Napoleon Bonaparte is quoted as saying that an army marches on its stomach. So, with that in mind, as a filmmaker you have to give the proper thought to something which is often overlooked. Feeding the mighty horde that is your production team. The last thing you need is them turning on you in some kind of zombie-like feeding frenzy.
Whether a big budget or a DIY short film, craft services can really add to or take away from your entire production.
Ask anyone about a film they worked on and inevitably one of the top 3 things you hear is about craft services and how the crew were treated. With your reputation and happiness of the crew in mind, here are a few topics to discuss with your craft services manager if you have a budget, or your mom, if your studio is your back yard.
Will you need electricity, if so how many plugs?
Hot and cold are a necessary part of crafty, when the temperature drops you need hot coffee and apple cider. Also early morning or late night coffee could be very important on long days of production. Lights on the crafty table for early morning and late night shoots.
How many people are on your team?
If you need to free up a PA for running errands or security at the table, that might take away from the actual production, think ahead and schedule any necessary runs for refills around breaks and while local stores are open. If craft services has to run to an all night gas station or grocery store, someone needs to keep an eye on the craft services area.
Is food delivery part of our craft services plan?
Director, DP and main actors might not get a break to slip away for craft services. Can a small snack run be brought to the main set? You don't want the craft services too close to the production, otherwise noise might be an issue.
Will you handle your own trash?
In a remote location, your crew needs to know if they will be responsible for clean up.
Any other special needs craft services will need?
Any special food preparation areas or special menus craft services is planning that will require location or studio preparation? Doing something special or extra ordinary is always a fun way to show the crew they are important to what you are trying to accomplish.
Having these conversations ahead of time will help, and hopefully keep those annoying set surprises to a minimum. You'll have enough of those anyway.
Now get out there and tell some stories!