• For posts related to budget, finanace, legalities, distro, and marketing (including festivals) please post in Film Biz.
    Rule of thumb:
    Filmmaking for directors (creative)
    Film Biz for producers (buisness)

directing Catering hacks, Let's talk about it

I worked with a director that had multiple PAs cutting his grapes in half in the morning, so he could have his granola with grape halves. People were always sweating this mofo, if he would fire somebody over the grapes or the level of milk in the granola!
I worked on a short last December, favor for a friend who was the DoP, that ended up being back-to-back splits: Fraturday and Saturunday. Call sheets finally went out Friday afternoon and I arrived to set to find out, in our “safety meeting”, that they’d scheduled lunch at 8 hours. We ended up not breaking until 9.5. I was livid. We didn’t wrap until 15 hours with no second meal. Got back to the hotel in time to grab some of the complimentary breakfast before trying to sleep the day away.

The AD was to blame on a lot of that shoot. She was also acting in the film, and couldn’t be bothered to learn my name. I was addressed as “Hey, you” and “Hey, Soundguy” and “Dude”. On that third one, I think my face betrayed my raging disdain as she tried to backpedal After a brief pause. “Dude... uh, dude... uh, ‘Hey, Dude’. Remember that show? That was a great show.”

The one time she addressed me by name, or thought she did, she was talking to my boom op, with whom she’d had the same conversation 20 minutes earlier. “Um, I’m Jerry,” he said, “and we already had this conversation.” She never approached me to discuss whatever it was after that.

The second split wrapped around 4:30, so by the time I got back to the hotel I had about 6 hours to try and get sleep and meet the checkout deadline, then drive an hour and a half home.

Fast-forward to last week, the director puts a mockup of his poster up on FB and I get a friend request from her (that’s a no from me, dawg). I looked at her FB page where she had a post about the IATSE negotiations and potential strike, with a comment about how important it is to guarantee safe and healthy work environments on set.

At least I’m still alive.
 
Last edited:

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
@AcousticAl what do you think about a survey before a shoot for craft services? Like a survey monkey type deal you send to all crew and they vote on snacks. It shows you care and, it helps the prod. team buy what is needed. Yes/No?
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
That way people know about trends like Welch's!
 
@AcousticAl what do you think about a survey before a shoot for craft services? Like a survey monkey type deal you send to all crew and they vote on snacks. It shows you care and, it helps the prod. team buy what is needed. Yes/No?
Nah. I think that opens the door to too much debate, expectation, etc. And the last thing I want to have to deal with before production is a damn SurveyMonkey survey.

Understanding basic rules of nutritional energy needs, along with how to balance junk food with sustainable nutrition, makes for a good crafty table. And the well-run productions are usually open to some suggestion. You can always make a polite request to the Crafty person, if it’s within reason. If crafty is done right, you’ll never hear a complaint. If crafty is a train wreck, you’ll know pretty clearly and immediately.

The Welch’s thing, by the way... we kid (mostly) about that, and nobody’s going to walk off set over it if they aren’t on the table. They do, however, have the considerable vitamin contents that other fruit snacks don’t, so they’re pretty common on sets. Substitutions take flack because they’re much more artificial, don’t have any redeeming nutritional value and, honestly, don’t taste as good. In short, it’s a quick and easy energy boost that also has some immuno-boosting built in.
 
Last edited:

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
All I know is food is just as important as money. Trends may change, but that never will. Feed your crew!
 
Yeah, its getting to the apex point, where people no longer feel a personal sacrifice should be made regarding someone else's vision or passion unless everyone is getting the same treatment, or getting properly compensated. There is nothing wrong with that by any means.

I think that's why its so essential to get everyone happy and excited to work on a project. (Not so you can abuse people or work super long hours), but so that way, if you screw something up, which is always going to happen on every project... To someone... You at least have the understanding that you respect and really appreciate those working with you on something so incredibly unique and creative.

The crafty table I think helps there... Especially if you give each person a little individual tour of it before the day starts. It makes people feel really cared for when you point out you got something because you know they have allergies or preferences. It only takes 2 minutes, and I think it really helps people feel set for the day.

