Advice for TV Commercial Runners

We regularly receive emails from students looking for work experience and as we’re not always able to help with these requests, we thought it might be a good idea to share some information about what it’s like working with us as a Runner on a commercial shoot

Our shoot days, as with all productions, are long and typically last around 12 hours. During the day, the Runners tasks will be quite varied. Our Runners are always called in first and their first task is usually setting up the tea table and making hot drinks for the cast and crew. If we’re shooting in a city, there will also be a run to a nearby coffee shop for a round of “proper coffees”.

You may be asked to pop to the shops to buy something and it’s important that you bring back the correct change and receipt. You’ll also be expected to keep an eye on rubbish and make sure there aren’t any empty water bottles lying around. Other typical Runner tasks include handing out paper work, emptying the bins and recycling at the end of the day and generally being on standby to help with whatever tasks are allocated to you. There’s always plenty to do and either Production or the AD department will delegate the jobs for you to do.

Here are some top tips for Runners from Omni's production team:

“Familiarise yourself with the shoot location and surrounding area. Find out where the nearest hardware store, petrol station, etc. is ahead of time.”
Richard Penfold, Director/Producer.

“If you have any spare time during the shoot, watch and learn. By observing the crew you can find out about what every role involves and think about where you might want to progress in the future.”
Rebecca Brooks, Producer.

“Be proactive and always ask if there’s anything you can help with. Always be on standby, make yourself available and don’t disappear for hours.”
Darren Finch, Producer.

“Be prepared for a long and busy day - wear comfortable shoes and bring weather proof gear in case we’re shooting outdoors. A notepad and pen is handy too, as is a phone charger.”
Danielle Louise Johns, Production Coordinator.

Commercial shoots are long, busy days and everyone must pull together to make the shoot run as smoothly as possible. The most important skill for a Runner to have is a friendly, can-do attitude and the ability to complete your tasks efficiently and effectively. We keep track of all runner CVs so feel free to send yours to jobs@omni-productions.co.uk

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