How to become a TV or Film Runner
So you are looking to find a job as a TV or Film runner, but where or how do you start?
This page will help and explain how you can get your first job in TV production, and what it takes to become a runner.
What is a runner?
As a runner, you will be expected to help out with any tasks set out by the production team. This may include making teas and coffees, providing lunch for the studio crew, transporting the cast and crew, and helping out on sets. If you are a post-production runner, you may also be required to assist the editors in whichever way needed. Each day will be different, giving you the opportunity to learn about the different aspects of TV production.
The main attributes you should have
The right attitude is very important. You must be able to get along with others and be comfortable working within large groups of people. Runners must possess a ‘can do’ attitude and be flexible to undertake a range of tasks which may often seem menial or uninteresting.
Communication skills are very important. You will be working with different types of people and across different departments. You need to be able to take on board instructions and act upon them immediately and efficiently. You should never be afraid to ask questions if you are unsure about something. It’s better to ask, than to risk getting something important wrong.
The best runners are very organized. You must have the ability to prioritise your day to day workload, as runners are given a large amount of responsibility across multiple areas.
As an entry level position, the pay reflects this. You would generally expect to get minimum wage, possibly more if you are lucky. However many industry organisations are pushing for higher rates of pay, which will hopefully begin to come into effect. As with most jobs in TV production, you will be paid on a contract basis or hourly rate. There are very few permanent runner positions available.
The good and the not so good
As a runner, you will do some amazing things; from meeting and greeting stars and being involved in great TV shows, to gaining huge responsibility and of course being invited to glitzy rap parties.
However you will be working extremely long hours, and can expect to be first in and last out on a regular basis. Incredible stamina is essential. You will be asked to undertake the tasks which nobody else is willing to do, and these will often be very boring. A smile and enthusiasm is a must.
Do I have to start out as a runner?
You will find that most people within the industry, particularly on the production side, will have started out as runners. The role allows you to decide which route you are most interested in following, as it provides you with the opportunity to see all aspects of production. This is also where you start building up your contacts, and creating networking opportunities.
What level of education do I need?
This role is the lowest position in TV production, therefore you don’t need any set qualifications. The main things production companies look for is a “can do” attitude and willingness to get stuck in. People in this field have a range of qualifications and skills, and come from varying college/degree backgrounds. You don’t necessarily need a media related qualification to get into the industry.
If this is for me, how do I start?
There any many ways to find television runner jobs. Firstly sign up to Media Volt by clicking here. You can build a free profile and add pictures, video and audio. Use you profile to sell yourself, as we have many production companies looking through them. To apply for roles you will need to upgrade your account.