What does a kit room assistant do?
Kit room assistants work for the rental companies that provide the technical equipment for a crew to make a TV programme, such as cameras, lenses, microphones, mounts of cameras and lighting equipment.
They prepare the kit, ordered by a production company, for delivery to the production office or filming location. Sometimes they work during filming by helping to set up and operate the cameras. This can give them the experience they need to become a camera assistant at a later point – though this depends on the production company concerned.
Once filming is over, kit room assistants return the equipment. It’s their job to assess if it’s been damaged, either repairing it themselves or sending it off for repairs. They also do general servicing and cleaning, including updating software. Kit room assistants do general office admin too.
Typically, kit room assistants are given training as part of their job, so they learn how all the equipment works and often then advise clients on what kit they may need. Some companies may have specialist departments such as camera, lighting or sound, so that kit assistants can gain in-depth and specific knowledge on a smaller amount of equipment. Large broadcasters have their own kit hire departments, which sometimes need assistants, as well as independent hire companies.
What’s a kit room assistant good at?
- Interest in kit: be keen to know how TV equipment works, what it can and can’t do, how to maintain and store it
- Taking instruction: listen, do what’s asked accurately, stay calm under pressure
- Learning: observe and listen to what’s happening and learn from it, take initiative, ask questions at the appropriate time
- Customer service: listen to what the customer is asking for, be as friendly and helpful as possible
- Driving: have a full clean driving licence, be confident driving vans and getting to new places (optional depending on place of employment)