What does the studio assistant do?
The studio assistant, sometimes known as a runner, supports the studio manager and studio coordinator by taking on many of the day-to-day jobs that come up all the time in a busy studio facility. This could be providing admin support, greeting the cast and crew, printing timesheets or rate cards, answering the phone, ordering taxis, or making sure there is enough tea and coffee and ordering the lunch for meetings.
Being a studio assistant is the perfect opportunity to see how a studio operation runs and to learn the pace and rhythm of programme production. For example, studio assistants quickly become aware of how many days it takes to build a studio set, or to rehearse and record a sitcom, or how many cameras are needed for a chat show. If a studio assistant is keen to learn, they will soon start to understand how to run a production effectively and how the simplest things can hold up a production and waste valuable time – the main presenter not being able to find their dressing room, for example, or the transport failing to meet them at the agreed time.
If they are good, a studio assistant could go on to become a studio coordinator or perhaps a studio manager, or they might choose to take what they have learnt in the studio facility and move into production management and perhaps, one day, produce their own programmes. If they have the right personality, they will soon become known throughout the whole facility and a part of the studio’s success. It’s a wonderful place to take your first steps in the world of broadcasting.
What’s a studio assistant good at?
- Being organised: be efficient and sensible in prioritising, choosing the order in which to complete tasks; be able to file and keep things in order
- Learning by watching and asking: observe what’s happening and know when to ask about things you don’t understand
- Paying attention: be attentive to what your colleagues are working on and how to be of service to clients
- Being proactive: study the rhythm and workflow of the studio and be proactive in helping with tasks and preparing for projects; be flexible and ready to sort out a myriad problems as they arise
- Working as a team: be approachable and useful so as to maintain good working relationships with your colleagues