How Legally Blonde, The Force, & Mary Poppins Can Keep You Energized on Set

If you want to be a filmmaker, you need to be prepared for early mornings and late nights. Say goodbye to sleep! Especially if you find yourself in a place of responsibility.

Get ready for your brain to over function to the point where you point into space searching for a simple word and still fail to find it. Get ready for days of “hurry up and wait”. Where you’ve got to get everything set up within minutes, only to then wait for hours before you get around to shooting it.

This is the nature of filmmaking. I love it, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get tired.

Through the years the sleep deprivation has gotten easier and I’ve come to realise it’s because of a few things I’ve changed to help me stay awake and energized on set.

H2O Helps You to Be Like the Tortoise

Drinking water is vital. I mean in general everyone should drink plenty of water, but it’s the easiest thing in the world to get dehydrated on set. You’re constantly on the go, constantly busy, and carrying around a water bottle can be too cumbersome. Even taking breaks to go 10/1 (going to the toilet) can seem like you don’t have time to go.

I know these are all reasons I’ve used in the past, but let me tell you. It’s night and day difference if you are keeping hydrated. Even those short toilet breaks become a quick rest to help keep me energized in the long run.

It kind of reminds me of the fable about the tortoise and the hare. The hare started off strong, but because he didn’t think of the time it would take, he grew weary before the end of the race. Whereas the tortoise who know one would have bet on, won the race because he was thinking about the whole journey.
So be like a tortoise and drink that H2O.

An Apple a Day

I only learned this a few years ago, but did you know that apples are a better source of energy than coffee? Yup, it’s true.

Gives a whole new meaning to the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Cuz who would go to the doctor when you’re feeling energized?
OK, but all joking aside. Apples are a great source of energy and not only that, but they taste good. They’re easy to eat on the go, and they’re healthy for us anyway. If you feel your body weighing down from the long hours, grab an apple and in no time you’ll tell the difference.

Walking Keeps You from Killing Your Husband

Often when you’re on set, you’ve got to stand in one spot for looong periods of time. When you can, walk around set. Even if you’re setting up a complicated shot.

Instead of asking some PA (Production Assistant) to go fetch your coffee over on the crafty table (snack area). Walk over yourself and get it.

I know when I do this, it allows my mind to reset. Not only does it give me a chance to look at something different. A different room, or area, but the walk there will give your body a little boost of endorphins.

And as Elle Woods from Legally Blonde says, “Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.

Honey is Your Spoonful of Sugar

Over the past week, I’ve been knocked out by a nasty cold and one of my new favourite drinks is an echaenacia and honey tea. It soothes my throat and I also find I have more energy after a cuppa.

I was curious as to why this was, because colds normally knock me out. So I did a little research and discovered that honey is actually a great source of natural energy. One article I read even likened honey to natures energy drink.

So forget those nasty tasting energy drinks. Eat and drink honey!

It’s like Mary Poppins says, “A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down!

Reading Makes You a Better Person

When I’m working on a movie, I always make sure I have a book to read.

“Wait!” You say, “You can’t read on set!”

Of course you can’t silly! If you read on set, you’d be fired on the spot.

BUT when you get home from set, the best thing you can do to help your brain turn off from all the busy, is to read a good book. Even if all you read is a paragraph (which honestly, is all the energy I have left by the end of a long day), it’s an excellent way to help your body to shut down.

It’s like pushing a reset button.

That’s not all reading does for you though; there’s been a lot of research that has uncovered the healing powers of reading. Reading relieves stress. Reading novels especially, helps you to empathise with those around you too.

Not only will you show up to set the next day feeling refreshed and less stressed, but you’ll also be a kinder and more helpful person on set. Which in turn. makes you a better human being and more likely to be hired again because your boss will see what a team player you are.
Energy and more opportunities, what more could you ask for!

Use the Force, Invest in Co-Q10

One of the biggest secrets to my energy levels is Co-Q10. This is something we actually have in every cell of our bodies and is specifically used to create energy.

However, not all of us have the right amount of Co-Q10 in our systems. You can find this amazing supplement at any chemist or health and fitness store. I’ve been taking Costco’s Kirkland brand for about five years now and I swear by the stuff.

Think of it as keeping your batteries charged, or remembering to, “Use the Force, Luke.” It’s something we already have, you’re just getting an extra boost of it.

Not only is it great for helping me stay energized like the energizer bunny, but it also an antioxidant and helps to keep your heart strong. WebMD has a lot of great things to say about it.

Staying energised on set is highly important.

Not only do you function more efficiently, but it also helps to keep set a safe place. A lot of people tend to turn to the cookies or chocolate sitting at Crafty, but I want to encourage you to try one of these options instead.
Trust me, your body will thank you after filming is over!


  • Charis Joy Jackson

    Producer, Director, Writer, Actress

    Charis Joy Jackson is a writer, director, producer and teacher working with The Initiative Production Company. During the day she makes movies and in her spare time writes short stories and novel. She's a self-proclaimed nerd who wishes she could live in Hobbiton. You can follow her on Instagram @charisjoyjackson


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