Food in Film

Q&A with unearthed® food in film 2015 finalist Lisa Nieschlag

Lisa Nieschlag was our non-documenatry winner of the unearthed® food in film – a category of the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year. Her film ‘Cranberry and Chocolate Scones’ came about from her transatlantic-collaboration with New-York based photographer Julia Cawley. Lisa tells us more about the collaboration and gives her top tips on working with kids.

Tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a graphic designer, cookbook author, food photographer and food blogger and live in Münster, Germany, with my 5-year-old-daughter. In addition I teach Food Styling & Photography – in groups or one-on-one workshops.

How long have you been working in the industry, what’s your background?
I’m co-founder of “Nieschlag + Wentrup”, an agency for communication design. We opened our agency 14 years ago. 2010 Lars Wentrup and I had the idea of creating a cookbook for regional cooking. We teamed up with Brooklyn-based photographer Julia Cawley and we produced the cookbook “Anni kocht in Münster” (“Anni cooks in Münster”). It was a huge success and our publisher asked us to work on the next cookbook shortly thereafter. By now I’m author of eight cookbooks – for the newest one “New York Christmas”, that will be published in September, I was also responsible for the food photography.

Then Julia (“Jewels”) and I founded the food blog “Liz & Jewels”. We meet weekly in our kitchens (virtually!) and cook, style and photograph one recipe – Jewels in Brooklyn and I in Münster. We write about the outcomes on our blog.

Did you study photography or film at college/university?
I studied Communication Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Münster, Germany. Photography was not one of my main subjects then, but in the course of the years the passion for food photography grew.

When did you first get into film production?
In 2013 we were asked by Holly Becker, founder of the blog “decor8”, to contribute to her blog with short food videos monthly. So Julia and I started filming the episodes “Food in Motion”. We had had experience with food photography, but filming was new to us.

Is film your main job or a hobby?
Food photography is going from hobby to main job, whereas filming is still an ongoing adventure.

How did the film come about?
I integrate my daughter into most of my short films, who loves helping me in the kitchen. The films are always very intuitive, since I cannot give too many directions otherwise my daughters’ joy in helping would fade pretty soon.

What was your inspiration?
To involve kids in the kitchen and make them familiar with food is what I love doing.

How long did the film take to make?
Approximately half a day.

Who was on the team?
Just my daughter and I. After making the film I asked a friend to help me out with music. Taylor Love wrote and sang the music for the film.

What was the hardest/most difficult thing about making the film?Lisa Nieschlag - food in film non-documentary winner 2015
Washing my daughters’ hands (see her at work, right)

Your top 3 tips for making a foodie film

Fun, passion and strong nerves when filming with kids.

Where did you hear about the competition?
On the internet.

How has winning the competition helped your career?
There are a lot of things that have come together lately. I can’t really put my finger on one thing: being an author of eight cookbooks, blogging about food, teaching Food Photography and winning the award are all things that have provided more exposure.

Now for the foodie section

What is your favourite dish?
Kaiserschmarren. A typical Austrian dish. It’s a sugared pancake, cut up and served with apple sauce.

What’s your most memorable meal
When I was a child we stopped at a restaurant in Connecticut where clams and lobster were served on newspapers instead of plates. I thought that was very unusual and original.

Where in the world would you most like to eat?
On a rooftop in Manhattan overlooking the city on a warm summer evening.

To find out more about Lisa, visit her blog Liz & Jewels or follow her on twitter @lizswing

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