How to Start Your Career as a Production Runner in Film

How to Start Your Career as a Production Runner in Film

Are you passionate about working in the film industry and interested in starting your career as a production runner? This article will provide you with valuable insights and tips on how to kickstart your journey in this exciting field. From understanding the role of a production runner to gaining practical experience and networking opportunities, we will cover everything you need to know to succeed in this competitive industry. Whether you’re a film school graduate or someone looking to break into the industry, this guide will help you take the first steps towards a rewarding career as a production runner in film.

Education and Training

When it comes to starting a career as a production runner in the film industry, education and training are essential. There are several paths you can take to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in this role.

Film School

One option is to attend a film school where you can learn about all aspects of film production, including what it takes to be a successful production runner. Many film schools offer programs that cover everything from screenwriting to cinematography, providing you with a well-rounded education in the industry.

Workshops and Courses

If attending film school isn’t feasible for you, or if you’re looking to supplement your education, another option is to take workshops and courses specifically focused on production running. These can range from one-day seminars to multi-week courses and cover topics such as set etiquette, time management, and communication skills.

On-the-Job Training

One of the best ways to learn the ins and outs of being a production runner is through on-the-job training. Many production companies and studios offer internships or entry-level positions that allow you to get hands-on experience in the field. This can be a great way to learn from seasoned professionals and start building your network in the industry.

Networking and Building Relationships

Networking and building relationships are crucial for success in the film industry, especially when starting out as a production runner. By connecting with industry professionals, you can gain valuable insights, opportunities, and guidance to advance your career.

Attending Industry Events

One way to network and build relationships in the film industry is by attending industry events such as film festivals, workshops, and panel discussions. These events provide a platform to meet and connect with like-minded individuals, potential mentors, and industry insiders who can help you navigate your career path.

Joining Professional Organizations

Joining professional organizations related to the film industry can also be beneficial for networking and building relationships. Organizations such as the Producers Guild of America or Women in Film offer networking opportunities, industry resources, and community support for aspiring filmmakers.


Seeking mentorship from experienced professionals in the film industry can provide valuable guidance, advice, and support as you start your career as a production runner. A mentor can help you navigate challenges, set goals, and make informed decisions to advance your career in the film industry.

Gaining Experience

If you are looking to start your career as a production runner in film, gaining experience is essential. There are several ways to gain valuable experience in the industry, including internships, volunteer work, and freelancing.


One of the best ways to gain experience as a production runner is through internships. Many production companies, studios, and agencies offer internships that allow you to work closely with industry professionals and learn the ins and outs of the film production process. Internships can provide you with valuable hands-on experience and help you build a network of contacts in the industry.

Volunteer Work

Volunteering is another great way to gain experience as a production runner. Many film festivals, independent filmmakers, and production companies are always looking for volunteers to help out on set. Volunteering can give you the opportunity to work on real projects, make connections in the industry, and learn valuable skills that will help you in your career.


Freelancing as a production runner is another option for gaining experience in the film industry. Many production companies and filmmakers hire freelancers to help out on set or with specific projects. Freelancing can give you the flexibility to work on a variety of projects, build your skills, and make valuable connections in the industry. Consider reaching out to local production companies or filmmakers to offer your services as a freelancer.

Skills and Qualities

As a production runner in the film industry, there are several key skills and qualities that are essential for success in this role.

Communication Skills

Communication skills are crucial for a production runner as they will be responsible for relaying important information between different departments and individuals on set. This includes clear and concise communication with the production team, cast, crew, and other stakeholders.

Attention to Detail

Attention to detail is another important skill for a production runner. They must be able to carefully follow instructions and ensure that all tasks are completed accurately and on time. This includes being organized and keeping track of multiple tasks simultaneously.

Problem-Solving Abilities

In a fast-paced and dynamic environment like the film industry, production runners must be able to think on their feet and solve problems quickly and efficiently. Whether it’s troubleshooting a technical issue or resolving a scheduling conflict, the ability to problem-solve is a valuable asset for a production runner.

Overall, possessing strong communication skills, attention to detail, and problem-solving abilities are key qualities that can help aspiring production runners kickstart their career in the film industry.

Job Search Strategies

When looking to start your career as a production runner in film, it’s important to have a solid job search strategy in place. Here are a few effective methods to help you land your first job in the industry:

Online Job Boards

One of the most common ways to find job opportunities in the film industry is through online job boards. Websites like Indeed, Glassdoor, and frequently post production runner positions at various production companies. Make sure to regularly check these websites and apply to any relevant openings that catch your eye.

Cold Calling Production Companies

Another proactive approach to finding a job as a production runner is by cold calling production companies directly. Look up a list of production companies in your area or the area you’re looking to work in, and reach out to them via phone or email. Introduce yourself, express your interest in working as a production runner, and inquire about any potential job opportunities they may have available.

Utilizing Social Media

In today’s digital age, social media can be a powerful tool for job seekers. Follow production companies, industry professionals, and film job posting accounts on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Engage with their posts, share your own relevant content, and keep an eye out for any job opportunities that are shared on these platforms. Networking on social media can help you connect with industry insiders and potentially uncover hidden job openings.

By utilizing a combination of online job boards, cold calling production companies, and leveraging social media, you can increase your chances of finding a job as a production runner in the film industry. Stay persistent, proactive, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there to secure your first job in this exciting field.


In conclusion, starting a career as a production runner in film can be a rewarding and exciting journey for those passionate about the industry. By following the steps outlined in this article, such as networking, gaining experience, and continuously learning and growing, aspiring production runners can set themselves up for success in this competitive field. Remember to stay dedicated, work hard, and never give up on your dreams of working behind the scenes in the film industry. With determination and perseverance, you can achieve your goals and build a successful career as a production runner.