In discussing a “no-budget” film, the one thing that money must be spent on is food. Breaking bread is the tie that binds us together and will make for a better experience than any piece of equipment or special effect. Having said that I personally have one rule – NO PIZZA (except maybe at the wrap party)

I love food! It is a simple fact but it is an important one because I think a lot of people agree with it. I cannot stress how important it is to have good craft services and catering on a set. No matter what the budget, you can feed your crew well.

I will break down my ideas for great craft services and catering. If the crew is well fed they will be happy, there is nothing worse than a hungry and unhappy crew. Departments such as grip and lighting are doing very heavy work and burn a lot of calories so make sure these departments are taken care of and it will make your day even smoother.

Even if you can’t afford to pay people their full rate, you need to be able to feed them, it will make up for the money loss. Trust me on this, I have been on far too many sets where they have cut the food budget and not even hired a craft services person, that is a huge no-no! Follow these ideas and you will be sure to have a happy crew.

Craft Services

1. Hire someone to run Craft Services: Hire someone that has done craft services before, don’t just assign a production assistant to put food on a table. You need to hire someone who is actually passionate about what they are doing and it helps if they love food. The craft services table isn’t something that gets set up in the morning and then left alone all day, it should be maintained throughout the shoot day and food and water should be walked around and offered to cast and crew.

2. Have a daily Craft Services budget that is fair: A lot of productions will try to work with a very unreasonable and low budget when it comes to craft services, count how many people need to be fed and allow enough money to cover that cost. A better fed crew is usually a harder working crew.

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Simon Hosick

I too love pizza, but I will walk from a production if it’s served.

HowToFilmSchool
A lot of people seem to be misunderstanding the no pizza thing. Pizza can be really great and all, but no matter how good the pizza is if you are offering pizza at lunch you need to make sure you are offering some other options for people. Some of us have issues with pizza because of the calories vs meal satisfaction issues. I for example (Iggy from HowToFilmSchool, not Courtney the original writer of this article) never feels satisfied with pizza. I have to eat 3-5 slices to feel satisfied which can be up to or over 1000 calories, obviously depending on the quality of the ingredients. I would much rather eat 500 calories of salads, veggies and protein any day. Now, some people are going to say “if you have issues with the calories you should just eat less!” My response to that: As the Gaffer of a project I need to on my toes and focused at all times and I should never be distracted by hunger just because I’m watching my weight. As crew members and technicians we need to be given nutritious food and not have to worry about feel hungry of tired when we have… Read more »
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Cinemiracle

Crafty and meals are important to a production that is using it as a means of culling talent. If you can’t pay people to be on your project, you owe it to the overall success of your production to step it up in terms of food. I’m not just coming from a company morale standpoint but also in terms of healthful foods yielding productivity.

But, as it’s important to provide more nutritious foods, it’s also important to be wise about how you spend your crafty budget.

Yvonne Deveaux

Not all pizza is created equal! When I bring my mobile wood fired pizza trailer to a shoot cast and crew are VERY happy.

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