Media / Digital Media
Runner (TV or Film)
Runners provide vital assistance within a film, TV or video production company, ‘running’ around to make sure everything goes smoothly.
What does a Runner (TV or Film) do?
Runners provide vital administrative assistance within a film, TV or video production company, ‘running’ around and undertaking all sorts of tasks to make sure everything runs smoothly. Runners are also known as production assistants.
As a runner, you would:
- undertake whatever administrative tasks are required to ensure the smooth running of a production
- deliver messages and run errands
- carry and set up equipment ready for filming
- conduct basic research
- drive actors and other members of staff between locations
- look after guests in a studio or on location
- order, make or distribute refreshments and meals
- ensure locations are neat and tidy.
Key skills and interests
To become a runner, you would need:
- confidence and presentation skills
- good teamwork and people skills
- self-motivation and determination
- time management and project management skills
- attention to detail
- the ability to work under pressure.
Working hours and conditions
Most runners are employed on full-time, short-term contracts. While on a contract, hours can be long and erratic. You may have to work nights, weekends and public holidays.
Roles occupy the most junior entry-level positions in film or TV production. Competition for roles is intense, and roles are seen as the opportunity to gain vital experience of the production process.
You would work in studios as well as on location. You would likely spend large amounts of time travelling to, and between locations, in all types of weather. You would need a current driver's licence.
How to become an Runner (TV or Film)?
Entry Level Education
You can work as a runner or production assistant without formal qualifications. However, because of the strong competition for these entry-level roles, most runners are educated to degree level. You could undertake a Bachelor's degree in an area such as visual or creative arts, film production, media studies or arts with a major in film studies. To get into these courses, you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent.
Practical experience gained through working on campus radio or TV stations, or with sound or lighting for university stage productions and concerts, may increase your chances of securing a role. Outside university, you could work on community radio or TV stations to gain some work experience and industry knowledge.
Employment of runners is projected to grow slower than the average for all occupations.
Some job growth in the TV and industries is expected to stem from strong demand from the public for more movies and television shows. Opportunities may also be available in commercial video production.