What is a Runner?

Written by 90 Seconds
Last updated: October 4, 2023
What is a Runner?

A video production runner is an entry level position that involves anything and everything from getting coffee for other staff members to picking up guests from the airport.

Runners may be asked to setup and/or takedown important equipment in addition to transporting it from one set to another or even from town to town.

Taking and relaying messages either directly, through mail, electronic devices, telephones and more is common in the role of a production runner, as is keeping the video production site(s) neat, tidy and organized.

Administrative tasks such as the ordering of supplies, copying of materials, transcribing video, handling petty cash, booking meeting rooms and more are other aspects of the video production runner’s day to day activities that help make the roles of directors, designers and others more productive.

A runner is often the go-to person when something is in need of repair as well.

Primary roles

Assist the Director & other staff

The main role of a video production runner is to take pressure off the directors, designers, assistants and others who are responsible for meeting specific deadlines.

A runner may be asked to make tea or coffee, order and/or prepare meals, clean up the site area(s) and take messages on behalf of other staff members.

Gathering of materials (such as cables, scripts, lights and other items) is often completed by a runner.

Frequently the first and last staff members on site, runners must have many aspects of production set up before others arrive and are responsible for finishing up at the end of each day.


Administrative tasks fill a significant portion of the runner’s daily work hours.

When directors and others need an item photocopied, a location reserved, supplies ordered or any other simple task that would take away from the high production required of these team members, a runner is likely to be called in.

Timely messages may be sent and/or received by runners via mail, electronic devices, telephones and more.

Secondary roles


Video production runners are often called in as drivers for guests, staff members or production equipment needed at each site.

Cast and crew members may need to travel to multiple sites to produce the highest quality video content; having a reliable runner ready at the wheel saves time and hassle for all involved.

When a guest arrives at an airport or other facility, a runner may be asked to look after such a person and take them to a hotel, restaurant, meeting facility or production site as needed.

Repairs & maintenance

Simple repair tasks may be completed by a video production runner.

Whether it’s fixing a jammed copy machine, pumping up a flat tire, replacing light bulbs or other critical items, runners are often the go-to people on the video production set when something isn’t working as it should.

Runners with IT skills are important in keeping internet networks up and running and may be asked to complete other tasks such as basic research, writing and/or editing, etc.