Usually, lunch is an official break for the entire cast and crew, called six (or so) hours from call, but sometimes, a production will decide not to call official lunch. Usually this happens on a day when there’s a lot of work to do that requires either daylight or dark and sitting down to break would hamper the schedule.
When this happens, the caterer stays open for a set period of time and people break off as they can and grab some food. For some reason, this has come to be called French hours, although I’m fairly certain French productions do, in fact, take lunch breaks.
Yesterday, we had an enormous set-up which required daylight, so the important people made the decision to call French hours.
French hours are fine with me. Although it’s a bit draining to not get that down time in the middle of the day, we do make money on the penalties we’re paid to give up the break.
Yesterday, the caterer was open for a three-hour period, which happened to coincide with us running around trying to get set up for the shot where we see the entire world.
So, we missed the caterer window and production agreed to go out and buy us some food.
The PA who came to our truck with a pad and pen to take orders told us we’d be getting food from a nearby faux-Mexican place.
“I can’t eat anything from there”, I said. “I have to go up in a condor later and let’s just say that eating a giant burrito will have some consequences for me”
“Well,” said the PA “how about Tender Greens? They’re right next door”.
That was just excellent.
So, my co-workers had questionable burritos and I got a nice tasty sandwich and a salad. Win!