The year is 1931. Some whipper-snapper of a production assistant is bored with his lockup on the corner of Hollywood and Mulholand. He knows the production is nearing the end of the day and decides to play a prank on the walkie channel.
“Next shot up is the martini!” he shouts into every PA and AD’s earpiece.
An annoyed 2nd 2nd quickly responds, “Who the hell is this and what the hell does that mean?”
“It means the next shot after this is out of a glass!” Laughter erupts among the PAs and The Martini Shot is born, announcing the final shot of the day for generations of moviemakers to come… Or so the legend has it.
To this day, the martini is generally followed by a beer or a glass of whiskey from that location’s nearest watering hole. Just the words “Martini’s up” can bring butterflies to a crew member’s stomach. The end is near and you can finally let loose and unwind after a long day of terrible acting and improper working conditions. But who actually likes martinis? I tried one after watching 18 James Bond movies in a row, and I’ve got to say… the dude has shit taste in alcohol. Martinis are gross, so we at Dashing Agent choose not to use that terminology for our favorite shot of the day. We call it… The Hot Dog.
Why, you ask? I thought I made it pretty clear, but it’s because we like to eat hot dogs after a long shoot. Or a short shoot. Or really any time of the week. Luckily we shoot our movies in our backyard (the Regent Square neighborhood in Pittsburgh) and have quick access to D’s Six Packs and Dogz, arguably the best hot dog restaurant in the 412. They refuse to sponsor us, but jokes on them cause we’ve filled out at least half a dozen punch cards. That’s a lot of free hot dogs!
When asked about Cobblestoned’s now famous Hot Dog tradition, DP Daniel Kusnir said, “I don’t think I’d keep working on Cobblestoned if it weren’t for the Chihuahua Dog!”
Local talent, Eric Swader had something similar to say about D’s deep fried dogs, “The best part of my Cobblestoned experience was the fried hot dogs at [D’s]. They’re called sizzlers and they’re the best hot dogs I’ve ever had. Like maybe ever, just so good.”
Director and star of Cobblestoned, Reese Hayes who may or may not be referring to himself in the third person said, “The best hot dogs I’ve ever had came right after a productive day on Cobblestoned. Something about running through the woods on drugs makes those dogs divine.”
As you can see, hot dogs at the end of a shoot bring a crew together. We’ve created a tradition on our set that makes people comfortable and want to work with us again and again (assuming we continue to provide hot dogs). But what works for us won’t necessarily work for you.
You might not be fortunate enough to be blessed with a hot dog shop right down the street. That’s okay! Come up with your own post-wrap tradition. Maybe your last shot of the day can be The Muffin and you bake muffins for your hungry crew. Or The Tea and Cookies Shot! Or The Let’s Go To The Dog Park and Pet As Many Dogs As We Can Shot! Be creative and positive and make shooting your silly little movie a fun experience for all involved. But don’t drink martinis cause they’re gross and only spies like them.