Although often considered a thankless job, spend any time on a video shoot and it quickly becomes apparent just how important having an efficient and effective team of runners can be. In an industry where every wasted moment on a shoot can mean thousands of lost dollars in the production budget, knowing that your runners are capable of being self motivated problem-solvers can mean the difference between getting your shots wrapped and being forced into costly overages.
Being a runner is normally considered an entry-level position. It’s a way for those to interested in production to get their foot in the door. As such, there is not much to judge potential candidates on other than their desire to work hard and having an eagerness to learn. The opportunity to learn from those on set and gain valuable production experience is a primary motivating factor for those who want to become runners.
Know what do you need
Ideally somebody with previous experience or some sort of connection to the industry. Somebody with quality references that can vouch for their eagerness to learn and willingness to do some less-than-desireable jobs that may be required of a runner.
Make sure that the candidate has access to a reliable source of transportation. It’s impossible to know what problems may arise while shooting on set, but chances are that at some point there will be a need for someone to drive offsite. All runners should have a valid drivers license and a vehicle in order to quickly go to-and-from set as needed.
Being a great runner means having thick skin. Being on set can be stressful at times. And while it may not happen frequently, sometimes high-stress situations can cause crewmembers to be less than friendly with one another. Unkind remarks should be taken with a grain of salt in these types of situations, and shouldn’t prevent a runner (or other professional) from moving forward with their tasks. At the end of the day, everyone has the same goal; to make the best video possible and within the timeframe allowed.