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Runner, broadcasting/film/video: Job description

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A runner is an entry-level position, the most junior role in the production department of a broadcast, film or video company.

Runners act as general assistants, working under the direction of the producer and other production staff, to undertake whatever basic tasks are required to ensure the smooth running of the production process.

Runners' general responsibilities include:

  • tea making;
  • transporting scripts and hire equipment;
  • taking messages;
  • looking after guests;
  • getting everything in place for shoots.

This role offers the opportunity to gain vital experience and knowledge of the production process, offering valuable networking opportunities, and is often seen as the first step on the ladder for people aspiring to roles in broadcasting media.

Typical work activities

The work of a runner varies widely but often includes the following tasks:

  • fetching and carrying items, such as equipment, tapes, cable and scripts;
  • transporting cast, crew and production staff between offices, studios and shoot locations;
  • driving cars, vans or trucks between locations and around sets;
  • helping set up a location for a shoot;
  • keeping the set clean and tidy;
  • handing out post and messages to colleagues within the production team;
  • delivering post to local clients;
  • undertaking basic research;
  • answering the telephone;
  • photocopying and general administrative work;
  • managing petty cash;
  • looking after studio guests;
  • hiring props;
  • making arrangements for staff on location, such as booking meeting rooms or ordering food;
  • transcribing production tapes;
  • picking up cast for make-up calls;
  • ordering stock;
  • making and handing out tea, coffee and lunches;
  • sorting out the kit bags, for example checking that the camera bag contains all the necessary items;
  • writing down shot lists;
  • using maps, tapes and clapper boards, and other film and television production equipment.

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Written by Gemma Halder, AGCAS
February 2015

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