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Tips for Setting Up Craft Service

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 6/27/2011

Here are some tips for how to put together craft service on your independent digital video production set and what you should consider when shopping for it.

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    Feed Your Crew

    Craft service, though it sounds like a branded institution, is a standard for every single production set you will ever be on. Craft service can mean essentially two things depending on who you are talking to: the food and beverages prepared for cast and crew at all times during the production day as well as the meals that are prepared and served to those on set during special meal times. Craft service is not going to just be something found on sets of a certain size or type of production, but instead all productions including student films. There are certain standards that are observed for craft service, as well as meals, and some ways that you can really bump up your craft service and save money. Here are a few tips to follow when putting together your craft service to feed your film crew.

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    As the producer and/or director of your film production, you are required to serve meals to your crew. For a full production day this will require at least one full meal toward the middle of the day, but if you begin going past an eight to ten hour day you may need to also serve another full meal. If you are on a union shoot there will be special requirements, including how long you can go in general before a meal break must be taken. Make sure that no matter what you arrange for the first meal and if you think that you may run late you make arrangements for the possibility of a second. A good way to approach this is to have food set already for the first meal and then coordinate a delivery service in case of a second.

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    Craft Service Table

    Your craft service table should be as complete as you need it to be. It is standard to have snack for the entire day here, and since call times presented on call sheets are often very early many crew members will just eat breakfast at craft service. Always include coffee and water for crew members as these will be the most popular, as well as a mix of other beverages and snacks.

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    Making Choices

    You want your cast and crew to remain happy and focused throughout the day, so you should make sure to get things that will appeal to them and last throughout the course of the shoot. This means that you may want to avoid unhealthy snacks and items with too much sugar. This can give people ups and downs and will make many crew members avoid the food in general, which will damage their focus. You will want to try to have some juice, an assortment of fruits and vegetables, and high protein snacks like different nuts. Craft service can also be the most expensive aspect of small sets, especially student films. Try to by items in bulk and see where you can cut costs on meals. You need the meals to be satisfying for all crew members, but that does not mean you need gourmet services on every shoot. Try to be creative and begin cooking many of your meals from scratch, which will save money for your low budget film.