In film, television or video production, craft service or crafty refers to the department which provides food service and beverages to the other departments or crafts. In addition to policing the set they set down layout boards and protect the set area, as well as provide buffet style snacks and drinks. The crafts in film refers to departments such as camera, sound, electricians, grips, props, art director, set decorator, hair and makeup, background. (from Wikipedia)
food on set
I wear many hats and one of them is the hat of a freelance Makeup Artist. Although I have been busy doing other things and haven't done any makeup jobs for a long time I decided to say yes to an offer to do the Makeup for a Short Film in St. Jacobs, ON. You are wondering what that has to do with food? Food is really important in making a difference in the experience you have working on a set and can make or break having the cast and crew feeling comfortable and happy.
Life on a film set is pretty crazy and hectic. You throw a bunch of people together who in some cases have never met and they all do different things but they have to work together as a team to get the job done as fast and as great as possible. When you work in film you work very long hours, an average day is 12 hours and it sometimes goes even longer. We had one 15 hour day one of the days on this set. It is customary to provide meals on set for the cast and crew to keep the team fuelled and also to keep them on set and ready to go at the same time.
A "Craft"table is set up for the crew to be able to graze for food when there are breaks in between takes. The usual food for craft tables include high sugar and high carb foods. Typically things like donuts, muffins, bagels, and junk foods.
The "CREW" is generally filled with men who prefer meat and carbs so if there are vegetables they don't go over as well as a Pizza might.
This is a picture of a sugar type of cake that was set up on the "CRAFT" table.
This Pasta Plate was one of the Lunches which occurs at any time of the day depending on start time. Generally it's supposed to be 5 hours after the call time. This lunch was served at 3pm. It was a tasty pasta with sausage and tomato sauce with some garlic bread and caesar salad on the side. So you could imagine a whole crew of people yawning an hour later after the carb high dips. This is a typical meal and is what the majority of the cast/crew like. But there are exceptions that always have to be dealt with. We had a few vegetarians on set and it can be very difficult for them to get what they need to be satisfied. They are sometimes limited to salads.
When you work on a film set you can't leave the set unless you are one of the runners, so you can't just pop out to pick up your lunch. An average day could start at 8 am and go to 11pm leaving no time to be able to get your own food so that is why it is generally provided for the Crew to keep the production going. When the catering is Great the Cast and Crew function a lot happier. Variety and filling and satisfying meals is the key to a happy crew.
Never underestimate the importance of Food in the equation in making a great film.