Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I guess you had to be there

Late last year I was given the opportunity to 1st AD a one day film shoot at Silver Cup East stages. It was to be a "secret project" that MTV was doing with Justin Timberlake. All of us in the crew were asked to sign a confidentiality agreement, so we would no be able to let the cat out of the bag. At the time of the shoot, it was a major secret that Justin would host the EMAs.

The final cut of the promo is below.

I have nothing against Justin Timberlake whatsoever. He was extremely professional, and a very nice and decent guy to be around. I also think he has a great deal of talent in many different areas. As an example of this, a few days ago I posted a skit from his last appearance on SNL.

What did bother me, was the rider that was provided to us for Justin.

For those of you you don’t know what they are, a rider is a required list of several items or conditions that a celebrity must have if you are going to work with them.

Justin's rider contained a list of no less than 50 food items that must be present for the film shoot. The list contained over a half dozen different beverages (Fiji Water, juices, sodas), several fruit bowls, snack chips of several types, several kinds of breakfast cereal, white and wheat bread, peanut butter, jams, turkey, frozen yogurt, chocolates, candies and the list goes on and on. When all was said and done, we spent over $400.00 on his craft service stations. In the end he ate a small part of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a BBQ meal that we ordered for him and his entourage. This formal working meal cost another several hundred dollars.

Let's be real here for a moment. The guy makes Twiggy look heavy.

He doesn’t need that much crap for a 4-6 hour workday. Most of the food listed above was either wasted or taken home by stage employees.

Again … I don’t want to vilify Justin Timberlake. He is certainly not the only celebrity with a rider. I have worked with David Bowie (Very cool guy), Jennifer Lopez, Whitney Houston, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Busta Rhymes, etc. They all have some kind of list.

Here is a list of 200 celebrity riders courtesy of the

Please note Gnarls Barkley’s request for Magnum condoms, and also how reasonable David Bowie’s list is.

Smoking Gun doesn’t mention this, but I can tell you that Whitney also asks for Popeye’s Fried Chicken, Heineken beer, Freixenet Champagne and blue corn chips. She also used to want a separate dressing room a long way from the main stage to keep the sweet smell of burning …. Um … perfume … away from shoot. The whole crew was also told not to look her directly in the eyes. Also not mentioned is vocalist John Tesh’s rider, which simply asks for a WWF action figure in his dressing room. He just wants to make sure you are reading it.

If you are Ziggy Marley, and you only eat tofu and special foods, I can see the need for this kind of list. However, most of the time these riders are wasteful to say the least.

If any of you make it big in life, please try to keep your ego in check.

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Blogger the fourth person said...

yeah but it takes a LOT of energy to "BRING SEXY BACK!" WORD.

12:17 AM  
Blogger sink sink socks said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:38 AM  
Blogger matt said...

Did I ever tell you about the time that Giselle stole all the soda from the fridge as she was leaving? When she saw us watching her, she jokingly yelled, "Oh, look at dee model schtealing the schoda! Vat do you vant? I have five sisters to feed!"

2:52 PM  
Blogger Peter Matthes said...

With all those A-list celebrities ... Can you imagine the craft service table on the "We Are The World" video shoot?

"There are children dying ... and we're eating M&Ms ... It's true we'll make a better day, just you and me"

4:43 PM  

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