PPP – Chosen Field Research – Runner.
As I am a very organised person who enjoys being involved in all aspects of a production I have decided to look into the roles of Production Manager, Co-Ordinator, Production Assistant and Runner, as these are the stepping stone roles from the latter backwards, that I believe interlink with one another in the sense that the duties of each role will help you advance up to the next level.
Let’s begin by looking at the role of a Runner. I believe that being a runner is an important part of being in the media, it is not only a test of how well you can cope with various tasks but a chance to showcase endurance, ability, capability, and willingness to learn and progress.
Production Runners assist wherever they are needed on productions and their duties vary depending on where they are assigned. They may be involved in anything from office administration or crowd control to public relations and cleaning up locations. Runners are usually employed on a freelance basis, are not very well paid, and their hours are long and irregular. The work is usually extremely varied and the Runner role offers an opportunity to learn about every aspect of the industry, providing a good entry-level role into the film and television industry.
Runners must be able to cope under extreme pressure from clients and colleagues, responding quickly and appropriately to requests, using their own initiative and be prepared to ask for help and advice when necessary.
Most Runners start in the Production Office. If they prove their worth they will either become more senior there, laying the foundations for Production Co-ordinator/Production Manager careers, or become a Floor Runner (studio and location). Work as a Floor Runner can open the door to the 3rd, 2nd & 1st Assistant Director route or establish connections to other departments.
In a production office the Runner’s duties may include: assisting with answering telephones, filing paperwork and data entry, arranging lunches, dinners, and transport, and general office administration. Basic fault finding and office repairs.
On-set duties may include: acting as a courier, helping to keep the set clean and tidy and distributing call sheets, health and safety notices and other paperwork. On location shoots production Runners may also be required to help to coordinate the extras, and to assist with crowd control duties. Basic fault finding and equipment repairs.
Post Production Runners
The post production process the Runner may be involved in digitizing materials prior to editing, taking tapes to different locations, and transporting data. Basic fault finding and repairs/solutions. Runners may progress to become Head Runners, or to roles in reception, operations, library or bookings, and ultimately to Edit Assistants, Editors, and in some cases Producers. Runners usually stay in this role for six to twelve months. After twelve months they may become Head Runners, be moved into another department, or released.
[What Runner’s Do] http://www.media-match.com/usa/jobtypes/runner-jobs-402770.php
[Runners: Industry by Industry] http://www.creativeskillset.org/careers/by_sector/
How to become a Runner
Many Runners find their first ‘real’ running position as a direct result of a successful work experience placement. Not only does this approach save employers time and money, it also takes away much of the risk of recruiting an ‘unknown’. Some people manage to set up placements in several different places, gaining real experience of commercials, interactive media or film making by becoming increasingly useful people to have around. Others find work through personal recommendation, or by keeping their ears open and applying with a CV and covering letter.
Once you’ve found a job as a Runner, go out of your way to do the job really well.Most employers and crew members are happy to help Runners learn new skills, but Runners must know when and how to ask. You need to remember that your job is your first priority.Where you start can have an enormous influence on where you progress to, so it’s important to do your research and make sure that you start off in a job that leads to real career development.
When I started applying for jobs and Runner roles I found it difficult to prepare my C.V and write a covering letter but having read these tips on both, it has really helped me to tailor each C.V and cover letter that I send off to the job I am applying for..
[13 Tips on Writing C.V’s for Media – based Jobs] http://mediamuppet.com/13-tips-on-writing-cvs-for-media-based-jobs
[13 Tips on Writing Cover Letters for Media – based Jobs] http://mediamuppet.com/tips-on-writing-cover-letters-for-media-based-jobs
Is there such thing as a typical day?
No two days are the same. No matter how much planning has been done by the production team things can change at the last minute. That’s when a runner is really useful, because they can spend time away from the shoot while the other team members get on with their work.
What qualities do you need to do your job?
Determination is essential because it is so hard to break into the industry. Enthusiasm is vital; if you are helpful and keen to learn people will want to work with you again. You need a lot of stamina because the working hours are long and you are busy all day. Communication skills are also important because you meet people from many different backgrounds.
How do you find work?
My CV is on several media websites so that production companies can contact me when they are looking for runners. Most vacancies in the media are never advertised in newspapers; you find out about them through word of mouth.
Many jobs in the media are short-term contracts so I have registered with a temping agency. When I have no work with a production company, I do general office and administrative work. This is good experience for my media career – production companies often look for people with word processing and other office-related skills.
What do you like most about your job as a film runner?
Working on a production is very exciting because everyone is so focused and dedicated to making it work. There is a really strong sense of teamwork and everyone has an important role to play.
I’d like to get as much experience as possible working with production companies. In the long term, I’d love to set up my own company and produce specialised factual programmes about the supernatural.
- Media studies is a useful school subject. It will give you basic knowledge which you can develop with additional study and experience.
- If you decide to study for a degree, choose a college with its own TV or radio station. You will be able to develop your practical skills and try a range of different roles
- There are no formal entry qualifications for runners, but the industry is very competitive and many runners have degrees.
- Subjects like video and television, media and broadcasting skills, media production, acting, drama and theatre are relevant.
- A current, clean, full driving licence is usually required.