Has anyone here ever been an Extra, been on a shooting film set, or been a crew member?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 01, 2012 12:37 AM GMT
    Hey guys,

    So I am meeting with a production agent who is going to allow me to shadow her on film sets over the summer. I was wondering if anyone has ever been on an actual film set or worked on one? How was your experience?

    I'm not going to try to promote myself or whatever to the director icon_cool.gif. I will probably just watch everything that's going on. icon_rolleyes.gif

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    May 01, 2012 2:43 AM GMT
    I was a stand-in for a guest star on an episode of a primetime television show a few years back. I had two days on the set and it was pretty interesting...and boring. There's a lot of down-time when it seems like nothing is happening. Nonetheless, it was interesting to see how it's all done. Enjoy your experience!
  • Thirdbeach

    Posts: 1364

    May 01, 2012 2:45 AM GMT
    I've workd in film my entire life..
    There are many positive and many negative aspects of the business.

    Being an Extra (or a Background Performer as they like to be called) can be a good way to watch, learn & get paid at the same time.
    There is a lot of waiting around, which can drive some people nuts.
    You can also meet some very interesting people while being an Extra, start chatting up the other Extras while you are waiting around.

    Good luck..
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    May 01, 2012 2:47 AM GMT
    No, but would be fun.
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    May 01, 2012 2:48 AM GMT
    I was an extra for the film "Glory Road." It was a day of standing around, waiting for direction, waiting on camera changes, lighting changes, and whatever. We worked all day on ONE scene. It isn't as glamorous as you'd think.
  • adamhawks

    Posts: 54

    May 01, 2012 2:51 AM GMT
    flguy18 saidHey guys,

    So I am meeting with a production agent who is going to allow me to shadow her on film sets over the summer. I was wondering if anyone has ever been on an actual film set or worked on one? How was your experience?

    I'm not going to try to promote myself or whatever to the director icon_cool.gif. I will probably just watch everything that's going on. icon_rolleyes.gif



    Ive done medical coverage for productions before. Lots of food and even more downtime. I hope you have a better experience than I did.

    Someone mentioned about talking to others on set doooo it! networking is always good!!!
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    May 01, 2012 2:58 AM GMT
    ya I've done some extra work on a few tv shows filmed around Vancouver... like Thirdbeach said, there is a LOT of waiting around ;) But you get paid so whatever - easiest job I've ever had
  • nomad4life

    Posts: 332

    May 01, 2012 3:03 AM GMT
    I started out an extra on a show on my campus's student tv network, then became the main antagonist the second season. So it gets boring but once you chat up the right people and make the right impressions you get to do more things that fill in your time. Really though, bring a book or a gameboy or something.
  • mizu5

    Posts: 2599

    May 01, 2012 3:03 AM GMT
    I've been an extra and talent member for a few years in Toronto and Vancouver.

    lots of waiting.

    Craft truck can be sick LOL especially if union.

    Ca be interesting.

    Stay the fuck outof everyone way. You are utterly replaceable.
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    May 01, 2012 3:04 AM GMT
    I was an extra in the movie Continental Divide. One of the train scenes were filmed here. I was on the train as it left the depot and we rode to the train depot in Niles, Michigan where all of the other train scenes were filmed and then we rode back. It was a lot of fun that day and met some interesting people including John Belushi.

    I was also an extra in a film by accident. I do not remember the name of it, but was filmed in Kalamazoo and starred Sally field. I was a manager at Walgreens and Sally Field came in to have a prescription refilled and I happened to wait on her. They decided to film the transaction to be put in the movie but it got cut at the last minute. Sally was a lot of fun and invited me to the wrap up party.
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    May 01, 2012 3:08 AM GMT
    I'm not going to be an extra haha. I guess I will have more of an edge because I'm going to be with the production agent so I guess she will give me more of a tour and inside look.
  • gymnerd

    Posts: 136

    May 01, 2012 3:16 AM GMT
    actor. i've done some extra work and been set design and crew. depending on your abilities and what you want to do I would recommend any of them. i only chose actor for myself because i love telling stories.

    You're going to meet some amazing people and some awful ones. I would echo what the other replies have said and add: forget everything you think about production as it's portrayed on tv or movies. the reality is there's a lot of down time, and there is no place for ego or divas. every person involved contributes to the success or failure of a film, show, whatever and any single one of those pieces falling apart can crash the whole thing. So treat everyone as well as you would like to be and make sure you've all got your 'eyes on the prize.' This is especially true if you're going to be production assistant. You're the glue!

    Good luck and have funicon_smile.gif
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    May 01, 2012 3:20 AM GMT
    yourname2000 saidSee, now Cash is the perfect guy to answer this, but he's not around. icon_confused.gif


    Why did he go into hiding again????? icon_cry.gif
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    May 01, 2012 3:20 AM GMT
    I was an extra in HBO's "Recount".

