went from there.

What did you study at college/university?
I went to university in America on a tennis scholarship and studied photography as part of my degree

When did you first get into film?
When Canon came out with the Canon 5D MarkII I started to play around with filming then so about 7 years ago. I did my own films then offered them to clients who commissioned me to do photography. It’s now become part of my main job.

I’ve entered the Pink Lady® Food photographer of the Year for the past couple of years and have been lucky to have been a finalist on both occasions so this year I saw there was a film category and went for it.

How did the film come about?
There is a man local to me who I’ve know for a long time. He used to run a very good restaurant in Chichester and then moved to owning a B&B business with a small restaurant as part of it. I contacted him as I knew he offered mushroom foraging days and he agreed to take me out.

What was your inspiration?
Him really. He’s a great character and filming and cooking in the outdoors has immediate appeal to me.

How long did the film take to make?
It was full day of filming and two to three days of editing and colouring.

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Who was on the team?
Just me.

What was the hardest/most difficult part about making the film?
I’d have to say trying to capture the light and atmosphere of the woods. To get that to come across in the video was my main goal.

Do you need any special equipment to make food films?
No not really. Just a good understanding of food and what you have to do to make it look its best. It helps that I’m a food photographer as well.

What gadget can you not do without when you’re photographing/filming?
I’d have to say my dolly slider and macro lens.

Where did you hear about the competition?
I’ve entered the Pink Lady Food photographer of the Year for the past couple of years and have been lucky to have been a finalist on both occasions so this year I saw there was a film category and went for it.

How has winning the competition helped your career?
It hasn’t, as yet, but it’s always nice to tell clients that you’ve won a few things.

And now, our foodie questions

What is your favourite dish?
I have a massive sweet tooth so lemon meringue pie I’m afraid.

What’s your most memorable meal?
My nan’s fish and chips. Every Thursday as a kid my Nan would make us fish and chips from her tiny kitchen. She used to own a fish and chip shop so they were very good. I’ve been lucky enough to eat all over the world but that would be my most memorable.

Where in the world would you most like to eat?
I’ve never been to Japan so would love to go there to sample the food. I also love sushi so what better place to sample it.

To find out more about Carl, visit his website: and you can also follow him on twitter @digitalshooter1


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