You were a trooper to stick through that rigorous ordeal, and hopefully you got something out of it that you were able to utilize. If nothing, you have the ability to tell a story and teach others what not to do.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
@AcousticAl knows a thing or two! ;)

Some Of Our Top Crafty Picks Include:
  • Veggie Chips
  • Variety Bags Of Chips, Healthy (Sweet potato/mix)
  • Pita chips
  • 1 x bag of popcorn
  • 2 x boxes of Kind Bars (Healthy sort!)
  • 2 box cliff bars
  • 1 x box of Kashi Granola
  • Assorted chocolates
  • Veggie Platter
  • Seaweed
  • Fruit Platter
  • Hummus
  • Small Box Each
    • Coke
    • Diet Coke
    • Sprite
    • Gatorade
  • Variety Cases of La Croix
  • Large Cases of Water
  • Unsalted Mixed Nuts
  • 1 Bag Of Trail Mix
  • Clementines
  • Red Apples
  • Dried Fruit
  • Welch’s Fruit Snacks (No Substitutes!)
  • Beef Jerky
  • Bananas
  • Emergen-C
  • Small bag Pretzels
  • Dried Edamame
  • Uncrustables
  • Bagels & Cream Cheese
  • Aussie Bites
  • Madelines
  • Gum
  • Mints
 
I looked at her FB page where she had a post about the IATSE negotiations and potential strike, with a comment about how important it is to guarantee safe and healthy work environments on set.
I saw a program recently on psychology and the physiology of the brain. Apparently, we get almost the same reward in our brain (think dopamine) from planning to do something as we do from actually doing it. So planning to quit smoking satisfies the brain of a smoker almost as much as completing the task. The smoker can check quitting off their list of to-dos, just by saying they are going to quit soon -- in their minds.

I see this in so many ways in our culture these days. Talking is sooooo much easier than doing. Yet, clearly it feels to the talkers like they are doing something.

Film is no exception. Filmmaking is hard hard work. From rewriting and rewriting a script to raising the money. to long days of shooting. There are some that understand this and figure out ways to be gracious and take care of each other under difficult conditions. It's one of the most meaningful parts of filmmaking to me, the family that gets formed on sets; most sets. Then, there are some that just like to talk about it. They are not self-aware enough to know that even if the dopamine hit is the same, talking is not the same as doing. Doing is often hard.
 
Last edited:
@AcousticAl knows a thing or two! ;)

I’ve been around, and I’ve experienced great, terrible, and everything in between.

For others reading this thread, here’s the thing about Crafty and catering that explains it all:

This isn’t about entitlement or just having something to munch on. We work long days, often most of which are spent up and on our feet [insert joke about sound mixers always sitting...]. Meals need to be planned carefully not just to fill people up for a moment (read: lots of empty carbs), but to fill and to last and to nourish. But we work those meals off, even the best menus, quickly on set. Crafty has to be able to fill in that gap. We’re moving around, many of us carrying gear*, and we burn through our calories. Crafty is about providing continued energy so we can keep moving. This is why it can’t be just sugar, salt, caffeine and carbs. It needs also to provide complete protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and hydration.

I’ll admit, I drink a lot of coffee on set, but I also drink a lot of water. I try to avoid soft drinks. For meals, I’ll have sweet tea or an Arnold Palmer, but my day is mostly coffee and water.

*Why do sound mixers always check “one, two, one two”?
Because on three, you have to lift.
 
Last edited:
@AcousticAl knows a thing or two! ;)

Some Of Our Top Crafty Picks Include:
  • Veggie Chips
  • Variety Bags Of Chips, Healthy (Sweet potato/mix)
  • Pita chips
  • 1 x bag of popcorn
  • 2 x boxes of Kind Bars (Healthy sort!)
  • 2 box cliff bars
  • 1 x box of Kashi Granola
  • Assorted chocolates
  • Veggie Platter
  • Seaweed
  • Fruit Platter
  • Hummus
  • Small Box Each
    • Coke
    • Diet Coke
    • Sprite
    • Gatorade
  • Variety Cases of La Croix
  • Large Cases of Water
  • Unsalted Mixed Nuts
  • 1 Bag Of Trail Mix
  • Clementines
  • Red Apples
  • Dried Fruit
  • Welch’s Fruit Snacks (No Substitutes!)
  • Beef Jerky
  • Bananas
  • Emergen-C
  • Small bag Pretzels
  • Dried Edamame
  • Uncrustables
  • Bagels & Cream Cheese
  • Aussie Bites
  • Madelines
  • Gum
  • Mints
Man, I looked everywhere for those damn Aussie Bites. Could never find them.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
Crew need to be fed regularly and right. Craft services for coffee, water, energy. Meals at proper intervals. But divas calling name brands need to take a step back!
I was just funnin' by the way. I'm the type of person that would actually go out and get the name brands.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
Man, I looked everywhere for those damn Aussie Bites. Could never find them.
Wow those look great! I'd be stacking those on my coffee lid so I could grab my bagel w/cream cheese and I'd be set for a bit!
 
Top