Earning or Supplementing a living as an TV / Film Extra
Long days at a Studio, but the start of something big?
Having done some TV Extra work, I can see exactly the humour of Ricky Gervais's TV Comedy series.
The main joy of TV / Film Extra work is that you don't have to be a fashion mode; you apply as you are. If you haven't any teeth, if you're 85 years old, if you have a strange shaped nose - it doesn't matter. Some film or TV Show /Drama is being made in some location where they need a face or body like yours!
The word 'extra's' in fact is PR wise phased out. They are now known as 'Background Artistes', which I guess is more accurate.
The pay varies a lot. Basically, the more you do, or the more the face fits, the fee's can go upwards and beyond.
Two years ago I was an extra in the first series of 'Titty Titty Bang Bang', the BB2 female led comedy series.
At that time, I got £65 for the day. Not much maybe, but they supplied us with full breakfast, a massive lunch and afternoon tea as well - which is usual.
There could be any number of jobs going in this 'occupation'. Many make a full time living out of TV Extra work. Jonathan Ross's Mum has been an Extra on 'Eastenders' for years, so it can be done.
The other joy of this kind of work is that you don't have to do it if you don't want to.
I know a chap who does this quite a lot. He's been abroad shooting a TV Play and appeared in films starring top Oscar nominated / winning Actors. And - I can assure you ladies - he's no looker!!!!!
Longer Term Work
It could be a long term film project. For instance, the Extra's used on the film Titanic were employed full time for over three month's!
Film Actor's who started as Extra's and went on to slightly better things!
Earning Extra Money Articles
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Casting criteria for extras depend on the production. Becoming an extra often requires little to no acting experience; punctuality, reliability and the ability to take direction may figure more prominently than talent.
There are several casting agencies that specialize only in background work. When hiring extras, casting directors generally seek out those with specific "looks" that will contribute to the ambiance desired for the film, for instance, "high school students," "affluent senior citizens," etc. Casting directors may also look for extras that possess special skills needed for the scene, such as Rollerblading or dancing. In addition, as extras are often required to use their own wardrobe on the set, casting directors may seek those who already possess specific costumes or props, such as police uniforms or musical instruments.
On smaller productions or student films, extras may be hired en masse with little formality.