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My wife had a question regarding food on set. While watching "The Andy Griffith Show", she wondered who prepares and cooks Aunt Bee's pot roast and potatoes that the Taylors and Darlings were eating (among many other meals)? I know studios have commissaries, so is it an extended kitchen of the commissary or special kitchens strictly for set consumption and decor that do it?

On a side comment...ever notice how much food was wasted on "All In The Family" because they kept jumping up from the table during arguments? 😂

 

Thanks!

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38 minutes ago, KidChaplin said:

My wife had a question regarding food on set. While watching "The Andy Griffith Show", she wondered who prepares and cooks Aunt Bee's pot roast and potatoes that the Taylors and Darlings were eating (among many other meals)? I know studios have commissaries, so is it an extended kitchen of the commissary or special kitchens strictly for set consumption and decor that do it?

On a side comment...ever notice how much food was wasted on "All In The Family" because they kept jumping up from the table during arguments? 😂

 

Thanks!

meathead made sure it was eaten. archie could always fall back on a bowl of cereal or even his favorite snack cake twinkies.

All in the Family' set bar for relevance in sitcoms - Entertainment - The  Columbus Dispatch - Columbus, OH

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Sorry, I have no idea about the originally posted question. But I DO know, modern movies & especially commercials use "fake" food because real food will wilt & spoil under the lights during long takes. Cakes melt, vegetables lose color, etc.  The "fake" food is always crafted to be extra shiny, colorful & 10% larger than life, at least in commercials.

I only know this because I knew an artist who did this for a special effects company in Toronto. He gave me an authentic TV commercial Ritz Cracker made of resin. Very cool. 

But 1960's B&W TV? May be real food, although Lucy's giant bread loaf was definitely Styrofoam or upholstery foam. 

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18 minutes ago, TikiSoo said:

Sorry, I have no idea about the originally posted question. But I DO know, modern movies & especially commercials use "fake" food because real food will wilt & spoil under the lights during long takes. Cakes melt, vegetables lose color, etc.  The "fake" food is always crafted to be extra shiny, colorful & 10% larger than life, at least in commercials.

I only know this because I knew an artist who did this for a special effects company in Toronto. He gave me an authentic TV commercial Ritz Cracker made of resin. Very cool. 

But 1960's B&W TV? May be real food, although Lucy's giant bread loaf was definitely Styrofoam or upholstery foam. 

When I was a young person, my sister and I worked at a  Der Wienerschnitzel restaurant. We had the largest dining room in the company with huge windows and pretty hedges outside, so they decided to film a TV commercial at our location. They actually used my sister, I, and a few others as far background extras working behind the counter, even though they didn't have customers in the commercial.

Everything they were filming was already laid out on the dining room  tables when we arrived. They filmed it all very quickly (three takes, I think) and then dispersed. While we were waiting for the cleanup crew to come in, we curiously wandered into the dining room to check out the "food". From behind me, I heard my sister say loudly "Yuck!" I turned around, and she was holding a hamburger in her hand and disgustedly said "It's made of plastic!"  😄

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I would imagine in most cases real food might be used.  Possibly not what's supposed to be on the plate, but something palatable so the actors can be seen putting food in their mouths and swallowing, so i wouldn't think it'd be some faux tidbits made from Styrofoam or plastic.  But one thing I've long noticed too....

I don't know if it's real coffee they pour into those cups, but it's always barely a full cup, and nobody ever drinks all of it anyway.  

On one TV show there's one thing that goes on that really annoys me.....

On "Two and A Half Men"  Alan Harper( Jon Cryer) is always fidgeting with his knife and fork no matter what's on the plate.  I've seen him do this with scrambled eggs, fried eggs and mashed potatoes.  I mean, WHO actually USES a knife and fork to eat those?  :o

Sepiatone

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9 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

I would imagine in most cases real food might be used.  Possibly not what's supposed to be on the plate, but something palatable so the actors can be seen putting food in their mouths and swallowing, so i wouldn't think it'd be some faux tidbits made from Styrofoam or plastic.  But one thing I've long noticed too....

I don't know if it's real coffee they pour into those cups, but it's always barely a full cup, and nobody ever drinks all of it anyway.  

On one TV show there's one thing that goes on that really annoys me.....

On "Two and A Half Men"  Alan Harper( Jon Cryer) is always fidgeting with his knife and fork no matter what's on the plate.  I've seen him do this with scrambled eggs, fried eggs and mashed potatoes.  I mean, WHO actually USES a knife and fork to eat those?  :o

Sepiatone

It's a very Alan Harper thing to do.

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TV shows and movies usually require multiple takes.  This causes several problems when the scene involves food. If the person actually eats, there are continuity issues with the size and shape of the food on the plate. Also, under the hot lights, cold food melts, that's why actors substitute mashed potatoes for ice cream.

 

The other problem, obviously, is eating real food again and again on each one of the takes.  Thats why actors feign eating, just fiddling with the food and pretending to chew.  This is not a problem for stage actors as they can actually eat as a play is in real time with no re-takes.  The late actor Michael J. Pollard came from the NY stage in 1967 to do the movie "Bonnie and Clyde".  One scene had him eating a hamburger which he actually ate through numerous takes. making him sick to his stomach!

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Thanks for all the replies. 

 

I did see a woman talk about commercial props and she brought up when you see a big juicy McDonald's Big Mac with the lettuce and tomato dripping with water and the meat is shiny. She said you can't eat it because it's all doctored with stuff to make it look like that.

As far as "All in the Family" goes, you'd think, in the pretend Bunker world, Edith had a fridge packed full of leftovers. 

