Feeding the Multitudes 1

Posted: August 24, 2012 in Film Journey
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

ImageGolden Rule Number One: Never never never scrimp on food for the cast and crew.  Never.  Not once.  Not twice.  Never.  If you think you can get by with it one time, and it may seem like you did, you are wrong.  It will turn around and bite you back at some point in time.  Maybe in a bad performance (an actor wouldn’t do that, would they?), or at least with not getting the great actors to return and ever work with you again, and at the far extreme is sabotage.  It will bite you back.  Never scrimp on food for the cast and crew.

But how do you zero budget feature filmmaking if you have to feed the multitudes?  Well, there are things we can do to save plenty of cash, and yes, zero budget, but for now, just know that if you have to pay for something in the making of your film, food is it. (Second on the list is gas money.  Gas money is always appreciated, but many of us realize that this is a perk and not something to expect very often.  But food?  Yes, we all expect to be fed if working through a breakfast, lunch or dinner.) Remember to get receipts for everything you do pay for – these are all tax deductible – and can add up to some savings come April.

So what are some things to help keep the costs down of feeding cast and crew?  The first thing is to keep the number of how many are in the cast and crew to a minimum.  This always helps in the budgeting department (and the paper work, too).  Almost anyone can afford to feed one actor on a continuing basis (think of it as a sponsorship 🙂 ); two or three is not too bad, but when you get up to a dozen or more, plus the crew, it can rack up the dollars quickly.  Take a look at your script and see if you can combine roles. (Besides, the actors that get these roles love all the extra pages, too.)

Here’s the math for instance: one actor and one crew member for a 15 day shoot, plus you the director/producer with a breakfast for three ($20), and lunch for three ($30) is $50 a day.  Total $750.  One the other hand, a cast of six and 2 crew members (plus you) for a 15 day shoot will be breakfast at $60, and lunch at $90. $150 a day times 15 equals $2250.  Big difference.

What are some stories you can share that really helped save the food budget dollars?  Any tips you can share?  Look for more tips here next time.

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