I was reading this Telegraph article about what is real and isn't real in The Revenant, and the author mentions that "several runners had to be eaten" in the process of making the film. What does she mean by runner? Is this movie industry jargon? This is the paragraph in which I read that snippet:

Given the overwhelming emphasis that has been placed on the film’s authenticity – the cast and crew went through five months of “hell” to make it, director Alejandro Iñárritu only shot in natural light, several runners had to be eaten – it’s difficult not to turn into the post-torture version of Peeta from The Hunger Games, and repeatedly ask “real or not real?” when confronted with some of The Revenant’s more horrific excesses.

  • Also a restaurant term. A runner is someone who delivers food from the kitchen to the customers. (Different from server)
    – Evorlor
    Jan 3, 2018 at 22:11

1 Answer 1


Is this movie industry jargon?

Yes, it is.

A "Runner" is an industry term for a low level staff member..a so-called (in US parlance) "gopher" because they "go for things".

A runner is an entry-level position, the most junior role in the production department of a broadcast, film or video company.

As a runner, you'll act as a general assistant, working under the direction of the producer and other production staff, to undertake whatever basic tasks are required to ensure the smooth running of the production process.

This role offers the opportunity to gain vital experience and knowledge of the production process, offering valuable networking opportunities, and is often seen as the first step on the ladder for people aspiring to roles in broadcasting media.


In the case of the quote...it's a joke indicating that unimportant crew members were eaten because of the extremes the film-makers went through during the making of the movie. It's not meant to be taken literally.

  • 9
    ...and not to be confused with the term show runner which has a completely different meaning!
    – rrauenza
    Jan 3, 2018 at 16:01
  • Is that another word for PA - production assistant, or are they two different things? Jan 3, 2018 at 16:26
  • 1
    It;s probably the official title for a runner
    – Paulie_D
    Jan 3, 2018 at 18:49
  • 1
    Really, they're quite good with a nice Chianti... Jan 4, 2018 at 0:11
  • If it's a joke, then it is meant to be taken literally. They weren't metaphorically eaten :P
    – Nacht
    Jan 4, 2018 at 4:01

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