One of the most difficult things about shooting a movie on (virtually) no-budget, is feeding the cast and crew.
On no-budget shoots, as you can imagine, cast and crew are paid nothing, or next to nothing. They are working on the movie because of their love for a project, or for a chance to beef up their resume, or enhance their reel. Feeding them, and hopefully feeing them well, is one way to make up the difference. These people are working their butts off and should be fed accordingly.
However, it's not easy. This is, after all, a no-budget (by filmmaking standards) affair. And feeding even a small cast and crew quickly eats (!) into what little budget you have. In our case we were looking at a full month at our principal location in Normandy Park. That's breakfast and lunch (we wrapped before dinner most days) for between nine and fifteen or sixteen people every day for a month. That takes some planning.
Enter my lovely wife, Jennifer Coons Bell. She agreed to take on this huge task. That meant shopping -- there were many, many trips to Costco. It meant planning -- she planned meals for each day and worked really hard to offer variety. And before we started shooting we sent out an email asking actors about dietary needs/issues and what their favorite snacks were for when they needed a boost of energy. She then tried to provide those snacks as part of the "craft services" table.
Jennifer's work-flow then worked like this: arrive in the morning and set up breakfast stuff (coffee, bagels, juice, tea, cereal, etc.), prepare the day's lunch and have it set up by the time we finished the first half of our shoot day, and then repeat the next day.
It was a lot of hard work and, in fact, didn't work out that way for very long because on the second day of shooting we learned she was pregnant. Morning sickness and fatigue definitely took their toll on her (during one run to Fred Meyer she slept in the parking lot for an hour!), but on most mornings she was still able to come out and set up breakfast and prep lunch. After a while she started leaving for home after the prep work was done and Matt and I would actually set out the lunch she had prepped.
Jennifer took on a huge task and then got hit with the glorious pregnancy whammy (we're having twins!), but managed to get everyone fed -- no one starved to death on Reunion! She was, and is, amazing. For a married filmmaker a supportive spouse is the single greatest asset you can have, and I have the best.
Thank you, Jennifer!