Back to food (I must be hungry…): you can save money by when and where you pick up the daily food. Grocery stores might be willing to donate “yesterday’s” food, or at least you can pick these up at a savings. Make sure you shop there when you purchase your water, chips, bagels, etc. – and give a credit in the film. The store may be willing to be a sponsor of the film for a larger credit, and they will donate the necessary foods for the day. It can’t hurt to ask the manager (or owner, if they can be tracked down), and you might consider a smaller, independent grocer over the larger chains. Restaurants may be willing to chip in for a meal or two, and the necessary sponsor credit, of course. Again, it can’t hurt to ask.
Bagel shops and bakeries are great sources of donated foods, too, and they might appreciate a credit in the film. We had a bag of bagels donated for one film, and we had a chicken supplier donate the lunches (well, at least the main course – chicken!) Add a couple of bags of chips and some homemade cookies, and viola: we had a nice lunch.
During my first feature “Walther,” we were able to enlist the culinary delights of the local church’s women organization. Several of the ladies make large dishes and donated them for our lunches and dinners. Dual benefit of great home cooking, and the ladies usually are vying for bragging rights, so they whip up their most popular and delicious dishes – what a yummy competition. They even did the clean up. It was great and much appreciated. Make sure you get everyone’s names because you want to be sure each and every one of these cooks makes it into the credits. Many people who are great cooks can’t help in other filmmaking duties, but still like to be a part of a film project, and this is a great way to let them participate.
Any ways any of you have found to save money on the culinary needs of a film project? Please share your ideas – while I go get something to eat…

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