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.