A TV runner or assistant is an unsung hero in the television industry. In many cases, a show will not run successfully without these individuals helping wherever possible. However, these workers still struggle to get paid well for the work that they do for the industry, but the role is often the starting point for a career in the film and TV production industries.
What does a Runner do?
Primarily, its support role for the whole production and can include a huge range of tasks. Typically, runners will be given lots of small jobs on behalf of both cast and crew.
Head over to our Job Profiles section for further details about a Runner, their responsibilities and how to become one:
Earning as a Runner
The Film and TV production sectors are heavily unionised which regularly renegotiate better deals for all production crew, including runners. If you’re starting out in a Runner role, BECTU recommends accepting roles offering rates which match or exceed the following:
|Content||Day rate (excl. holiday pay)||Day rate (inc. holiday pay)|
These rates are based on a 10 hour working day, however some productions may choose to offer hourly rates which will be on par with the rates shown above.
From the start of 2023, scripted television productions have seen new terms and conditions introduced for all crew members. Changes include:
- Scheduled days can only be 10+1 – 10 hours worked plus 1 unpaid hour for lunch (11+1 days have been eliminated in TV Drama)
- Sixth shooting days paid at 1.5T and non-shooting sixth days paid at a minimum of 10 hours for 6 hours worked or 1.5T if over 6 hours (2017 had no additional payment for sixth consecutive days)
- A cap on split days for schedules over 7 weeks
Weekends, early calls and nightwork
- Workers will be given two weeks’ notice for weekend working
- Nightwork is now shooting hours from 11pm (rather than midnight) and compensated weekly instead of after the run of nights
- Dailies receive a rest day after night work
- Cancellation for dailies now from 1pm instead of 3pm
Overtime, mileage and other allowances
- Overtime cap has been increased to £70 per hour from £45
- Mileage is paid after 25 miles (30 miles in 2017 agreement)
- Bank holidays are to be paid at 2T if worked and workers on band 4 will be paid at 1T if not worked (the 2017 agreement had no increased payment for bank holidays)
- Grace periods have been abolished (under the 2017 agreement, production could call these twice for no additional pay)
- Undefined ‘prep and wrap’ time has been replaced and limited to one paid hour per day
- The agreement now covers made for TV features and streamers