View Full Version : Has anyone here worked as a gofer/runner?

07-13-2006, 04:26 AM
Hi! Has anyone started out in the industry as a gofer (we call them 'runners' in the UK)? What is it like? How far can you progress into other areas? I'm looking to work on-set and maybe in a production office, gaining more experience and contacts. I have some scripts that I'm working on and one day I'd like to set up a production company, possibly as a partnership. I'm sure I would value the time on a TV or movie set.Tell me about your experiences or any advice...?

07-14-2006, 03:27 AM
I used to work for a production/management company and it was a great experience. I started out as an intern and was promoted to an assistant pretty quickly.

In general I would say plan to work 3-5 years at a low level. The best place to start out at is a talent agency. The benefit of working there is that you will get overtime so you can end up making about $40,000 a year, if not more. Plus you will meet a ton of other assistants who are trying to make it in the business just like you. Those assistants become your class and some of them will go on to become agents, studio executives, producers, or leave the business all together. Your class will most likely be the first group of people you go to for information and favors.

Depending on who you work for will determine the amount of BS you have to put up with.

After working at a talent agency for 1 year or so, it will be your boss who gets you your next job (most likely). It is funny to see kids fresh out of school, work at an agency and then have their boss place them at a job they are not qualified too do. Of course the boss likes this because you are now forever grateful to your boss for getting your dream job and when he wants information he is going to come to you.

I have heard 2 really good quotes that describe making it in Hollywood:

It is a marathon and not a sprint.
No one ever fails in Hollywood, they just give up.
So plan on working long hours (9am-7pm) if you are very lucky…but (7:30am-8 or 10pm) is not uncommon.

If you can last, and have half a brain you can go far…but it could take 5-10 years to become a real player in this town. Of course it has been done in less, but this is the average of what I have seen since I have been out here.

Good Luck

ps. If you are lucky and have a good boss, they will take you out to set, they will take you to parties, award shows, and premieres

07-14-2006, 06:00 AM
I was a runner as prod and post prod houses when I first stepped into the industry. I found it invaluable, just rememebr to keep focused on what you want to learn and what you want your next move to be. It's a real good way and sussing out what other people do and what you'd like to do (and not to do).

My advice - got for it, just use it to gather contacts, info and join the dots in how everything works.

* note - am rather drunk so sorry for any typos:)

Oh, and don't use the term 'gofer'!

EJ Pennypacker
07-14-2006, 07:53 AM
Do it. Learn. Be hungry to learn. Be keen. Be very keen. Just be very good at what you do. Then you will be promoted.


Stephen Wegmann
07-14-2006, 09:29 AM
I was a runner as prod and post prod houses when I first stepped into the industry.

How do you initially get this job though? And I thought most interns didn't get paid...?

07-14-2006, 11:00 AM
We call them runners, too. Mostly though we call them P.A.s

07-14-2006, 04:22 PM
Interns don't get paid (usually) but a lot of management/production companies are always looking for them. If you work for 2-3 months and show that you are serious they will help you get a job. You will most likely need a college degree for that job.

Also another good way to get in especially if you want to get paid right away is start through a temp agency. For example, Appleone in Glendale places people at all the movie studios. One of my friends works at Disney and he knows a lot of people who got hired after temping through that agency.

Also Star Personnel in Beverly Hills places people at talent agencies...just google to get their contact information.

07-14-2006, 11:48 PM
How do you initially get this job though? And I thought most interns didn't get paid...?

You can either just bug people and get a foot in, either for min pay or nada. Or, and this is the way I did it in the UK, I got on a YTS scheme (what can I say, I left school pretty young -16- and had no idea what I wanted to do). I went to the City of westminster College, which was crap BUT you go to college for one day a week then they place you in diff companies for the rest. I found my love pretty quickly. It was cool because even though you didn't get much $ the government paid your rent and council tax (unlike other students) and you got real hands on experience. This was 10 years ago so I have no idea if it's still up and running. PM me if you want more specific info, and good luck!


EJ Pennypacker
07-15-2006, 03:32 PM
How do you initially get this job though?
You can always write a letter to them. You can even offer two weeks work free or something like that. Something that gets you in the door.