Never Say No to a Mint

By Greg Pak
When I’m shooting, I need to have private, one-on-one conversations with my actors. But with a half dozen crew members in the room, it can be a struggle to keep these discussions private and effective. The result is close physical proximity — I’ll often whisper a direction into each actors’ ear just before a take.
Nothing puts a crimp into this kind of intimate communication like bad breath.
Too much coffee, too much pizza, too little sleep — the conditions of stressful sets provide the perfect incubator for all kinds of interesting chemical reactions. I’ve suffered from the halitosis of others and no doubt stunned people with my own over the years. It may seem like a little thing. But the success of a film can be compromised by anything which hinders communication between directors and their actors and crew.
The principle applies during distribution and promotion as well. Initial conversations with prospective agents, distributors, producers, and programmers often take place in crowded rooms at festival receptions or parties –under these conditions, people will know if you stink — and they may infer that your film does, too.
Never say no to a mint. That little Altoid could mean more to your moviemaking than you realize.