What is it like to be a extras?
What do Brad Pitt, Clint Eastwood, Keanu Reeves, and Megan Fox have in common? They all worked as a movie extras before they started their very successful Hollywood career.
Movie extras are people that fill in the background in film, television, advertisements, stage, and music videos.
Movie extras fill all sorts of roles. You may sit in the stands of a coliseum, sip coffee at a bar, or skip down the sidewalk. Whatever you do, take advantage of it because this is your chance to be on the big screen and see how the filming process works. It’s a good opportunity to be seen, learn the industry, and make a bit of money.
Anybody can be a movie extra, but not many people do it. Being chosen to be an extra is all about how you look. You are chosen based on the criteria of the film. For example, a Viking war epic will need different looking extras than a comedy or series.
On shooting set, assistant directors and extra captains boss you around. You need to be ready and willing to do anything for the camera. Bring an Ipod or a book because you may be sitting around all day for one shot. Then you’ll do the same thing over and over again – eat a burrito, drink a Coke, mingle with friends, or jump rope as many times as it takes to get the perfect shot.
Movie extras need to have a positive attitude, identification, and a flexible schedule. A movie extra role can last multiple days, for 12 hours a day, and can be located just about anywhere – a Nu Boyana Film Studios, a mid-ocean cruise ship, or Stadium. You can make money for standing around, watching, and doing simple things. Pay all depends on the film’s budget, but no matter what your wage, you can plan on getting a good lunch out of the deal.
If you want to get a gig as a movie extra, it’s not hard. Register yourself with a Crew Casting, join a talent database, make a casting sheet of your dimensions, availability, and skills, check websites and newspapers, and be willing to show up to see if you have the look.
Being a movie extra is awesome because it can be a great stepping-stone to an acting career. Don’t plan on being an extra as a career, but it sure is a unique experience. Crew Casting gives you the chance to network, learn the ropes, and possibly be spotted as the next big thing in Hollywood. Even if you don’t become an overnight success, a job as a movie extra is fun.