Location Running

You may have forgotten that I am temporarily currently in employment (then again the lack of posts about interviews and rejections probably gave it away.) I’ve done some location running in the past, but my latest exploit was something new, and so I thought; Why not blog about it?

I shan’t go into the specifics of the show itself, but it required me staying overnight as it was a two day shoot. It was a small team consisting of the Producer/Director, Cameraman and Yours Truly. I went into this relatively unprepared as to what my responsibilities were as it was a last minute change and so there were a number of stumbling blocks where I had to learn as I went along.

Here are a few handy dandy tips.

1. Pack light
I have a bad habit of over packing, more so because I like to prepare for all eventualities, as well as because I prefer to compartmentalise (1 bag for overnight stuff, a second bag for everyday stuff) but when you’re helping to lug around kit, 1 backpack is all you need. Next time I’ll bring an empty canvas bag that I can use for the day to day, but can easily combine with the backpack.

2. On the Job 24/7
There’s nothing wrong with drinking on the job, especially if you’re just following the example of those who have seniority; but know your limits. Personally I didn’t drink on this excursion…. mostly because I couldn’t afford to, but also because I am an embarrassingly picky drinker.

3. Receipts
Keep them all, and keep them organised. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that you’re at work, especially when you’re out for dinner and having a good chat, which is what happened to me. We left the restaurant and I forgot to pick up the receipt. Luckily I remembered before we got in the car and drove away, but that would have been a massive oversight as it was one of my main responsibilities.

4. If you don’t know….
This one should go without saying but I’ve heard horror stories of people being too afraid to admit that they don’t know how to do what they’ve been instructed. Thankfully I don’t mind standing up and letting the room know I have no idea what’s going on. Doing this also helps you to learn. The PD just assumed that I frequently did location running, and it wasn’t until I asked a few questions that she realised; therefore she always gave me specific instructions the first time I had to do a task, and from there I picked it up and didn’t need to be told again.

5. Remain Neutral
This shoot required interviewing a number of people, and as a facially expressive individual, I had to be concious of keeping my poker face in place. It’s not my place to judge or even have an opinion, and even displaying some semblance of bias could throw things off if spotted by the interviewee. Opinions, if needed will come in the comforts of the hire car, or in a booth at the far end of the restaurant – again, following the lead of those senior to you, and even then must be said in the most diplomatic way possible.

I can’t really say anything else without giving something away, and so I will just end with saying that each shoot you go on – despite your role being the same – can be vastly different. The main thing is to use your best judgement, if you don’t know ask, and try and learn something that will help you in your next role.


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