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Feed Me!

There is always food on set. Always.

It took some getting used to, for me. My first day on set ever, the AD told me I should go grab some breakfast before things got hectic. I approached the catering truck sheepishly. I only had five bucks in my pocket, but I wanted to fit in (it being my first day and all).

I asked the guy how much an omelet cost. He looked at me like I was crazy and said, “The production pays for it.”

So I ordered an omelet, toast, bacon, pancakes, and orange juice. I came back for fruit later.

It’s like that on every set. Even short films where everybody is working for free, you can still expect at least pizza or sub sandwiches for lunch.

On one low budget production I worked on, the UPM suggested that the office staff buy our own lunches on days when the crew was on location. The coordinator and accountants pitched fits, threatening to walk off.

It’s strange. I don’t think there’s any other business where people assume they will be fed. Other than restaurants, I suppose.

Both Rob Long and The Hollywood Juicer agree that crafty and catering are there as a service to keep the crew happy. And it’s true, we’re pretty much not allowed to leave for twelve to sixteen hours (or twenty, if you’re on a David Fincher movie).

But still. Teachers aren’t allowed to leave (and there’s probably other professions I’m forgetting, too), but they don’t expect food for free.

Maybe this is why my jeans from college don’t fit anymore.

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12 Responses

  1. Not to mention the food is usually really good. It’s not high school shit. It’s almost always top quality food.

    Also. Crew eats first. If you see an extra standing in front of you in line. Cut.

  2. When I worked as a PA, I was told by the 2nd AD not to let anyone see me eating, whether snacks or from catering. So I ended up not eating some days because of this. How does a PA eat without being seen, especially from the catering truck? I missed out on some good food because I was waiting till everyone had left (and there was none left) or I waited so long it was time to get back to work. Was that 2nd AD just messing with me?

  3. Monte, you’re right…every 6 hours. In Toronto, they also have a thing called “third hour substantials”, since everybody would die if they waited a full 6 hours for the next meal. In addition to the stuff Craft service has out all day, someone brings around trays of something hot three hours after every meal.

  4. I could be totally wrong, but isn’t it a union rule that you get fed a hot meal after XX amount of hours?

    Plus, if you are shooting on location, like the desert, where are you supposed to find food? Or do they expect you to bring a sack lunch to be heated in the sun and eaten by ants?

  5. I think teachers would be, as a group, a lot happier if we were fed every day. We usually get less than 30 minutes for lunch and many times that lunch can be as early as 10:30 am or as late as 1 pm. So, eating out is often not an option – which means cafeteria food or brown bag. Neither option is appealing after 185 days of school on average. Keep appreciating that free grub.

  6. Hi There!
    I must say I really enjoy reading your blog.
    I believe it is true… a well fed crew is a content, happy crew (for the most part) and yes, the hours are a killer!

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