Happy Tuesday everyone! How are you doing? Surprisingly so I’m typing this at work on Monday just like I use to do all the time when I started this blog a little over a year and half ago. I really should do this every time I work during post days so I’m not rushing home to write the up every night but I say I’m going to do a lot of things that I never do. The big difference though is that I use to type these out on my phone when I started but have since bought a laptop. Yeah you read that right, when I started typing this blog I was only using my phone. It was a gigantic pain in the ass but it got the job done. I find that most people really don’t use their phone to the full extent of their power. I use my phone to edit and color pictures and video. I use it to write scripts or well…I use to. This one has shifted to the laptop now. I use it to make stop motion animation. I use it as a camera…and this is starting to sound like a phone ad so enough shit about phones and my past let’s get into this shall we?
Lunch is usually my favorite time at work because it means that we get to do nothing for 30 minutes to an hour. Plus we get to eat. I’m a real big fan of doing nothing and food. I know most people say it makes them crazy not to do anything for too long but I’ve worked my entire life at doing nothing and have become a master at keeping myself entertained. I don’t get bored doing nothing. Eventually I would want to do something don’t get me wrong however that something will never be work. There are endless activities to do other than work is what I’m getting at. I mean when I think about it, lunch may be most people’s favorite time at work. I guess unless you’re like a food taster or something like that in which case lunch may be a nightmare. Although I will say that I will happily hand over my lunch time any day if it means we can go home 30 to 60 minutes earlier when we’re done.
Lunch on a film crew is different from the lunch I was accustomed to before I started working in this business. In the normal world (What I refer to as the rest of the world when I’m at work) when it was time to take my lunch it was usually a half hour and I had to either buy or bring my own meal. On most film crews they usually have a caterer for lunch. Now this is not the case on every show and most the time they only bring in the caterer if we are on location. Typically if the show is filming on their destined stage or studio they will instead do what they call a one hour walk away. Which means that everyone has an hour to go out and get lunch somewhere. If the company has a caterer they usually just break everyone for 30 minutes but it really ends up being like 45 minutes. Commercials, Music Videos and everything else I’ve worked on usually has a caterer or bring in some type of meal every 6 hours. In this business for those of you in the normal world if they do not break you for an hour or bring in food and break you for 30 minutes every 6 hours they have to pay whats called a meal penalty. Yes, you heard that right. If they don’t break you they need to pay you a fee. Isn’t that pretty awesome? It’s one of the small perks.
I was a head cook at a catering business for 5 years so caterers don’t excite me as much as they do most people. This in combination with the 10 or so years that I’ve been eating catering on set doesn’t really make me the biggest fan. There’s rarely any new surprises. After a certain time you’ve had all the meals and they’re just…ok. However I do feel that ALL film crews should offer lunch to their crews. I’m not a fan of this one hour walk away deal because more often than not this is an option that is taken by big studio shows that clearly have money. They could easily put up the $5-$10 a plate per day for all their crew but sadly the cheap in people who make lots and lots of money is very strong. I’m not a producer nor have I ever been but I have my suspicions that when cuts need to be made for the budget the first place they look is at food cost. I’ve been on shows where they don’t have soda. I’ve been on shows where they only ice the coolers once a day. I’ve been on shows where they bought 20 subway sandwiches for 60 people. I know the soda one is a terrible example because soda will ruin your life. Trust me I’ve been trying to kick the habit for years but why must the food always be the first to get money cut…or is it another department that gets it first? Again I’m speaking from a below the line perspective but I do believe that the saying “A Fed crew is a happy crew” to be true. Food makes people happy. You know it, I know it, we all know it so let’s not be stingy on the food anymore everyone…I have no idea who I’m talking to that just sounded like a good closing and I went with it. HA!
Thanks for stopping by and checking out another post here at We’re Not Rolling. Sadly our Wednesdays at The Corner weekly post is no more. I’m working on something to replace the spot and hopefully will have something for you soon. I hope you all have a great week and make sure to stop by for the Friday Post before the Weekend. Be good to one another.