Anybody looking for an opportunity to be part of an important movie or TV production can consider starting out as an extra. This could turn out to be a desired entry point into a lucrative career. They may not necessarily be professional actors. Nevertheless, they serve an important role in the movie’s background by showcasing a scene filled with regular people. If you are an aspiring actor, you may want to be a part of this as you seek to pursue your dreams. As a movie extra, you will be able to learn several acting tips. Moreover, you will gain work related experience. Furthermore, the contacts made can lead you to many opportunities in the future, because many people you come across will most likely gain success in their respective niche. They can help you in your future career endeavors.
How to be noticed by people who matter:
Extras are expected to stay on the scene until the movie production is concluded. They are paid a small wage of participation. Depending on the production budget, they may not be part of the make-over and therefore, they are only advised what clothing they need to bring with them. In normal cases, extras are dressed and fitted to capture the spirit of every piece of the production. Therefore, the wardrobe department sees to it that every extra is properly dressed for the scene.
When you become a movie extra, you will be in a place to curve out your future. Indeed, if you are new to the industry, classes can only get you so far, but you can gain insight of the industry’s inner workings when you choose to be a movie extra. You will be exposed to the realities of an industry, which to some extent is a factory. Many activities go with lugging cables, adjusting lights and much more.
Being in the midst of people gets you to a place where someone, for one reason or another, may have his/ her eyes on you. Therefore, their role gets you to an arena where you can be located readily by someone of importance like the casting directors, writers and agents – who are bound to recognize your potential. Being on the scene can get you from the background, to a more important role.
Extras are often hired as people or members of a group. Furthermore, they are companies which specialize in locating ‘extras’, particularly in the areas where a particular age, ethnic or appearance is required to ease a series of production shots. By registering with one of these companies they will be in a position to get back when an opportunity that matches your desired position arises, giving you an opportunity to become one.
Western films tend to have the most difficult weather conditions, either blistering hot in the summer, blow-dried dusty in the spring, and brutally cold during the winter months, which perversely is the favorite season for most productions.
The western set can also be the most hazardous. A well-skilled choreographer and horse wrangler coordinator is mandatory for, if ill-prepared, tragedy may strike. Such were the cases on the first day of shooting on “3:10 to Yuma” where a horse was mortally wounded and rider severely injured, or the first day of filming the Sand Creek Massacre reenactment on “Into The West” where numerous horse accidents occurred.
And, during the filming of “Wild, Wild West”, there are careless acts such as the lack of notification to some forgotten extras that they needed to clear the western set before production blew it up. Fortunately, no extras were blown up! And they worry about animal mistreatment.
With the recent proliferation of movie activity, many new faces have arrived in the business, whereas many of the players of just ten years ago have left the area or gone on to other endeavors. Sometimes you have to let family members leave the nest. Except for the few envious ones, the majority of us extras are thrilled when someone from our extended family gets a speaking part.
It’s a profession where one minute you’re ready to retire, especially after a grueling fourteen hour day, but then you get the itch to get back into it, for another shot at stardom, for another interesting story, and primarily because you miss your friends.
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