Tips: how to impress as a runner
Ayo Ajibewa is a runner on The One Show, a magazine show with topical reports, features and interviews from around the UK that is broadcast live on BBC One.
The job of a runner is very diverse and on The One Show there are various types of runners: props runners; film team runners; tapes runners; studio runners; and green room runners.
Ayo is a props runner and it’s his job to make sure they can source all the props that are needed for different sketches and films. It is also the responsibility of the runner to complete whatever tasks are assigned to them as efficiently as possible in the given time frame. These tasks vary greatly and can involve making the tea, delivering messages, driving, carrying equipment or looking after presenters.
The attitude of a runner is very important. It helps to be a sociable people person. If you don’t like being around different people or big groups of people then it might not be the job for you.
"Most people remember how hard it is to get that first break." – Ayo Ajibewa
Communication is vital. In order to keep things running smoothly you need to understand how the production works, how a studio runs and what the different roles involve. For example, if you don’t know what an AFM (assistant floor manager) or a PMA (production management assistant) is then you should ask.
Using crew talkback you are able to hear the director and producers feeding instructions to the camera operators as well as the presenters in the studio. You need to listen out for particular requests that are relevant to you and act on them straight away.
A great runner is a highly organised runner. You are given a surprising amount of responsibility so it’s a good idea to take notes of everything that you’ve been asked to do. You should note the most important parts and prioritise work that needs done that day, possibly dropping things that are not needed until the next.
Foot in the door
If you’re thinking about getting started in TV as a runner, you should appreciate that it’s not just about who you know. While it’s helpful if you’ve got to know the right people to give you opportunities, it’s more about making a good impression on those you do know so they will want to work with you in the future.