Alex Genn-Bash is a runner on Strictly Come Dancing. He describes how the responsibilities of a runner can vary greatly, but must be carried out rapidly so that the shoot stays on schedule.
The job of runner is the entry-level position within the TV and film industry. Many highly successful directors, producers and technicians started their careers in this role.
Runners may be asked to do anything that is required on the set or location to aid the progress of the shoot. As the name suggests, they first and foremost run errands. Their responsibilities vary widely, but can involve conveying messages, organising props, looking after cast and crew, delivering technical equipment and keeping everyone fed and watered. All their duties must be carried out rapidly, so that the shoot stays on schedule.
"We're there to facilitate everything that needs to get done." – Alex Genn-Bash
Alex’s main role on Strictly is to ensure the celebrities are looked after. His day begins by meeting and greeting them as they arrive at the studios and from then on he has to make sure they are in the right place at the right time, whether in hair, make-up, costume or on set.
He stresses the importance of being able to keep a cool head when things go wrong, as well as always having a pen to hand – it is, he says, "the runner’s weapon".
Alex finds his job highly rewarding and is quickly learning what each role in a TV production entails.