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TV or film production runner

Film and TV runners work behind the scenes, doing small jobs and basic tasks to help the production run smoothly.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: Variable average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements. Employers will be more interested in your enthusiasm and initiative than formal qualifications. Previous experience in office work, customer service or hospitality could be useful to show administrative and organisational skills.

You could do a course that includes practical skills, work placements and making contacts in the industry. Creative Skillset has details of industry-endorsed courses and The Production Guild offers a runner's workshop.

Broadcasters like the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 offer work experience placements, graduate schemes, and insight days.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • enthusiasm, flexibility and adaptability
  • communication and ‘people’ skills
  • excellent organisational and time management skills
  • stamina and the ability to work long hours

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • collecting and delivering equipment and scripts
  • distributing messages and post, and running errands
  • filing and photocopying
  • answering the phone and greeting visitors
  • driving vehicles around sets or between locations
  • finding props
  • keeping sets clean and tidy
  • looking after studio guests, getting lunches and making tea and coffee

4. Salary

Freelance runners may be paid a daily rate or a fee to cover the length of the production.

Rates vary across productions and depend on how experienced you are.

The Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) lists pay guidelines for runners.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

Your hours will depend on the production. You may work long and unsocial hours, including early mornings and late evenings.

Working environments also vary, as you might be based in a studio, edit facility, production office or on location. You'll spend a lot of your time running errands and moving between offices and production areas.

Location work could be anywhere in the UK or overseas, and you may need to travel and work away from home.

6. Career path and progression

If you already have some industry experience or have completed training, then you may be able to apply for a Creative Skillset Trainee placement.

With experience, you could move into a production assistant, assistant producer (AP) or producer role.

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Last updated: 13 April 2017