As the non-cooking Tasting Bud, I put myself in a precarious situation when I inadvertently volunteered to supervise the craft services department for a feature film production. We filmed for 21 days over the course of the hottest month of summer 2010, and each of those days, I fed and watered anywhere between 50 and 125 cast, crew, and extras. Costco, both Austin locations, became my best friends, and I spent more than the GDP of a small country on ice and water. Did I mention it was hot?
Over the course of the shoot, I learned what not to do when making, storing, and reheating homemade mac and cheese to feed 75. I also learned you can’t go wrong with providing a constant supply of chewy granola bars, fruit snacks, and anything resembling candy to a hardworking cast and crew. Final lesson: anything but breakfast tacos at 4am is an exceedingly bad idea.
The craft services official transport was my Mini Cooper, aka the Catering Van. After we wrapped each day, one of my fantastic PAs and I would play Tetris: organizing boxes of snacks, utensils, condiments, a giant coffee urn, 5-gallon water jugs, hand sanitizer, bug spray, and whatever random items were left by crafty at the end of the day.
I still have a box in my garage containing the following: retainer, box cutter, half pack menthol cigarettes, sunblock, baseball cap, corkscrew, bike tire pump, and gym shorts.*
At the end of the shoot, I left the film set with some pretty great memories, equally great friends, and the desire to never, ever again try to feed that many people. Ever.
Check out our film, AUSTIN HIGH, this weekend at Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar:
And cure your holiday hangover with a second hit on Dec. 27 at Alamo Drafthouse Ritz:
* AUSTIN HIGH crew: if any of this sounds familiar, call me!