Michelson Food Service started back in the late '50s when Ed Michelson ran the Saratoga restaurant next door to the Directors' Guild on Sunset Boulevard. Naturally, he got to know many of the directors and soon found himself running food concessions at Corriganville, where television Westerns such as The Roy Rogers Show and Rin Tin Tin were filmed. Then he got to thinking: ``If he could devise a truck with ovens, that he could cook on location,'' says Steve Michelson, who now runs the business his father started. What resulted was the very first mobile kitchen. ``He originated the way motion picture catering is done today,'' he says.
Steve Michelson remembers catering as a teenager for such movies as ``Planet of the Apes,'' and ``Little Big Man.'' One of his favorites was ``Paint Your Wagon,'' when he spent four and a half months in Eastern Oregon making $3 an hour and ``loving it.''
These days the company caters worldwide and has worked in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. They went to Belize for ``Mosquito Coast,'' Tahiti for ``The Bounty,'' and Brazil for ``Moon Over Parador.''
Some of the more difficult pictures to cater: ```Glory' - it was such a difficult picture to do,'' feeding 500 to 1,500 people a day for three and a half months, says Michelson. ```Return of the Jedi' was a tough one,'' he adds. Filmed in Yuma, Ariz., the wind covered the food with fine sand. They used a lot of netting and tents.
In London, they just finished ``Robin Hood''with Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman (due out this fall). ``Not only did we have a lot of people every day,'' from 300 to 800, ``but they were filming in two to four different locations every day,'' he says. ``Logistics were horrible, but you're there for the director's convenience.''