Do you always feed your crew? at

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Old November 22nd, 2010, 10:22 AM   #1
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Do you always feed your crew?

In my corner of the world, it's customary to feed the crew (above and below the line) and clients on any type of shoot lasting more than a few hours. (I always offer a meal to the crew even after short shoots) I was wondering how prevalent that is. Do you always provide lunch (even if "lunch" is 2 a.m.) or have food and snacks available if you're shooting French hours?

Dave Burckhard
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 10:36 AM   #2
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Always good practise to feed the crew, even at 2 am, nothing moves unless there's fuel in the tank. How you do it can be vary, but nothing lingers in a crew's mind more than a fouled up meal break.
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 05:40 AM   #3
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Just remove the first two words and the question mark at the end and you have a golden rule.

that goes for talent as well, if you've got a budget make sure food is part of that and if you haven't got a budget - supply it anyway.

it doesn't have to be a catering truck, a few roast chickens, coleslaw and plenty of bread rolls will do in a pinch but make sure your crew & cast are fed & watered.

hungry = grumpy & distracted for me
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 11:44 AM   #4
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I try to do that whenever possible.

I occasionally used to work with someone who didn't even take a lunch break. I found that rather rude. Even though he didn't take breaks he should at least have some consideration for others who do.

He directed a project that was produced by someone else. That producer made it a point of setting up a proper table with snacks, coffee, water, and other drinks. And she also made certain that there was a solid lunch break.
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 02:23 PM   #5
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Any smart producer will skip profit - will skip entry fees to awards possibilities - will skip personal grooming products, personal protection from the elements and even personal access to a rest room BEFORE they skip feeding the people who they're asking to bust their asses on their project.


Because the people you WANT on your crews in the future WILL work for nothing if they believe in you - but will lose every ounce of loyalty you build up if they come to believe for one second that YOU are working for yourself rather than building the best future you can for the whole team.

In fact, here's a nice mantra all indy producers should be required to learn before they start their projects:

$100 in real money used to feed a crew has more real value than all the promises made on all the sets in all of history.

End of story.
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Old November 25th, 2010, 11:22 AM   #6
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I try to. Typically I go for the easy to make lots of quantity stuff - spaghetti, sandwiches, etc. I've been fortunate enough on the past few shorts to have several folks bring a few things on their own and then by time to eat there's quite a smorgasbord available to choose from
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Old November 28th, 2010, 05:44 PM   #7
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meal breaks are a part of my working conditions.

if i am not supplied food i will turn off the lights and take a 1 hour break to go get some.

industry standard is... from call time work 5 hours ...45 min lunch... work 5 hours...wrap
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Old November 29th, 2010, 07:46 PM   #8
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Industry standard in US (as far as the trade unions are concerned) is 6 hours to first meal, then 6 hours to subsequent meal. Catered meals are half an hour, and the clock starts when the last crew member is through the line (i.e. has their food).

While there are monetary penalties associated with infringing into a meal period in the union world, even without those penalties I think it's more than appropriate to at least observe the time schedule on non-union shoots.
Charles Papert
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Old November 29th, 2010, 08:04 PM   #9
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Bologna Sandwiches

Reminds me when I was a kid. My dad was an independent producer, shooting films on an extremely tight budget in the '60's. On shooting days, mom and dad would be up at six in the morning putting together brown bags for the cast and crew. I remember the Bologna that he fed the crew. I HATED BOLOGNA!!!

So, I settled for the Peanut Butter and Jelly ones instead! I was about 8-16 when he shot most of his films.

(We laugh at to this day about how tight my Dad was on the job. But as a child of the depression, a father of a lot of kids, and an independent producer, writer, director, etc, we marvel now about how he did it and kept us all eating...)
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