Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by trekkerguy, Dec 17, 2008.
Has anyone on these boards ever been cast as an extra in TV or movies?
If so share your experience?
No, but by proxy sort of. My sister, a model/actress in California, has done several extra roles in TV series and movies, including "Everybody Hates Chris" and "The Fast and the Furious 4".
I'm going to go down to the LA/Hollywood area for a bit next summer in hopes of getting into some extras work so just wanting to get a feel for what it's like.
I know someone who knows someone who was an extra in Casino Royale
Woohoo! Just the experiences I'm looking for
I was an extra in Hippy Hippy Shake, which stars Cillian Murphy and Sienna Miller. It might be released Christmas. It's set around the time of the Isle of Wight festival. An interesting experience. They arranged travel and food, so at least you don't end up spending your earnings on those.
I got into it by accident, I was at a market one day, and a nearby casting agent must have thought me sufficiently hippy. They booked me for six days, but I think I only did 3 or 4. I had a pretty uncomfortable time, so decided to call it quits after a while.
It was a cast of hundreds, full of extremely shallow and irritating wannabe actors. Plus the hours were horrendous. I had to get up at 5am each morning, and didn't get home till 10pm. I was in a very old costume that was slightly too small, and smelled like it hadn't been aired for 30 years. We had to queue for the use of filthy mobile toilets (you can imagine what one might look like after 500 people had been through it). It was actually a little too close to being at a real festival! We were herded around like sheep. "You, over there", and that kind of speak. It wasn't AT ALL glamorous. Don't go there expecting that.
The money was good, the food was good, and it's a funny escapade to tell after a few drinks. I wouldn't do it again however.
Having said that, you may have an easier time of it on a smaller more intimate piece which isn't a period production. I'm sure not all stories are like mine! If your heart's set on it, go for it!
^^^ Sounds like exactly what I expect and am looking forward to. Just a start.
I'm not one to care about conditions. Thanks for the input!
I lived in LA for a while (fall '05 to spring '07) and I'm currently planning to move back sometime next year (long story). While living in LA, I worked as an extra for about a month in between temp jobs at MGM. Among other things, I worked on:
-Scrubs (one episode, I saw my back for one second)
-ER (one episode, didn't see it)
-Tell Me You Love Me (one episode, I saw myself for a moment in a club scene)
-Entourage ("Return of the King", I'm sitting two rows behind Jeremy Piven in temple - blue shirt, black tie, top of frame)
-In Case of Emergency (one episode, didn't see it... I played a strip club patron!)
-Grey's Anatomy (one episode, as an orderly, my head was cut off above the frame!)
-Gilmore Girls (one episode set in Paris - actually the Universal backlot)
-Help Me Help You (two episodes, my parents wish they had the second one on the DVR because you could see me perfectly, it was another temple scene)
-The Unit (one episode)
-Shark (one episode, ironically as a production assistant which I also did briefly)
-How I Met Your Mother (two episodes playing a co-worker at the architectural firm)
-Sleeper Cell (one episode, they were gonna shave my head to play a serviceman but they didn't have a uniform in my size)
-Studio 60 (two episodes plus a third one that recycled some audience footage from the first one)
-Hallmark TV movie Love is a Four Letter Word (as a wedding guest and I get some good face time)
-the pilot for Demons which unfortunately was not picked up (I played a student in the front row! Of course it wasn't picked up.)
For the most part, I had a blast! It pays minimum wage (for 8 hours minimum) but you do get bumps now and then. I got about $100 for playing a strip club patron and all I did was sit around. Very often you get free food (sometimes it's a boxed lunch, other times it's a steak grilled to order), and you meet so many interesting people. But there is a lot of waiting and sitting around doing nothing. I worked my way through the Mission Gamma books from the DS9 relaunch through most of this period.
On Entourage, I met a lovely girl named Beeta. She's Persian and not Jewish (she just looks the part whereas I am Jewish). She's since moved back to Texas but we did hang out for a while. She said she wasn't interested in me "like that" (and she's saving herself for marriage - I met her in LA!) but I think there's a part of her that is interested. Hell, she's a big nerd who actually owns the Star Wars Holiday Special on a bootleg tape and she's a big Ghostbusters/Back to the Future fan too! (We'll see...)
