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WORKING AS… A Television Production Runner

Sandy McKee is a ‘runner’ for an independent television production company called Remedy Productions. Here, Sandy tells us about his responsibilities at Remedy and his route into one of the most competitive industries in the world…

As things stand, I am six months into what will hopefully become a long and rewarding career in television production. Working in this industry since June has allowed me to experience some of the pros and cons of working in television.

I work as a ‘house runner’ for an independent television production company called Remedy Productions. The job description itself is pretty hard to define. From day-to-day, I suppose I would say it is my job to be of assistance to anyone and everyone within the company that is more senior than me. In my time as a runner, I’ve been tasked with a massive variety of jobs; from scripting material for shows, researching some of our guests and operating cameras on shoots, to filing, paperwork and re- organising our storage unit.

My affiliation with Remedy came about through doing two weeks of work experience here in late 2009. I looked into doing work experience


at Remedy mainly because they produced the programmes that I enjoyed watching throughout my teenage years. It was that simple really! I enjoyed my work experience and I met some really good people who I got on well with.

Following my period of work experience, I kept in touch with my supervisor and regularly offered to help whenever they needed an extra pair of hands. Fortunately, they thought enough of me to ask me back to help on a couple of big productions and I was paid on a freelance basis. The opportunity of becoming part of the permanent staff at Remedy came in May 2010, when they were in dire need of a receptionist. It was before I had finished my finals, but I thought it was a ‘way in’ and I couldn’t turn it down. I expressed my interest and they agreed to take me on.

I’m not sure if my boss actually knows what my degree was in (broadcast journalism) or what my final classification was, but it don’t seem to have mattered. I got my

job through building up friendships and being willing to help, even if the work wasn’t particularly interesting. Doing work experience has worked for me, as it has for most of my colleagues. I suggest you get involved, think about where you want to go and if you get an opportunity, show that you really care about doing a good job.

In terms of career progression, I can’t really say I’ve made significant leaps and bounds as of yet, but in terms of personal progression, this first six months has been vital. I know that almost all of my colleagues have had to work as a runner or an intern at some point and they can appreciate that my job isn’t always exciting; but it’s a stepping stone and it’s a position from which you can observe and learn from people. I now have solid experience of the office environment and a great understanding of the pressures that come with a career in television.

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