An image video of an ice cream shop in Nagykanizsa starred in the international Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year Award. We talked to Miklós Terei, the creator of the short film that won the Food Film Shorts section, and Dávid Wilheim, the owner of the artisan ice cream shop Da Crema, about inspiration, credo and professional dedication. Find out the story that led to the creation of this stunning footage!
Our story begins like a fairy tale: once upon a time, there was an ice cream maker who was willing to work with only the best ingredients, with heart and soul, and to make it all visible, he dared to dream big. Dávid Wilheim and his wife Virág, owners of the artisan ice cream shop Da Crema in Nagykanizsa, chose a unique way to promote their ice creams, feeling that an image video could show all the hard work and dedication that goes into a single scoop.
David started making ice cream 15 years ago and has been managing the family-run ice cream parlor with his wife, Virág. If someone sets their mind to making ice cream, there are several options to choose from: many people take the easy way and make the refreshing treat using semi-prepared ingredients, but Dávid is not one of them. From the start, he decided to create his flavors naturally, without adding different aromas or flavor enhancers.
To get the best out of the ingredients, he traveled all the way to Italy, and at Carpigiani University (Carpigiani Gelato University was founded in 2003 by the Italian gelato machine manufacturer Carpigiani in Anzola dell’Emilia—the Ed.), he continued to gain experience and learn the skills of the craft. Then, using the knowledge he had acquired during his training abroad as a solid foundation, he added his own ideas and experience—or in short, himself.
The first time I saw the video, it was like watching a perfectly choreographed sequence of movements and dances. Every frame and every sound was in place. Miklós Terei told me a lot about the behind-the-scenes of the short film, including that shooting was made difficult because it starred an extremely malleable substance (ice cream). There were barely a few minutes to shoot the scenes before the creations started to melt. As director-cinematographer, Miklós was assisted by camera operator Gábor Tokodi and gaffer Gábor Schäffer, whose work was also made more difficult by the fact that they were recording non-repeatable sequences.
Miklós, like Dávid, puts his own voice into everything, even when making a documentary, but they also have in common that they are willing to literally do anything and go to any lengths to get the knowledge. Miklós learned the tricks of filmmaking from a 5 Emmy award-winning American company, among others, and never starts from scratch. He thinks it’s important to always keep in mind the current goal, as to say, the message they want to tell with the video. This genre is not just about technique, the story itself has to come through the images. So storytelling is an integral part of the video-making process, helping to visualize that invisible, elusive extra that makes the result really valuable.
When capturing and showing different subjects, you have to strike the right chords, and to find the right direction and visual tone, it is essential to think together. During the discussions, the image film quickly emerged from the many different paths. Dávid wanted to reveal and show the invisible side of their ice creams. And the natural ingredients and all the hard work were best visualized through the process of making the five most popular flavors.
“One of the hardest parts of post-production is editing the scenes. It requires a very strong sense of empathy to be able to step away as a creator and see much more through the eyes of the customer, the passer-by,” shared Miklós.
An additional challenge during the filming, and one of the things that made it special, was that everything was shot on location in the small ice cream shop. They freed up space by removing the heavy machinery, but as in the video, everything had to work in a well organized and choreographed way. This led to burlesque-like scenes, where if someone moved, everyone moved with them.
But with a theme so based explicitly on taste, not only the images and textures, but also the sounds had to be in place. The inclusion of atmospheric sounds was an integral part of the concept, and accordingly, the basis is a dynamic yet not loud melody that creates the mood of the video without distracting from the central theme. The sounds heard in the video: the clatter of a knife on a cutting board, and the rush of peanuts in a blender, were all recreated by Miklós and recorded in his own home. But we’ll leave it a secret which foley he used sesame seeds or yogurt pots for, because it’s these subtle details that give the film its charm!
Photos: Miklós Terei