Catering and Events and Working on the Set of NCIS LA

I thought I would steer away a bit from the usual articles and discuss my experience as a party event planner working on the set of NCIS LA.  Believe it or not, but many of the concepts of catering and events apply to the TV production world as well.

NCIS LA is in their second season and already they are back in production.  Like catering and events there are strict call times, various locations and of course lots of great food.  The closest counterpart to a party event planner on the set is the 1st AD.  The 1st AD is the person who keeps the production on schedule while filming, sets the itinerary and tells the crew what shot to set up next.  It is important for budget reasons that they continually keep a strict timetable so that little if any overtime (and hence increase of costs) occur.

Similar to other special events, the catering on the set of NCIS LA is great and we are well fed all day.  As with other catering and events I have been involved with, the food served on the set caters to all tastes.   There is a great breakfast buffet that encompasses all diets, vegetarian, gluten-free and then a mid-morning meal as well.   Breakfasts are hot with various egg dishes, pancakes, oatmeal, fresh fruit, cereal, pastries, breakfast potatoes, etc. and then the afternoon meal maybe Thai, Mexican or Continental.  Of course, there is a candy station (deadly), fresh vegetables and fruit, nuts, chips, the list is endless.  All I can say is, there is food available all day and I must say, to stay away from all the delicious temptations is a real discipline.

Being a party event planner on a major Hollywood sound stage is also a lot of fun.  For once, I am not the one organizing!  I get to relax a bit in that arena but it is still work.  The average work day is 13 hours with an hour taken out for lunch.  At the lunch break, I usually go to the commissary for more food and recently saw Jane Lynch (the cheerleading coach from Glee). 

My job on the set is to play background or as some may say an extra.  I have been a member of SAG for 17 years so at least I am putting my membership to work.  Basically, we walk behind the main actors in the scene to make the office appear as a real working environment.  In fact, I am in a couple of scenes and hope to make the final cut!  You’ll just have to tune in when the season starts to find out. 

Well, as they say in Hollywood, that’s a wrap.  I hope you enjoyed getting a party event planner perspective on the set of NCIS LA.  Like catering and events, the days are long but it is a fun group of people to work with and you don’t leave hungry!  Until next time remember the Budget Bash mantra:  make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun & economical to all!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.