Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Old Stuff: Feed Your Crew

For me, this tip is a no-brainer. But I've recently run into so many second-time, third-time and even more-time filmmakers who still don't get it that I am compelled to make this my tip of the month. Feed your crew!! Of course I mean don't just feed them. Feed them well!! When making a low-budget film, there are a zillion budgetary concerns that necessitate the establishing of priorities to govern the way limited funds will be spent. Always put good, bountiful food at the top of those priorities. If you want a smooth, efficient shoot brimming with creative energy, you have to provide high-grade fuel for it. The way to the crew's collective heart is definitely through their collective stomachs.

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Often meals are the only "payment" filmmakers can provide for cast and crew. Show them you value their worth and time. No matter when you begin your shooting day (or night), always begin by offering a nice starter spread (if not a full meal) that respects common meal preferences/restrictions. Then leave the crew, throughout the day, a truly nutritious and delicious craft service table that is not just stocked with junk food and sugar rush garbage. Fruits and vegetables should always be available, of course, but also nuts and grains. Vitamins are not bad to have there, either. It's great to have "treats", but try to make sure they have some nutritional value. Get creative and/or ethnic with hummus, kim chee , or some other kind of interesting, but inexpensive, appetizer. Keep sugar to a minimum as it has short term benefits that turn into long term problems.

Highlight the day with a solid, even gourmet, if possible, central meal that also respects meal preferences/restrictions and always offers vegetables and/or salads. Then, if shooting a long day, be sure to include a second meal that doesn't always have to be pizza or Subway sandwiches. Yes, you will go there for convenience and cost, but not all the time. Mix it up, always making second meal nutritious and delicious.

Unless you are making a film with family/friends who are filled with endless forgiveness for your various inconsiderations, you MUST budget for food even if that is the only line item you can afford. Keep in mind that the food you provide is the message you are sending to your crew about what you feel about them, and consequently, what you feel about your own film. Send the right message. Trust me, you will see the benefit in your crew's energy, attitude and quality of work. It will be worth every penny.

1 comment:

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