A Day in the Life


Load the van with paints, wood and tools for the DIY programme shoot. 08:00
Drive to location. Need to arrive first as I've got the keys, the equipment and need to get the coffee on. 09:00
Having unloaded and provided the crew with tea and coffee, race off to a DIY store to pick up extra hinges that we need. 10:30
I also picked up some fresh milk and grub for lunch as I know I'm going to be busy in the house this morning. Assist the Director/Cameraman by doing the sound. 11:30
Clear up the working area ready for shooting the next sequence, simultaneously provide a few buckets of coffee, and telephone base to get some new bulbs for the red-heads. 12:00
Shove tons of grub in the oven to feed the troops. It's ver physical rebuilding someone's home in the space of three days. Everybody eats a lot. 12:00
Shove tons of grub in the oven to feed the troops. It's very physical rebuilding someone's home in the space of three days. Everybody eats a lot. 13:00
First sitting for lunch! We've only four chairs and ten mouths to feed. Erect shelter in the garden over the power tools as it's now raining. Indoors put stack of batteries on charge for Director/Cameraman. 14:00
Everyone has eaten, so I announce it's my turn! 14:15
I'm needed upstairs to help move furniture in the second room. Return to finish my lunch and talk to the contributors who have no idea what is going on upstairs. 15:30
Have a long list of stuff to get from the builder's merchants. I'm hoping I can organise some discount again, to save the programme budget. Also pick up some more wood as someone underestimated the quantities. 17:00
Get a chance to use the 2nd camera to shoot the exterior sequence. Really glad I was paying close attention earlier on as to how to set up shots. Grab a colleague to negotiate with the pedestrians who keep getting in shot! Race back inside to reset more furniture. 18:30
Back to doing some more boom operating, for the surprise reveal sequence. The first room, incredibly, is finished. It looks good, they like it, and the take is a good one. It's been worth the hard slog today. 19:00
We've wrapped and I have a huge amount of clearing up to do. Fortunately, the whole crew help out this time. Return to base, deposit the tools indoors for security. Cycle home.

What you do: The range of the job?

A runner works as the most junior member of the production team and will get involved in all aspects of the production from making the tea, running around to pick up tapes and props etc, to helping out with research. Consider: Why should anyone be convinced that you would be a good candidate for this sort of job.... You will be asked to assist in a variety of tasks, both logistical and programme related. 1. Look after the contributors/actors 2. Go and get lunch on location/for a small office 3. Go and get props to film on location 4. Make the tea 5. Move cars around 6. Move set/set dressing around On a shoot: Ask; when a job needs to be done by, - assume as soon as poss. Keep QUIET, and out of the eye lines - ie where the presenter/actor is facing you - ie not right behind the camera, where you may put off the presenter. Believe it or not tea and coffee breaks are important - especially on location. When we are concentrating for hours at a time, on maybe a 15 hour day, the respite of a coffee break matters all the more. Get this one right and you'll soon start making friends in TV. Act quickly and prioritise the jobs you are given. Ask to find out the time scale for jobs, the expected work hours, the expenses etc. Employers say: Every year, thousands of people apply for jobs that they have not researched properly, and for which they do not have the appropriate skills, personality, experience or qualifications. Inevitably they are rejected by the employers. So be well informed, extremely realistic, and knowledgeable about the work area you decide to focus on. Then you need to very effectively persuade someone to give you that break. Approach the task of getting that all-important job in a PROFESSIONAL MANNER.

Qualities: What you need to be able to do the job?

Energy, stamina, common sense, often a driving license. Prepared to help out with the most basic duties as well as the more challenging ones, as they are all vital to the ultimate success of the programme. Also: Ambition, passion, creativity, drive, energy, ideas and imagination. Recruiters often quote these: * Commonsense * Pleasant personality * Good communication skills * Sensitivity * Lots of energy * Curiosity * Attention to detail * Lateral thinking * Knowing when to shut up * Not afraid of getting their hands dirty * Not too grand to make the sandwiches/wash up, etc. * And of course A PASSION FOR THE INDUSTRY! Also think about your basic skills: Could you help out in the production office? Do you have good keyboard skills? Are you practical and adaptable? Are you used to working in teams? Are you well organised? Do you, for example, manage your time in order to study AND do a part time job? Do you keep track of your personal finances? Have you organised a big event, like a stage show, the Christmas party etc? Are you a good 'ideas' person? Can you communicate effectively? Are you good at persuading others to your point of view? Do you listen, actively to gather information? Do you call and speak to people, rather than do all your research on the internet?

Career path: How you start and where you can go with it?

YUP, this is it!! Becoming a RUNNER is THE most popular route into TV.. certainly into the production side of the industry. People who start as runners will go on to any area of production/programme making, from camera work to researching to directing and producing. The Runner's motto: Do every job as if your life depended on it. If, when you are given the responsibility to look after a small job, you take it seriously, and make a really good job of it, then your boss will TRUST YOU to take on a bigger job and do it well too. So do every job BRILLIANTLY. Typical runner advert (when they do appear) Once again I am searching for an enthusiastic runner/driver who is over 23 to work on our programme. Ideally they should have a lot of energy, know a bit about TV and running, be good with floats and receipts, be happy to drive around the country and be away some weekends. We're looking for someone who is incredibly keen to do this for a small weekly sum of money (+ expenses).

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