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What do you do as an extra?

Created the: 26-05-2020

Would you like to be in a movie? A real movie with an advertising budget and famous actors? It's actually not as impossible as it may sound.

Onlinecasting is often looking for ordinary people to play small parts in movies, for example sitting in the background of a bar or being part of an audience at a concert. These "ordinary" people playing small parts are called extras, that is, people in movies or commercials without speaking lines, but who nevertheless bring atmosphere and life to the scene. Extras are used in all kinds of films playing parts such as café guests, museum visitors or perhaps hospital staff. The list is endless.

Becoming an extra does not require any special qualifications, but, for the most part, you are not paid for it. Sometimes you might receive a couple of cinema tickets as a thank you. On the other hand, it is a great experience to see how a movie is created, to experience the whole atmosphere on the set, and get access to the good networking opportunities within the business.

Your choice of clothes

Unless you have been told otherwise, extras show up on the set in their normal clothes. However, you should refrain from wearing clothing with a visible logo or colorful clothing, as you are usually filmed wearing your own clothes. It’s important not to stand out too much or steal the focus from the paid actors. Sometimes, however, special kinds of clothes are required. If it is a historical film, for example, the film crew will usually provide you with appropriate costumes to wear.

Long waiting times

As an extra you have to expect and prepare for possibly very long waiting times. Bring a good book, music to listen to, or other remedies that will help you pass the waiting time. It often takes several hours to get everything ready for a scene, which then only takes moments to shoot.

Many extras also spend time talking to others, sharing experiences, etc.

There are a lot of people on the set who all do their best to make the movie a success. So don't get in the way. Instead, follow the instructions at all times and stay where you have been told to stay.

In general, there is coffee, tea and water on the set. If it is a full-day event, food will normally be provided.

".. AND ACTION !!"

You will be told well in advance when you are required in in a scene, so you can prepare and be ready when the time comes.

On set you will be briefed on the content of the scene and what to do. Now is the time to ask questions if you have any. When the director yells "action!", you must do what you have been instructed to do. Remember: Don’t stop before you hear the word “cut”.

Sometimes close-ups of the extras are needed, other times wide shots are used. Whatever they do, however they film the scene, it’s only later they figure out what they want to use in the final cut.

If nothing else, you can have fun watching yourself peeping out behind famous actors, finding yourself in a crowd, or telling your friends that you are in the movie when it hits the cinema or television.

Being an extra is an easy, but a slow and ungrateful job; but if you want to be in a movie and experience the atmosphere and what goes on behind the scene - it's really worth it.

Create a profile on onlinecasting and see all our castings. There are always plenty of opportunities for extras.