What Are Craft Services?
In addition to being exciting and invigorating, days spent on a film set are often long and exhausting. There’s an organized production schedule that must be adhered to and a strict plan that the director and team have for executing their shot list.
Sometimes, these film sets can be in the middle of nowhere, like an abandoned lakeside home or deep within a forested mountain range.
The idea of stepping out for lunch or grabbing an espresso at the local coffee shop isn’t always possible. So, that’s where craft services and catering services come into play.
If you’ve yet to dive into the inner workings of film sets and find yourself wondering what are craft services on a movie set and how do they differ from regular catering — you’re in luck! Bring your cup of joe and let’s take a deeper dive into craft services and all they entail.
What Are Craft Services?
Craft services — sometimes called “crafty” — provide the crew with sustenance in between hot meals. Typically, these tables rest on the outskirts of the set and serve as a place for crew members to take a moment and get fueled up and ready for the rest of the day or evening ahead. Hours on a film set are long, so it’s important that a crew has everything they need, from water to granola bars.
Who Are Craft Services For?
In addition to asking what are craft services, you might also be questioning who they are for. Craft services are for the whole film crew, from the director to the actors, to the hairstylists and makeup artists. If certain members of the crew are busy and miss the catered service meal, they can rest assured that the crafty table will have something to munch on. Though all are welcome to the craft services table, it initially began for those who do the “crafts” like the costumes, makeup, and camera crew — as they are the ones who most often might get caught up and miss the full sit-down meal.
How Do Craft Services Differ From Regular Catering?
Although a craft service company can often supply regularly catered meals as well, craft services typically differ from regular catering in a few main ways. Much of what a craft services table entails has to do with a crew’s budget. If craft services are being catered for an independent film, for example, they might be spread out on one simple table with some bulk offerings of chips, granola bars, coffee, water, and snacks. Kick things up a notch with high-budget movie sets, and you might find something as outrageous as a truck with endless options for sandwiches, pizzas, and customized coffees. Whereas catered services are set for certain times, craft services are there in a pinch. If you’re hungry and missed lunch, there’s always something to grab and get you moving on to the next scene.
The catering staff typically handles 2-3 meals a day, and craft services work to supplement all the in-between hours. Typically, a day on set can run 8 hours or a full 16 hours, which means that a craft services table has to work hard to ensure that their spread stays full and ready for the hungry staff from morning to night. Craft services are expected to come equipped with all they need. If a film set is in a remote area and the temperatures are high, the last thing anyone wants is to run out of water. With craft services, it’s always better to be a step ahead than a step behind.
Often, craft services will run meals or snacks out to the crew, too, if they can’t make it to the table. On a multi-day shoot, they’ll get to know the ins and outs of what the crew likes and doesn’t like. Maybe the cameraman loves blueberry muffins and the hairstylist is all about a few pieces of dark chocolate and an iced green tea to get her through the late afternoon. One of the best parts of being on a film set, whether that’s as part of the film crew, the catering crew or the craft services crew, is that you become a tight-knit group.
Food is often part of that bonding.
What Are Some Sample Craft Service Offerings?
Depending on the budget of the film, craft services for breakfast, lunch, and dinner might include a mix of the following. There can be an overlap between craft services and catering, though crafty foods and drinks can typically sit out for a bit until the crew can enjoy them.
- Granola bars
- Pastries and muffins
- Yogurt and granola
- Bagels and cream cheese
- Sliced cheeses and meats
- Coffee with creamer and sugar
- Croissants and jam
- Waffle bar with toppings and fresh fruit
- Scrambled eggs and breakfast potatoes with peppers
- French toast station
- Breakfast burritos
- Deli sandwiches
- Burger bar
- Cold pasta salad
- Taco or burrito bar with salsa
- Stir fry
- Bean chili
If a crafty team doesn’t offer the above, and it’s handled instead by a full-service catering company, the craft services table will almost always have some mix of the following snacks and beverages throughout the day, including some great healthy options.
- Mixed nuts
- Bottled water
- String cheese
- Trail mix
- Candy bars
- Fruit salad
- Crackers and cheese
Odds and Ends
Craft service tables sometimes have non-edible items, too, like paper clips, pens, pencils, and staplers. Don’t forget the forks, knives, spoons, cups, and napkins!
When it comes to craft services on a movie set, the most important thing is to keep the crew happy. Gathering around the craft table gives the crew a chance to recharge. Food, snacks, and drinks need to be a mix of satisfying and delicious so that the tasks ahead can be tackled and taken care of.
If you’re looking for craft services in Los Angeles, feel free to reach out to us today. We focus on seasonal recipes, fresh ingredients and sustainable, organic catering that will give your crew an extra boost of energy. We cater to offices, film sets, and everything in between, and customize our menus to keep our clients happy and enthusiastic about the food we’re serving.