Let’s talk about craft services. During these daze of shrinking budgets you’re going to end up having to do a lot of craft service on your own. The times when you could tack it on to your catering budget is pretty much a memory. But it’s important to treat it with theimportance it deserves. Food and how you present it to your crewtelegraphs how you regard them. So, make sure you have SMALL bowls.That’s right. Serve your craft service up in small bowls. Becausethen you create the illusion of bounty. You can make your table looklike Caligula’s banquet if everything is over flowing or you can makeit look like a feed trough if you throw it in a bowl that’s bigger thanwhat it holds.
NOTHING helps a difficult job go a little better than serving your crew really good food. And believe it or not it ups your standing as a producer. You wanna be remembered as amateur schmuck? You want it to get around that you were in above your head? You want the world toknow that you didn’t know what you were doing? Easy enough. Justserve your crew pizza for lunch. Nothing says I don’t give a rat’sbutt about your team faster than serving all frat boy breakfast. Butif you want your rep to glow after a suck ball job than serve yourfolks really good food. Show ‘em that ya care.
Case and point. We were doing motion control on a converted hanger on an old navy base. We were in the middle of heat wave in the middle of a cement desert. The shoot was boring (program, program, program, shoot, repeat.) and we were all sweating like dogs. The best thingabout this job was that it was short. You know you’re in trouble whenthe best thing about your shoot is that it’s almost over. And well…Idon’t like having bad shoots. That’s not how I roll and not at all howI wanna go out. SO…I found out that there was this top shelf Italianrestaurant right off base. And I pulled a P.A. and said “Look, I’mabout to make you a god among men. Your only job on this shoot is tomake sure that lunch comes from this restaurant and ROCKS.”
So I gave him a wad of cash and when he was ready he unveiled lunch. He walked us out to the middle of the dead tarmac and there it was; this oasis of civility. Three buffet tables set end to end, covered in white table cloths, real silver ware and plates, and theBEST pasta on the planet. Hell, there were even flowers on the tables.The folks that were there that day (and the day after and the dayafter that, because we ate that way every day) don’t remember it as thecrappy shoot in the middle of the heat wave. They remember it as thattime they had those incredible meals. They can’t tell you what thejob was but they can tell you about the tortellini they had. They cantell you about the time that they all sat around under a tent and thewarm camaraderie that was fueled by ice cold white wine.
As the producer you decide and determine what the vibe is that you want for your shoot. If you’re panic stricken and haggard, guess how well that shoot is gonna turn out? You’re in charge. Shoots are like parties and you’re the host. We’ve all been to those shindigs wherethe host is a frantic mess and spends the entire time running aroundmaking sure everything is where it needs to be while ignoring her/hisguests. Fail. You’re the producer, it’s your shoot. Every day is awedding. Treat is as such.