Sign in to follow this  
WARCAYUHANAJIWIN

If you had the chance to be any film's as a extra

19 posts in this topic

That depends how I'm cast. For the low pay and sometimes waiting long hours for that shot, I want to be one of the few in the foreground not one of hundreds placed in the far background that goes by in 5 seconds like so many winds up.

 

How pathetic a person would be saying to his family and friends Did you see me in the movie, I'm there in the back holding a broom. I'll freeze frame it and zoom in. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How pathetic a person would be saying to his family and friends Did you see me in the movie, I'm there in the back holding a broom. I'll freeze frame it and zoom in.

 

Uh...ummm...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I should like to have been an extra in the very early days of film, when the business was very fluid, growing and very easy to get into. Being anywhere on a movie set opened opportunities to move up. *Gloria Swanson* started as an extra in Chicago! If you didn't want to act, you could move up to some production role, like director or anything else, even studio executive. This may all sound farfetched today, but in the beginning days of the industry it was an everyday occurence. The movies were growing at an exponential rate; it was a totally new business with no entrenched old gaurd. Everybody was new to the business, and there was no other way to learn anything except by doing it. Those who got hands on experience early had a huge leg up over those who tried to crash the industry later. Many dropped by the wayside, but the lucky ones wound up starting at $5 a day, to the executive suite at a major or a mansion in Bel Air!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ascot!

 

 

The hierarchies and "firewalls" within the business and on the set are firmly in place, and have been so for a very, very long time! (Even in the 20's, an extra was never to address the director or "stars" of the production unless spoken to. They tell extras that today: "Don't speak to them unless spoken to, or you'll be booted off the set!") Today, if an extra wants to speak to these people, he has to ask permission from his casting director, who in turn has to ask someone else for permission!

 

That being said, anyone with good networking and social skills can make a lot of useful industry friends and contacts on a set! If you are starstruck wannabe, there is always the chance that as extra, you could be spotted for a possible "walk on" role, i.e. stand conspicuously in the background in a non-speaking role in a close up shoot with the stars. Anytime this business gets a close up shot of your mug and puts it into a film, anything could happen! One can then be "spotted" further. Behind the camera are hundreds of production support people, and there is no "firewall" preventing an extra from making pals with them. I always flaterred the *Essanay* people, who continue on as a major production support unit. I would admiringly remind them that *Essanay* is just about the oldest studio in the business, predating *Paramount, MGM* and the other majors. It was *Charlie Chaplin's* studio. They are Hollywood and they represent the business and it's long history! They loved hearing such stuff, and ate it up with a spoon! I'm sure had I kept up this kind of charm offensive I could have wormed my way into a job with them if I'd wanted to.

 

The earliest days of the business were different; then it was a total free for all, a brand new industry. It wasn't considered quite respectable then; the days of superriches, superfame and superglam still being in their golden future!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=hamradio wrote:}{quote}How pathetic a person would be saying to his family and friends Did you see me in the movie, I'm there in the back holding a broom. I'll freeze frame it and zoom in. :(

A lot of'em do it though, don't they? How many times have you been watching a reporter out in public with some yahoo standing behind him advertising to the world at large what an idiot he or she is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would have loved being outfitted as a cowboy extra and rode horseback on any or most of the old westerns. God! But that looked like fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like to mention a movie that covers the grey area between cast and extra. The movie "Madeline" (1998) is the best example.

 

The 2 nurses that were gabbing in French and were only shown for 5 seconds - are they cast or extra?

 

Alexandre Arbatt who played Mr. Uzbekhistani Ambassador (how lame - thats something I would be stuck with, lol) who had only 2 small lines and haven't had a bit role since 1984. Might as well be called an extra.

 

Most of the girls had no lines and some were mostly obscure in any realistic role besides being simply seen. With the exception of Clair Thomas, none had any other offers to appear in film. Are they no better off then being called an extra?

 

How ackward it must had been for Morgane Farcat (you all thinking who the hell is that?) who understood ONLY French, had only one line and did not understood anything anyone was saying! She was the most obscure child in the movie.

 

This movie is also the best example that even having the leading role is no guarantee that you have a future in film. Hatty Jones must had been very disappointed that her phone never rang again after her starring role. *A one shot deal!*

 

*This must have been a movie for wanna be's!*

 

Edited by: hamradio on Sep 15, 2011 1:14 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Wow, this one had me going. At first I thought if your going to be an Extra why would you care what movie it was but then bOb saved the Day. How cool would that be to be a Cowboy Extra, Man those guys could Ride. Chase them Indians or Be an Indian. Ride at break neck down hill like is Snowy Creek.... that would have to be the Ultimate... Way to Go .... bOb :)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey bOb, how about a Pirate on one of the old Pirate Ships would have to be way up the scale too. Patch on one eye and a knife between your Teeth. ARRRRRRRRRRRRRR MATE, THAT BE TOPS TOO.... :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah! To be one of Cap'n Vallo's scurvy crew in The Crimson Pirate! To be one of the mates when Cap'n Vallo says, "Gather 'round, Lads, gather 'round." Yeah! We sure know how to have fun, huh?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi bob,

 

 

After 30 or so takes, with 14-16 hour days, it gets to be a "job"!

 

The end product gives people little idea of what goes into the making. It can indeed be fun, while being long, hard work at the same time!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Work!? Hard work?! Awww, c'mon, Thelma. Swinging on the yardarm and buckling swashes all day.... gotta be fun. :)

And ridin' the range once more

Totin' my old 44

Where you sleep out every night

and the only law is ........ oh, yeah. The Director.

 

Well, in my yout' it mighta been fun. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Bob,

 

You're showing the gung ho spirit that the movie people would appreciate! They like people who can be enthusaistic and hold up, no matter what! (Seriously) You might want to think about calling a casting agency, if there is any filming going on your hometown. Extra work is very easy to get. I would recommend this experience to all the TCM community. Experience with real life filmaking gives you a real appreciation for the movies, and makes you appreciate them with a whole new eye.

 

For those who hope to break into the film business, either as actor or production- I think it's vital to hang around the people who make them and to make contacts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

bOb39

 

 

Yout' , what did you say? Yout'. Yout', is that what you said? What is a Yout'..................................... LOL.

 

 

NOW that is FuNNy. I guess that should be moved to the " Favorite Line in a Movie " thread . LOL

 

 

 

 

 

YOUR KILLING ME, Thanks bOb39.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"

 

"*YOUR KILLING ME, Thanks bOb39*."

 

As Wolfman Jack once said, "Ayyy , no charge, man".

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Bob!

 

Take what comes and go one step at a time! BTW, the "fun" stuff, like riding horses and swinging on ropes, is nowadays done not by extras, but by stuntmen. They make union scale in Hollywood,(wherever the shoot is) and are quite well compensated. They actually have a school where you could learn the tricks of the trade and qualify for job openings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi eugenia!

 

"Don't call them, they'll call you" is true enough once you are in their pipeline of propective candidates. First, one has to make efforts to get INTO that pipeline! That's where pounding on doors and people comes in. A study of star biographies often reveals ambitious driven people who never took no for an answer, and did just about anything to finagle their way into the door.

 

Extra work IS easy to get. All other jobs in the film industry have a formidable entry barrier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*How pathetic a person would be saying to his family and friends Did you see me in the movie, I'm there in the back holding a broom. I'll freeze frame it and zoom in.*

 

That would be me in a Tupac Shakur movie from 1997, GRIDLOCK. If I had a choice to have been on any movie, maybe an extra in QUEEN KELLY.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us