What is being a movie extra really like?
Hi, I am posting as a guest to DragonFeed. I am here today to answer questions related to being a movie extra, I also do TV shows and commercials as well. In terms of my experience, I have participated as an extra in 3 “A-List” movies, multiple TV shows and a commercial as well as many other much smaller projects. I prefer not to give you my name or projects I have been in for privacy. Below, I am answering some questions I have been given by DragonFeed admins.
What advice would you give people who want to enter this career path?
Many people be an extra because they are an aspiring actor and want to get an insight into what a production studio is like. Others simply want money, this is why I became an extra in all honesty. The first piece of advice I can give is to be confident and get your name out there. Sign up to an agency, personally I recommend Mad Dog Casting because them, like others, are very reliable. Make sure you don’t sign up to any ‘Fake’ sites. Also do it because it’s FUN. You wouldn’t believe the amount of happy/funny memories I have from my experiences.
What is the pay like for people who are starting out?
Well, like other jobs the pay varies completely due to the size of the production. Generally, you will get paid £100 per day but it changes a lot. I have to take another job as well as being an extra.
How do you cope with all of the large waiting times?
This is 100% the hardest thing about this job. I have actually found a way to conquer it. That way is reading. Take as many books as possible, likelihood is you will spend your whole day reading. Whilst waiting I have read “A Song of Ice and Fire”, “Lord of the Rings”, “The Name of the Wind”, “The Hunger Games” and so much more! Also don’t ever be afraid to have a power nap or chat to other extras.
Do you have any cool stories from your experiences?
I do! I’m not the best story teller but i’ll try to tell you. So this was about my third time on the job. It was only a short movie and we had to be on set by (I think) 4:30am. It was at literally the peak of winter and was freezing cold outside. Me along with a couple of other extras were on a bus in a car park just on the outskirts of a forest. The only brightness was a light in the distance which was were they were filming. As it was so early, about half the people on the bus were falling asleep and the vehicle was dead silent. All you could hear was the turning of pages from books and the odd crunch from people snacking. I actually had a bad cold at this time and wad holding in what would be the biggest, greatest sneeze of my life. I opened my rucksack to find my water was legitimately turning into ice before my eyes. After a short time, everyone was asleep and I was the only one awake. Suddenly, my nose tingled and my head leaned backwards, I opened my mouth and gave out the most almighty sneeze I think the world has ever heard, even the film crew must’ve heard it. Everyone on the bus screamed, even the lads who acted tough throughout the whole journey. One woman was in tears. But me, I have never laughed so much in my life.
I hope you enjoyed.
What job requirements do you need to be an extra?
Nothing! That’s the amazing thing. I never took drama in school nor do I have good acting skills. In fact, I absolutely hated drama. The only qualification you need to be an extra is to be born. No matter who you are you can do it, and there will always be someone who needs your face.
What would your dream job as an extra be?
Game of Thrones. During Tyrion’s epic speech, the Red Wedding, Joffrey’s death or the Battle of the Bastards. I can only imagine how incredible that must be. Anything epic fantasy would be awesome and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, it’s a personal goal of mine.
I would like to thank DragonFeed for emailing me. Thanks for the questions.
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