How do I get free food for set? I see lots of people talking about how food (craft services) is super expensive but also easy to get for free… how does that work?
I’m afraid it’s that dreaded “asking for help”. Call, call, call, e-mail, e-mail, e-mail. Ask smaller local restaurants to donate food. I was able to get like 3 huge pizzas and salads for my cast and crew by calling up a local pizza place and going “hey, we’re making an indie web series and are looking for donations of food to help feed our cast and crew. If you are willing to trade us some pizza for a special thanks in our credits, a shout out on social media and eternal gratitude from a small crew working on a labor of love, we’d love you forever” and it worked. Don’t be afraid to sound desperate!
(for real though)
Also, sometimes places are into trading food for on screen mentions. It sounds a little icky but keep in mind, it’s a local pizza place, not Pepsi Co. Having their pizza box in the shot or having a character going “I’m going to order pizza from ______, you want anything?” Same with food trucks. We had a scene in our pilot where the main characters had tacos from a taco truck. We asked the owner if we could shoot there in a few weeks when we were location scouting and he asked if we could put a shot of his truck on camera to get some publicity and that he’d hook us up with free food when we shot in exchange. Easiest free lunch ever.
People will really give you free food if you put their business name in your credits?? For a WEB SERIES?
Well, I don’t know about people generally speaking but in my case, I have been able to get a couple free food donations for, yes, my measly web series. It all depends on how you frame it and sell the idea/yourself. It isn’t about them getting rich and famous by being in the credits of some random web series but showing gratitude. It wasn’t like the lure of the credit was so strong they had to say yes but it was just a gesture of “hey, thank you so much for supporting your local arts community, the least we can do is put your name in the credits.” They are giving you free food because you are asking nicely, have a passion for what you are doing and clearly are a small crew not taking advantage. Being a small web series actually helps your chances as no small business is going to want to give like 100 pizzas away to a massive Hollywood crew shooting a TV show, as they could clearly afford it. But like 3 pizzas to a crew of like 5? That’s something they can think about. Also, you are going to get a “no” like 9 times out of 10 but the more you ask the more comfortable you feel doing it.