Monday, 14 November 2011

20 Let´s Eat!

Ask producers what they think is the most important part of a film project and they might say, “Financing.”  But ask crew members the same question and he/she will shout out loud, “The catering!”  I don´t know what it is about a film set or being on location but you´re hungry all the time.

Maggy's army marches on it's stomach - image by leonardobc/
Some companies have unlimited budgets and the catering is five star, first class.  I was invited to watch an Anne Bancroft shoot on location on the outskirts of Mexico City.  All the food was brought in refrigerated trailers from Los Angeles. They circled the set like covered wagons waiting for an Indian attack. The cooks prepared a hot meal (steak, baked potatoes, vegetables) for at least a hundred people.  In between there were snacks and desserts. Coffee, tea and soft drinks were on tap all the time. But to watch poor Mexican peasants waiting on the outside of the circle for leftover scraps made you loose your appetite.

Our crew usually eats on the run wherever when we´re shooting.  But we make up for it at night. We never stint and always (unless we´re dead beat) have a good time. Once we did an informal survey. Eki and Antti loved the breakfasts at the Double Tree hotel in Santa Monica. A chef was on-hand to cook eggs anyway you wanted. And there was an abundance of anything else you might want to start the day. The guys loaded up so if we had to skip lunch they were fortified.

We all liked Milan for the great food and service. About 6 o´clock, after a hard day we´d go to an outdoor restaurant and have aperitivos. They always served bunches of delicious salty snacks so that you would drink more prosecco. We happily fell right into the trap.

One time in Los Angeles when we were filming at the Walt Disney concert hall, the union guy who was our guide, took us to a barbecue joint that only a native would know about. They cooked the spareribs outside that were authentic and delicious. But I think our all-time favorite place to eat is the TrashCan café hidden away behind a non-descript building near SpaceWhale, Eki´s studio (we´ve written about it before). Anne-Marie is there everyday cooking fabulous food.  I always love it when we work on Friday. It´s meatball & mash potatoes with lingonberry sauce day.

Lesson 24 Great catering makes for a happy hard-working crew

Mext week: 20 Film Festival Folderol

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