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What Do Post Production Runners Do?

This is part of an interview with Post Production Runner, Ryan Patterson. Thank you very much to Ryan for chatting with me! In this post, we talk about his daily responsibilities. Check out more interviews with Ryan about how to apply for a job as a Post Production Runner and his thoughts on whether you should go to film school.


What are your daily responsibilities?


Ryan: Throughout the day on a particular building you have 3 or 4 Runners. You could start at 07:30, 08:00, 9:30, 10:00, 11:30, 12:30 or 15:00, so there are quite a lot of shifts. It varies on the building because some buildings need more attention than others.


We'll have someone that will come in and open on the early morning shift which starts at 07:30 and they'll stay till 15:00. If you are on an early shift, you are one of the first two people in, so you’re going around and opening all the 10 buildings and alarming them. Then you're making sure all the edit suites and dubbing theatres are ready for whoever's in them that day. You’ll go to look at the booking database and you'll see who's in what room. Are they with a client? Make sure the room looks extra nice and that there is water ready for them. You get to know what certain clients like and what time they come in as well. They always come in at the same time. Oh it’s 9:20, I know that John wants a cafetiere with warm milk. So you go and do it and make sure they're all catered to and happy before they even come in.


Then, we get massive Tesco orders with all of our stock, so there’s restocking the kitchens and making sure they are all clean. Then around about 10:00, all of your clients are in and that's when you start doing checks. At Films@59 you have two buildings assigned to you and you will go and do checks throughout those two buildings. You go and knock on the doors and see if the clients need anything, tea, coffee, orange juice. In the mornings, a lot of the time you will be doing a lot of toast, because it's breakfast. You're trying to keep on top of everything.


Then, we have a float Runner who may come in at 9:30, 10:00, 11:30 or 12:30 and they're not assigned to a building, but they're just there to help the people that are assigned to buildings. So they could start doing another building once you're finishing up on one building or just help you do the round with them which makes your life a lot easier because the mornings are hectic. But, they also do fly by because they're so busy. You’re constantly on the go, constantly doing things and it’s good to keep your head down and focus on what you're doing.


After you’ve done your first round of checks, you could be called to go and do a walkable. A walkable is what we call something that we have, or another company has that we need to get or to deliver. A lot of the time it's taking drives to and from the BBC. We have walkie talkies to be in constant contact with the front of house team because they get all the jobs sent to them and then they pass them onto us. Sometimes you can go on drives where you're driving around Bristol collecting kit or say, for instance, we've run out of bread, you can drive to ASDA and get some bread. It's more or less keeping on top of everything, making sure everything in the Post House is running seamlessly.


You’ll do lunch orders. The client will call the front of house team and say, Oh, can I get a Big Mac? Then you get a call to say, okay, you need to go and get a Big Mac for 4.2, which is the room. Then you go downstairs, get your petty cash from the front office, get your client’s order, come back and make it presentable and then pass it on to them.


You will also set up and make cafetieres for meetings, clean the kitchens and keep everything tidy. Some of the time you will go and check the toilets and make sure that there's hand towels and hand soap or help out our maintenance man. It could be trying to put up a blind for a client because there’s a glare coming in from their window. Light bulbs are a big thing, even a flickering light bulb. You might walk into the room and think it's nothing, but when you're in that room all day and you notice a flickering light bulb, it needs to be changed. Make sure the dishwashers are on and if they're not on, that you pack and put them on so that people don't just assume that they are clean, because a lot of people do that. They think the stuff in the dishwasher is clean and they take it out and use it and go oh wait, this is dirty.


Then, you have a late Runner who comes in at 15:00 and they are there till 22:30. That also varies as well because it depends on how long clients want to stay for. Sometimes you could stay at work until 03:00 in the morning which many Runners have done before and it's just inevitable sometimes.


If there is a time throughout the day when you would have more than three people in a building, it would be between 15:00 - 17:00 and that's the crossover point when the early shift Runners, the late shift Runners and all the float Runners are all in at once. That's your time to do your handover to let that Runner know, okay, this is what happened today. Make sure that this gets done tonight, or pass on any information that they need to know to start their shift. That's the only time you'd ever have more than two or three people on one particular building.


What advice would you give to future Runners?


If you are becoming a Runner, for instance if you haven’t started yet, I would recommend that if you have a shift pattern which lasts for a month, create a routine for what you need to do. So, you can always look at the time and be like, okay now I have to do this, now I have to do that and be more efficient with your work. Make sure that everything is being done, and being done to a good standard. So, you’re not going to get a call from someone saying, why has this not been done? Make sure that you're constantly on the ball and because you’re in a routine, it will become second nature to you. You can just do it without thinking and then you’re done and you can go and talk to clients which is always great.


How many cutting rooms are there in each building?


It depends on the building. One building has just got dubbing suites and we have a lot of tenant companies as well. We've got a lot of other Production companies that are based in our building that we also look after. Per building, there are probably about 30 cutting rooms.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this interview with Post Production Runner, Ryan Patterson about his daily responsibilities as a Runner. It was great to find out the similarities and differences between different post houses! The light bulbs definitely seem consistent! Ryan was also kind enough to chat with me about his experience at university including whether he would advise aspiring Runners to go to film school and how he applied for his job at Films@59 including CV and interview tips. Click on the links to check them out!


If you want guaranteed time with an industry professional to receive feedback, training and industry insight tailored to you, I'm now offering one-to-one online tutoring sessions! From career pathways to assistant editing, I'd be happy to be your guide. Find out more info here... don't struggle on your own!


Have you checked out the NEW, YES NEW… AH EXCITING ‘The Industry’ or the ‘Resources' pages yet?! There you’ll find collections of essential industry resources you can use to start your career. Head to the bottom of this page to find more blog posts about Assistant Editing, Post Production Running, Interviews and Film Editing.

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