Monday, 18 February 2008

What role would you do?


Runner - A personal slave for the entire office. One can get these poor souls to do anything from making tea to checking if electricity is indeed flowing through that wire. Runners love anyone who makes them feel included. Make friends with a Runner and you're set with tea, coffee and snacks for the rest of the show!

Junior Researcher - A sneaky title given to a Runner so that they feel they are slightly more superior. These "runners" assist the main Researcher in programme developing but will also be expected to make tea and run errands. However they tend to get a little "big for their boots" with the title and look down their nose at basic jobs. I dislike the tossers as a rule.

Researcher - Assist the AP in finding contributors. Researchers are hard working bastards who do not get enough credit as it invariably goes to the AP.

AP - There is an argument here as to whether this stands for Assistant Producer or Associate Producer. Depending on how up their own arse the AP is will depend on what they call themselves. I find just saying AP avoids insulting a delicate ego. These lovely people do everything from finding contributors, locations, liaising with contributors to writing scripts. They are the down to earth voice of the Director and are usually easier to communicate with. You want to know shooting schedules or what is actually happening - speak to the AP

Production Secretary - The support for the Co-Ordinator. However on most shows they either don't have Secretaries or have the Secretaries doing the Co-ordinators job but only getting paid their own rate. TV is all about screwing over the little person.

Production Co-Ordinator - We get to organise everything from shoot days, finding crew, pre production, post production, archive material, copyright issues to handling the money of the show. You've got to love organising and constantly know what is going on. We're the mothers and they're the children.

Production Manager - The Big Mothers. These hardworking people control the budget, agree to give team members money, maintain health and safety, make sure that compliance is met and basically control the production expenditure. This job involves staring at the budget and excel documents until your head hurts. I'm not 100% that I actually want to get to that position! Generally these are woman, I've only ever met 2 male Managers. I don't know why - is it because woman are control freaks?

Director - You get 2 types of Directors; the "Oh I'm making a deep and powerful film" Director and the "Let's get this show on the road and make the best programme ever" Director. The unitiated might not see the difference but trust me you don't ever want to come across the 1st type. They take their job way to seriously and actually think that we are offering society something more than a stupid television show that people will forget 2 minutes after watching. Seriously, get a grip.

Producer - Usually this roll is combined with the Director in Television. It means that you have the added responsibility of working with the Production Manager in controlling the budget but also want to spend obscene amounts of money making the "film" look beautiful. I think these people have a sort of Jekyll and Hyde type of personality.

Executive Producer - They waft in perhaps once a week, make sure that everything is running smoothly and according to plan and then waft out. Come the final product they bitch and moan about the cost and then comment about how beautiful the "film" is and how the public is going to be in awe of the artist creation. They then take all of the credit.

Basically people who do the above roles are - as a rule - overbearing, loud, too cool for school, up their own arse, up other people's arses and generally a pain in my arse.

Other than the Secretaries, Co-Ordinators and Managers of course!


The Chronicles of a Fashionista in PDX said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Chronicles of a Fashionista in PDX said...

That was very insightful! For me I would probably end up the Producer due to my Jekyll and Hyde type of personality. :P

KaB said...

I would just lurve to be the Producer! Think my nutcase personality come I can do anything persona would fit in quite nicely!

What you think?!?

Where/ how do I start?!?

Give me guidance oh gure of the telly world!

Anonymous said...

I never realised there was so much anal spelunking in television. I suppose a torch is required equipment.

The Divine Miss M said...

@pdx - You do realise that you will have an internal battle to spend as much money as possible to make the most beautiful show BUT also have to realise that your budget can't handle it and you're not really allowed to spend the money.

I've seen Producers go mad.

@kab - You want to become a Researcher, then become an AP and then you can split then to being a Producer. In TV they do combine the roles of a Director and a Producer so learning how to use Z1 cameras and shooting skills are incredibly useful. It's a long slog that will take about 5-7 years depending on your skills ;) Unfortunately you might have to start as a runner before they allow you to become a Researcher :(

@kyk - You have no idea. Sometimes people get stuck and we have to rescue them. It's not pretty.

sweets said...

i think i'll just watch the show ;)

The Divine Miss M said...

I agree sweets. Much easier that way!

Lopz said...

Production Co-ordinator all the way... probably just because it's what I did so I know the drill. My only complaint about this role is that you're the last person to be thanked, if you even are. Even the runner goes to the wrap party and gets pissed... sometimes we weren't even invited! Aaah, the sweet nostalgia ;-)

The Divine Miss M said...

Lopz you are so right. We don't get thanked.

I've spent a wrap party organising everyone elses transport home since they were too fucked to leave of their own accord.


If the money was better I'd want to always be a runner. You have a degree but spend your time making teas and running errands. What could be better?