Don’t Mention Making Tea

There is a myth that one of the Runner’s key jobs is making tea.

I don’t believe this myth, it’s certainly not true at Napoleon Creative. I think I make more tea than any other member of staff, and I make tea for all of them. This is in part because I’m incredibly fussy when it comes to making tea, so like to make my own. I also like the 10 minute screen break, and the ritual of boiling the kettle, preparing the pot, collecting the cups, waiting for the tea to steep…

Anyway, I’ve just had a CV from a very junior crew member who’s approached us for work. In his latest job he was:

“a runner on this production for around two weeks. This involved making tea, looking after cast and crew and buying rigging.”

On the previous job to that, he was a runner on another job which:

“involved taking pictures as a Location scout and making tea and coffee.”

To be honest, it sounds he’s learned more about catering than he has film production. It almost suggests the production team didn’t want to trust him with anything but boiling a kettle.

We all know that Runners often pick up the lousy menial jobs. Running tapes around the office. Watching dubs dub. Making tea. But for goodness’s sake, DON’T put “made the tea” on your CV!!! Tell us more about the actual production work you did, the location scouting, what you learned on set. Other wise, the only people who will employ you are catering companies.

Gavin Ricketts is a Producer/Director with over twenty year's experience. His courses on finding work in the creative industries has helped hundreds of Film and TV Crew win more work.

Prev post
Freelancing October 28, 2010 ProductionBase Review right arrow
Next Post


  1. I’ve worked in an audio content company where the women would be assumed to make the tea, regardless of position within the company.

    I’ve also worked at a production company where the tea round is initiated by whoever is thirsty at the time. It’s agreed that screen breaks are essential for functionality and healthy eyeballs.

    I loved your point about the error of the job applicant. Peers of mine have told of runners training to become excellent runners as opposed to creatives-in-waiting performing such tasks whilst absorbing information and industry practice.

    Nice article!

  2. Yes, too many Runners learn how to do that – to be Runners. I think that’s not right, especially if they’re interning and doing it for free. Less experienced staff need to get their hands dirty on something, or they’ll never progress. And you’re not getting the most out of them because they’ll be bored senseless if they’re just running errands.

  3. Agreed, agreed. I’ve had to give interns the most tedious of tasks as a result of being overwhelmed with work and unable to afford the time to spend training. As a result, neither party benefitted fully from the placement.

    A commitment from both parties is required to achieve an ideal balance of undertaking the dog work and receiving valuable training and experience. I’ll gladly stay after hours to advise an eager and grateful intern or runner on sound post. Similarly, I’d also gladly stay after hours to further my own learning from more seasoned professionals.

Comments are closed.