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How to become a Runner

avg. starting salary

Want to work in the film industry? Run, [Insert Name Here], run… Runners work behind the scenes on TV and film productions, helping to keep things running smoothly by carrying out a variety of different tasks. They’re the unsung heroes behind all of your favourite shows, working everywhere from the production and post-production offices to the front lines, and even keeping actors happy on the latest Hollywood blockbusters. Without runners, there would be no Mad Men, no Game of Thrones, and no Breaking Bad. Although there would also be no Keeping Up with the Kardashians. So there’s that… Key duties for a Runner include:
  • Picking up equipment, props, film and scripts, and delivering them between sites
  • Picking up cast and crew and taking them to shoots
  • Setting up locations and positioning props
  • Answering phones and performing general admin tasks
  • Keeping the set clean and tidy
  • Making cups of tea, coffee, and other, more varied beverages

To become a Runner, hard work and dedication is of paramount importance. Entry-level roles within the TV and Film industry are fiercely competitive, and having the right attitude will be key to your success. You will also need to have enthusiasm in abundance. The hours will be long, the cast and crew may be difficult and the pay is pretty low at first. Being able to stay motivated and keep morale high will help prove you’re a valuable asset to have around. Other key skills for a Runner include:
  • Excellent organisation skills
  • Time management and prioritisation skills
  • A proactive approach to your work
  • Ability to work under your own initiative
  • A valid UK driving license (preferred)
  • Excellent tea/coffee making ability (essential)

"I started working as a Runner shortly after getting my Film Studies degree, initially as some unpaid work for a university alumni who produced documentary films. I honestly don’t think I've ever worked so hard in my life. You’re working almost all day, every day during shoots, doing everything from proofreading and handing out scripts to buying everyone lunch for the day. Being on set is always the best part, and I still get a buzz every day when I get there. My advice for anyone looking to become a Runner would be pay your dues. Network like crazy, and take every opportunity available. Build some experience, and you’ll soon work your way up. Oh, and don't do impressions of the cast. They don't like it."

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