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I learned recently during a Father Knows Best binge that the Anderson kitchen was fully functional. The cast and crew kept their lunches in the refrigerator and cooked on the stove. 

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18 hours ago, johnpressman said:

The other problem, obviously, is eating real food again and again on each one of the takes.

Ugh. In the mid 80's I was in a photo shoot lying in a pile of peanut M&Ms, there must have been 48 pounds of them. Of course the photographer said, "open your mouth and hold one near your lips" dontcha think I ate it? And the next and the next until I was sick. I've never eaten an M&M since.

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When I was extremely overweight, I used to eat way too much chocolate (until I'm sick).  Did you ever notice that on some of those food shows where they have to eat something like a giant ice cream sundae, they order a plate of salty fries to cut the sweetness.

I unfortunately don't have time to read all the previous threads.  I know about tricks in food photo shoots from reading numerous Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines.  Some of the tricks seem inedible (but then, edible fondant seems oxymoronic to me).  My question is whether the "famous" I Love Lucy episode where Lucy and Ethel get jobs in the chocolate factory and have to eat all that chocolate.  1) was it real?  and 2) did they eat it.  I love the Lucy episode where she drinks that energy juice and gets drunk on it.

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When I think of eating on screen I think of Jean Arthur and Thomas Mitchell in MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON, Paul Kelly in THE ROARING TWENTIES, James Stewart and Samuel S. Hinds in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, and Richard Dix in THE GHOST SHIP.

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2 hours ago, Ray Faiola said:

When I think of eating on screen I think of Jean Arthur and Thomas Mitchell in MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON, Paul Kelly in THE ROARING TWENTIES, James Stewart and Samuel S. Hinds in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, and Richard Dix in THE GHOST SHIP.

I think of this one (and it's stage version, too)

Rare Photos From Barbra Streisand's Glory Days | Barbra streisand, Barbra,  Rare photos

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On 1/20/2021 at 12:46 PM, johnpressman said:

TV shows and movies usually require multiple takes.  This causes several problems when the scene involves food. If the person actually eats, there are continuity issues with the size and shape of the food on the plate. Also, under the hot lights, cold food melts, that's why actors substitute mashed potatoes for ice cream.

 

The other problem, obviously, is eating real food again and again on each one of the takes.  Thats why actors feign eating, just fiddling with the food and pretending to chew.  This is not a problem for stage actors as they can actually eat as a play is in real time with no re-takes.  The late actor Michael J. Pollard came from the NY stage in 1967 to do the movie "Bonnie and Clyde".  One scene had him eating a hamburger which he actually ate through numerous takes. making him sick to his stomach!

On the WHITE CHRISTMAS DVD, Rosemary Clooney talks about having made the mistake in one scene of eating or drinking something.  She complained about how she then had to eat or drink in all of the other shots and re-takes for the same scene so that the different shots would match for continuity purposes.  If I remember correctly, she made it clear that she'd never do that again!  (It's been a while since I heard her commentary, so I don't remember whether she was talking about eating or drinking specifically.)

Regarding the use of food in commercials, I recall an interesting NY Times article from several years ago about food stylists.  The article recounted how the food stylists had to be scrupulous, in commercials about a food product, to use exactly the same product that was being advertised so that the advertiser wasn't accused of misrepresenting the product -- and the food all had to be real (unlike food in a movie or a commercial for a non-food product).  For example, in a commercial for a burger chain, the stylist would have to use the same-sized burger patty and bun, and the same amounts of lettuce, tomatoes, and any other condiments, as were actually being sold in the chain's restaurants.  The stylist would then meticulously arrange all of the ingredients, sometimes using tweezers, for example, to place lettuce shreds in just the right place, to give the burger an appetizing look.  The stylists also had various techniques for keeping the food looking fresh, which, as someone else rightly mentioned, was a big challenge under the hot lights.  (Of course, they'd have to make multiples of the same food item as part of this.)

This past Thanksgiving, I watched the very good black comedy HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS (Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr., Anne Bancroft, Charles Durning; directed by Jodie Foster), and afterwards looked up some background information on the film.  The film's Wikipedia entry recounted the mountains of food that had to be prepared to use in all of the shots of the movie's Thanksgiving dinner:  "Filming of the Thanksgiving dinner took more than ten days, using 64 turkeys, 20 pounds of mashed potatoes, 35 pounds of stuffing, 44 pies, 30 pounds of sweet potatoes, 18 bags of mini-marshmallows and 50 gallons of juice that stood in for wine."

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On 1/19/2021 at 7:56 PM, KidChaplin said:

My wife had a question regarding food on set. While watching "The Andy Griffith Show", she wondered who prepares and cooks Aunt Bee's pot roast and potatoes that the Taylors and Darlings were eating (among many other meals)? I know studios have commissaries, so is it an extended kitchen of the commissary or special kitchens strictly for set consumption and decor that do it?

On a side comment...ever notice how much food was wasted on "All In The Family" because they kept jumping up from the table during arguments? 😂

 

Thanks!

I'm not sure about that show specifically, but during that time period the food may have just been made by a woman that was part of the crew or worked for the network. Their official job didn't necessarily have anything to do with props or food preparation.  It may have even been the wife or girlfriend of a member of the crew. In the 80s and 90s when television shows started showing enough food on camera that they needed to hire someone to make it, several of the first people to get these jobs were the wives of men that worked in the props department because they were already the ones cooking the food they used.

It definitely probably wasn't a special kitchen. Even now that food styling for television and movies is a career in itself, it isn't required that the food be prepared in a commercial kitchen.

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