Many independent productions have slim budgets. This effects the kind of food that is provided for cast and crew members. Pizza, donuts, soda and chips are among the most popular foods distributed during independent film productions. These items are chosen because they are both inexpensive and convenient. However, with the right planning, filmmakers can offer catering for their cast and crew. Everyone on the independent film set can enjoy delicious fare the same as those on Hollywood movie productions.
Survey the Cast and Crew
Before embarking on a catered production, filmmakers should meet with cast and crew members. Important information about allergies and desired foods should be discussed during this meeting. It may be easier to make a list of choices for food and snacks beforehand. With this approach, the cast and crew can select their most desired option from the list. This will help you to decide on the proper ingredients and other items to purchase.
Someone in the Kitchen
Independent filmmakers can utilize the cooking skills of people that they know to set up a catered production. Parents, relatives or friends can prepare food for the cast and crew. Home-cooked food is a good alternative to Dominos pizza. Having a well fed cast and crew can enhance their performance while on set. Filmmakers can have additional benefits from the catering of parents and relatives. It can keep them busy if their homes are being used as locations for the movie.
Thay way, filmmakers will not have to worry about people walking through a shot on the way to the bathroom, or talking on the phone. Independent filmmakers can encounter many problems while shooting at the home of a friend or relative. These problems can include interrupted scenes and audio interference. There is a lower possibility of other causing re-takes if they are already occupied with cooking.
One of the best ways to get Hollywood-style catering for an independent production is hiring a culinary student. There are many culinary schools around the country that train people to become star chefs for high-end restaurants and catering companies. A culinary student can prepare tasty dishes for the cast and crew. Filmmakers can consult with a culinary student, using their cast and crew food survey to determine what the options are. Culinary students may surprise an independent filmmaker with a wonderful full course meal and great desserts.
Professional caterers can cost hundreds of dollars. By selecting a culinary student for production catering, filmmakers can get high quality food at a lower cost. If various ingredients are purchased, multiple meals can be made over the entire production schedule. This is especially effective on short film productions. Those particular films usually last for only a few days.
Cash or no Cash
The caterer can be given a small stipend or a thank you gift in addition to the credits. If there is enough money in the budget, it is best to give a small stipend to a culinary student for his or her services. The stipend can be $50-$100 or more at the filmmaker’s discretion. If the film budget is tight, gifts such as a favorite movie on DVD, or cooking utensils will be sufficient. Filmmakers should also place a credit for the caterer in the film.
The on-screen credit will be a great resume builder and cheap advertising for culinary students. They can benefit greatly from the exposure. Family members and friends may provide catering services free of charge. Another way to compensate the caterer is through a special role in the film. Relatives and friends can be placed in small roles, as a thank-you for their catering assistance.
Put on a show
If there is room, get a production assistant to videotape the caterer as they prepare food. This can be used as a marketing video for both the caterer and the filmmaker. The internet has become a great place for filmmakers to promote their films. A behind-the-scenes video podcast can be developed to generate interest in the film. The caterer can talk about how to create special recipes for film productions. Culinary students can generate interest from potential employers using the behind-the-scenes videos from the film production.