The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

October 14, 2012

UNA culinary students contribute on set of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'

— The mouth-watering handiwork of University of North Alabama culinary students Vanessa Gerig and Eero Wilson will be seen on the big screen in the upcoming film “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”
 


Gerig, a senior from Towanda, Ill., and Wilson, a senior from Longview, Texas, assisted food stylist and 1978 UNA alumnus Jack White, who has created on-camera food for more than 75 major motion pictures and television shows since 1992.
 


The students arrived in Atlanta Sept. 23 and got right to work on set early the next day.

They worked throughout the week preparing extravagant gourmet dishes like Cornish hens, roasted ducks, suckling pigs, vegetables and cakes to cover nearly 100 feet of a banquet table, they said.
 


“Jack told us it was for the Capitol, so everything had to be colorful and over-the-top,” Gerig said. “He showed me what direction he wanted me to go in, then let me do my thing, and he loved it.”
 


Wilson said he accepted the offer immediately when he got a call from James Perini, who started working with White during the making of the first “Hunger Games” movie.


“I was concerned with how it was going to look, but we got nothing but thumbs up from the people on set,” Wilson said. “We really relied on Jack White. Without him there, it would have been shooting in the dark for us.”
 


While on set, Gerig said she caught a glimpse of stars Jennifer Lawrence, playing Katniss Everdeen; Donald Southerland, playing President Snow; and Woody Harrelson, playing Haymitch.
 


“It’s so neat to be a part of such a big production, so surreal,” she said. “It opened my eyes that culinary students don’t have to just graduate and find a job in a restaurant.”
 


“Hunger Games: Catching Fire” is based on Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novel and is set to release Nov. 22, 2013.

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