What does an art department runner do?
Art department runners get to know the jobs of everyone in the art department by doing basic running duties for them all, both within the department and between the art and other departments and businesses such as paint suppliers. On big-budget shows with a bigger art department, these jobs will be more administrative, from sorting the post and ordering and picking up supplies, teas, coffees and lunches to copying and delivering paperwork, props or items. They may also be required to assist on location, often during the build of a new set. During filming they might help the art director or their assistant.
On smaller productions, there is more scope for creative input, such as help with the creation and construction of a prop or set.
Art department runners are the most junior roles in the art department, so are expected to assist in any way that’s required. Runners tend to be taken on for a fixed period of time.
What’s an art department runner good at?
- Art: draw by hand, design and use art software packages
- Knowledge of TV: have a passion for unscripted TV programmes and a love of the industry
- Learning: listen and watch what’s happening in the art department, who does what, what they need to do their job and how they succeed
- Communication: be confident to ask questions, especially if unsure of what a task requires, know how to pick the right time to ask
- Reliability: be punctual, do what’s asked promptly and efficiently, have a positive can-do attitude