February 8, 2016 at 11:54AM


Nutrition for film makers.

So I've been thinking about this for a few months now and doing some research and I've not found much, however I thought about asking you guys, with the hope of getting replies;

Whilst on set, are you guys concerned with your nutrition, what you're going to put into your body on the break which will eventually come, or do you fall into the category of "What ever they provide I will eat when it's given to me if the work is done"?

I'm not one for screaming in a pre-pubescent broken voice through my steamed glasses "HEY IT'S 3 O CLOCK WE'RE 30 SECONDS LATE FOR OUR BREAK" By any means, I, like everyone here, have worked through breaks or only taken 5 minutes in a 12 hour day, the only thing I've ever been extremely hot on is really drinking enough fluids, until recently.

Understanding what I'm eating, what's inside it and how to keep my concentration at 110% percent for hours on end without needing a break because I've eaten and drunk properly.

For example now, I will always have 1 pint of water for breakfast, 3 bits of toast with dairy free butter on top and peanut butter, a banana, orange and maybe an apple, and then also a smoothie with 2 bananas in, some kale, raspberries and blueberries.
This sets you on a great start ensuring you're fueled for a long, LONG time.

I get the feeling a lot of people ignore what their body needs (despite how they feel) and will ignore simple nutrition 9 times out of 10 because either they don't feel like they need it or it gets in the way of the film when in reality, setting yourself up properly and bringing food to set or ensuring you simply drink enough water can in-fact change how much you can do in a day and how you work.

Of course this all being said, this doesn't ever get in the way of the film I am working on, I simply just prepare before hand, put in my requests for dietary needs and ensure I'm set up for the day ahead. I'll eat when the break is given to me and I will always have a drink (In a bottle that has been checked more times than I've changed my underwear that it doesn't leak) to hand.

I'm just interested in what other film makers think of their nutrition and bodies whilst on set, if you guys are at all bothered by what you consume and how it impacts your body, or wether this is something you plan into your film to ensure you're properly fueled.

Just don't forget;

Without proper fuel you cannot perform 110%!


First off, this is really great topic for a discussion.

I do the same thing and load up with 'good' food in the morning. I also keep a bag of trail mix and a couple of protein bars so I can take a bite here and there.

Even then, solid breaks are a must. There are always times when stopping isn't really an option, but trying to power through just for the sake of saving a few minutes is risky. Exhausted, dehydrated people with low blood sugar make too many mistakes.

I tend to be pretty adamant about the one to get the food. Much of my work is at conventions, where people end up standing in line for 30 minutes to grab tiny, awful sandwiches. Instead, I take personal orders from each person and order takeout from a nearby restaurant. It ends up being about the same cost and time, and everyone is so much happier.

February 8, 2016 at 8:54PM, Edited February 8, 8:54PM


Absolutely man. I've been researching this and I've really not found anything online. It's quite saddening that many people just ignore this.

What kind of foods do you eat to keep you going?

David Dearlove

February 9, 2016 at 7:06AM

Where did you look?
I think there is a ton of info around about healthy food with lots of energy.
It must be there between the vegan, superfoods, fitness diets and healthy recipies.

I have to pay attention to what I eat, since my digestion does not tolerate everything. So I always bring food for myself: that could be simply bread with cheese, bananas, apples. Too often people resort to fast take away if it is getting late... Most fastfood is a bad idea for me (too greasy or too spicy), although fresh made pizza is no problem at all :-)

I love to eat bananas: they give me power.
If I need energy quickly I still resort to choclate. Not the healthiest solution, but best solution if you don't like coffee of pure glucose.

In the morning I like oatmeal with almondmilk plus nuts and fruits. Make sure to get your vitamins :-)
If you feel like you need more energy you can add protein powder to smoothies, yoghurt or oatmeal/muesli.

On set I always love a warm lunch with pasta. :-)

February 10, 2016 at 9:24AM

Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer

I meant specifically Film makers talking about their nutrition on set and their prep for it.

Information about nutrition is abundant!

Yeah man, Vegan i've found benefits me the most.
i take huge vitamin supplements too, I found the benefits of vitamins beyond what the RDA (in my respective country) through research.

EG. The RDA In England, can vary on what you read from 60MG to 500MG. I take a supplement that gives me 1,500 MG and eat two huge fruit bowls a day + vegitables.

Bananas are great sources of complex carbs and last a long time.

Interesting :)

So you'll always prepare food and take it with you?

Thanks for replying man!

David Dearlove

February 11, 2016 at 6:30AM

Great conversation to start, food on low budget sets are always killer.

During my time on a lot of low budget sets you see a lot of cheap pizza, cookies and croissants. These are all terrible for you and will suck out your energy. Funny how the directors who want to push you past 16 hours only have these available. Eating cookies to stay awake at 4am is never fun.

On my sets I am very conscious about what I feed the crew and their energy needs. I'm vegan now so everything I serve is healthy and vegan. Snacks would be cliff bars, banana chips, fruits and plenty of water. Nothing dairy and as little sugar as possible to prevent crashing.

For meals I like to do some type of tofu with rice and vegetables. If I have time I make it the night before, if not I order from an Asian place.

Even the meat eaters usually love it and they aren't sleepy after lunch because tofu and vegetables gives you energy.

For multiple day shoots I would make fresh vegan pizza, pasta, and other delicious meals that won't put my crew to sleep.

February 11, 2016 at 10:21AM


That's the way to go man, totally agree, since I've been vegan and more concious of my intake, my energy levels have sky rocketed.

Sure I still eat some vegan junk food (Oreos etc) but they're at a minimum.

Great food choices you've got there really!

Yeah, I've had so many problems with that in the past, Just packet croissants, cookies and cans of coke or lots of coffee. Nothing that'll last long in your body and naturally release.
Only food that sends your sugar and insulin levels up 5 minutes after eating then crashing down 20 minutes later.

The more conscious we are about what we put in the better results we'll get out! Much like film making itself ;)

David Dearlove

February 13, 2016 at 9:39AM

Thank you all for replying! Have given me food for thought (excuse the pun)

Hoping other people reply too, very interested in the diet choices you all make for films (if any)

February 15, 2016 at 5:04AM


I guess I'm nearly the opposite of NinjaMonkey, above-- I understand completely the vegan diet, and would be happy to eat the food he provided, I'm always impressed when producers think about food more than just 'lets order pizza' or other processed junk food. I've adjusted to eating only unprocessed veggies and meats as much as possible. To be at my best I've learned i need protein, lots of it. some might call my diet "Paleo". Everyone's body is different, and how should a producer plan for high protein and vegan diets? I don't know, but unless they give a per diem, i think the producer should be thinking about how to feed their crew well, not just survive until they get home and can cook a real meal. For more dietary info, I'd suggest you listen to Joe Rogan's podcast with Chris Kresser, and do your own research.

October 21, 2016 at 12:44AM

Jeremy Kleider

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