Where I was at, we got full English breakfasts, and a 3 course lunch. Those were the highlights!
Awesome experiences guys!
And watch the actresses being strippers.
You got PAID to watch strippers.
A former acquaintance was an extra in some films; she said most of it was sitting around doing little between shoots, but fondly recalled being getting to dress up in a fabulous ballgown and jewellery and dance and generally take part in a grand masked ball for some film or other (she told me, but I forget now).
I was walking past our local pub at Uni, trying to go about my business, when a film crew was shooting a scene set ouside that pub. I was approached by the scene's director (or some person with a clipboard) and asked to walk down the street in a certain way, then was thanked for it when off camera. I guess you could call it a walk-on part. A quick search on IMDB suggests the film was "Women Talking Dirty" (I recall Elton John was involved in the production somehow) but as I've never seen the film I wouldn't know if I made the final cut. Needless to say, I was unpaid.
It was a strange year, though - that same year I was asked to take part in a police line-up. I got paid for that, though. But I digress.
A friend of mine at Uni was on Princes Street in Edinburgh when the iconic opening sprint from "Trainspotting" was shot. She was standing outside Boots.
That was shot at a real strip club off of Olympic or Pico or something. They used real strippers but they were clothed (barely). The 2nd assistant director (in charge of extras) actually had to warn some of the guys not to talk to the strippers or ask them questions like "When's your next shift?" I actually got to sit at the main stage and fling fake money to one girl in six-inch heels!
If I recall, this was the second to last show I worked. It was on a Monday. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I worked the Hallmark TV movie, and on Thursday, I was back at work at MGM.
I've never been an extra, but since they're planning to open up a movie studio on the grounds of the old Naval Air Station, I may have a second career as a famous actor waiting for me.
I'd rather have a script produced, though.
That's me, gotta start somewhere though
During college I worked at the Gap. We were a big Gap, but one not in a mall so we didn't have any heavy foot traffic so it was pretty common for TV people shooting in the area to come in all the time for wardrobe stuff.
Being in North Jersey, 2 big shows that filmed locally were "Ed" and "The Sopranos"
The guys from Ed used to come in mid morning on weekdays and do their thing, so I would end up talking to them a lot. One time we got to talking and I brought up how I lived right down the street from the common street they used to shoot on and I walk down on Sunday mornings and watch them film. So they told me to I should always come down even earlier and talk to them on scene when they were preparing the shoot, saying they could always use some extra people around.
I don't know if I was ever on screen shown walking in the background though.
The Sopranos thing was a different story, since I refused to watch the show, I have no idea if I was ever seen.
I was also in a ton of Sports Illustrated for Kids commercials when I was in grammer school. They loved the look of our field and our uniforms so they came all the time during our soccer practices to shoot their commercials. I have them all on tapes somewhere around here, but it's been so long.
My Grandparents got to be in the background of a locally produced commercial for a country club. We were there because I had a golf lesson, and they were waiting in the clubhouse. The guy making the spot asked if they wanted to be in the commercial, and they would get a free dinner. I would see that spot running every once in a while, and always look for them.
I've done it a couple of times but only once in the past few years.
I'm told I should be proud of being in Phoo Action since it bizarrely won a Scottish BAFTA for best drama. I was initially hired in to do some fight scenes as, and this is the 2nd AD's words; they needed 'fat guys who can fight'.
Odd thing was we had a big stunt director who was filled with great ideas for the main fight sequence and we had to teach him basic wrestling reversals.
And this was the result;
And watching that back, I noticed I'm in it twice as I got an extra day as a photographer... and they called me back to be an evil overlord type. 12 hours minimum per day away from my daughter though, so I never did it again.
There was also a very nice documentary where I gave a very passionate interview but the bastard funding fell though and my genius was lost forever
My kind of hard work.
My kind of entertainment.
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