Friday, September 21, 2012

Adventures in film making: Lots Caste

For those of you unaware, I am a huge supporter of the Not 1 Zombie film project, being organized and directed by my friends Haley and Kyle. I've advertized for them, boosted the signal on their production blog ( which can be found here ) and I've even helped them by filming my own short video clip to build on the universe ( which can be found here ). Last weekend I took another big step forward, not just in helping them out but also pushing forward with the job goals I'm hoping to achieve. For the Lots Caste film, I got to do catering for the cast and crew.

For everyone involved, this was a big step-up in film production. For the N1Z crew, this was the first time having a whole crew to take care of every issue. Haley directed, Kyle was cam-ops, Bailey was the clapper, Gogas was audio and photography, Andrew was PA, Andrew Valentine was make-up, Les was script editor, Eric (on top of acting) will be editing the footage and I was catering. With four actors involved as well, this was the largest shoot to date for the N1Z team. Of course large shoots come with its own set of challenges and rewards.

The biggest challenge of the day was getting the timing done right. Two things needed to happen in order to make this shoot a success, we needed to get the outside shots done with mid morning light and we needed to shoot around one actresses time constraints. The outside shot was a simple enough fix, the timing had to be precise and the acting spot on for the hour and a half time they had available to them for the shoot. Eric was spot on great, and this challenge sailed with ease. The issue with the actress took a bit more work, but Haley and Kyle were able to pull it off spectacularly. They shot out of order, taking care of all her close-ups and lines of dialog while others were arriving/getting prepped, and even did the final scene first to ensure that film continuity could be maintained. It was a nearly 4 hour process that ate a lot of time, but hey sometimes that's film work!

I was in charge of catering, and managing the food for the shoot. I had a lot of fun with it, because as you may have guessed I enjoy cooking, but also for the unique challenge it put for me. I had to organize 2 meals for a decent sized cast, the food had to meet the dietary restrictions/appetites of the cast and crew, had to be affordable enough to fit on the budget AND had to be simple enough to eat that people could grab and go while the shoot went on. Lunch in itself was pretty simple I feel, sandwiches people could assemble as they wished to eat when they wished. In the photo above you can see the spread I laid out: on the left were ham sandwiches, on the right turkey sandwiches and on the tiny plate far right I did PB&J (for the vegetarians). Cheddar and provolone cheese was also provided, and condiments available were mayo and mustard. The snack garden behind provided light and sweet dessert items, and for my vegan on shoot a salad was prepared with a ginger dressing.

Dinner was a bit more complex, but still yummy! I prepared Pullum paroptum, a roasted chicken recipe from Apicus that I will also be cooking for the Michaelmas Moot fundraiser lunch (oh yeah, using catering to test prep a period chicken dish), ashed potatoes with rosemary and salad. The chicken came out great, a little cooking issues with the number but it worked out fine. I really loved the spice blend on this chicken, and the parsley had such a wonderful smell and taste on the flesh. I shredded it and made it into a sandwich for myself, a little smear of honey mustard really made the day with this and I'm excited to serve it next weekend.

This was a really great shoot, and I recommend heading over to the N1Z blog linked above for more information. I learned a lot about kitchen organization and timing when it came to feeding people (especially when I cannot control the schedule) and am appy and eager to elp them again on any future projects.