    Lots of standing around, lots of re-takes...it was not as easy as you would imagine. That was what I was surprised by, the fact they would shoot a short scene over and over again.

    I did end up in the movie, but only showing me from the back (lol)...although there was another scene that would have showed my face, but I guess that never made it into the movie. I got to see Kevin Spacey up close walking past us. That's the first time I've been that close to any celebrity.

    Here's the part that I'm in. I'm the one with the Gore/Lieberman sign in the blue shirt....

    The "Palm Beach County Elections Center" is the back of a Panera Bread restaurant.

    vG38y.jpg

    This was the second time I was on TV, ever since that local news segment in the early 90s about using computers in the Kindergarten classroom....lol

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    May 01, 2012 3:24 AM GMT
    I was an extra in a STRAIGHT PORN film!
    I get to play some guy dancing with some naked chick and a hot guy!
    The atmosphere was great, people were very friendly, and a big buffet for everyone! So fun.
    Check out "Screenplay" by WickedVideos, if you guys can find it. (circ.94?)
    icon_cool.gif
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    May 01, 2012 3:40 AM GMT
    I was an extra in a music video years ago. I'll reiterate what others have said, there's a lot of down time and I can see how it would be boring. But for me I found the whole thing fascinating.

    How they would shoot a scene, change the camera position and the lens then shoot the same scene again, several times doing this. How they would film a scene and you could tell the director wasn't seeing what he was hoping for, so they'd try it a different way.

    Then, when it actually gets released you see the end product. It clicks then why they shot all the different angles with different lenses. It all gets edited together, with wide angles and closeups, and it seems so natural and obvious to see that in a film, but a lot of planning and skill go into making it look so effortless.

    Plus it's kinda cool to see the film years later and and say to yourself, "Hey, I was right there when that was being filmed."
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    May 01, 2012 3:42 AM GMT
    When I was a kid, I was an unpaid extra on a lame Disney movie. They basically set up production at our county fair, so lots of us who were showing livestock and were there all week got in it. (Just keep doing what you're doing and don't look at the camera!) Christopher Lloyd and Randy Quaid were around a lot, but nobody knew who they were in those days.

    I've been in a number of local news and discovery channel type of shoots. They varied wildly in formality. (I think one local news guy re-did his lead-in about 30 times.) A couple of the feature crews had gofers along who seemed to be doing everything from taking notes, going for sandwiches, taking cars to be washed between takes, flagging traffic on the highway, and toting boxes.

    I remember one of those gofers disappeared with my car for hours. (Way before cell phones.) He was supposed to meet the rest of us at the next location. Turns out, he was still sitting back in town, because he didn't know how to drive a manual transmission! It cost half a day of production. Don't do that.

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    May 01, 2012 5:15 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidWhere are the fluffers of RJ.

    Speak up now...here's your chance!


    LOL. Get me a fluffer over here. Stat!
  • Beeftastic

    Posts: 1747

    May 01, 2012 6:36 AM GMT
    I've been an extra. And I was cast for small roles in a few films including: Mrs. Doubtfire, Patch Adams, Heart and Souls.

    It's true, lot's of waiting around, and unless you are an above line star (anyone that would get prominent billing in credits), you are eminently replaceable, so you better stay out of the way of the production, be on your mark for every take, and do anything no matter how demeaning or crazy they ask of you. Any time you waste on set in messing up takes or being 'artistic', or having an opinion costs the production far more than you will ever be paid for acting!

    Lot's of time being bored, waiting for takes, eating, and trying to catch a glimpse of the above line talent.
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    May 01, 2012 6:45 AM GMT
    done bit roles/extra work back in the day. kinda fun, you meet interesting people, but lots of repetitiveness that can make you surprisingly bored or tired. you have no control over your schedule.
    overall the experience is interesting surely you'll enjoy.
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    May 01, 2012 11:07 AM GMT
    flguy18 saidHey guys,

    So I am meeting with a production agent who is going to allow me to shadow her on film sets over the summer. I was wondering if anyone has ever been on an actual film set or worked on one? How was your experience?

    I'm not going to try to promote myself or whatever to the director icon_cool.gif. I will probably just watch everything that's going on. icon_rolleyes.gif



    I was an extra on a terrible movie made in the 70s. I played one of the vampires in a fight scene filmed at an abandoned bean factory located in vineyard country. It took hours to get into make up (I was essentially in drag) and another hour to drive there, with everybody staring at me from their cars. Filming took all night and was very repetitive work, but interesting to meet the star, a sweet pretty little thing who later became a star of B soft core porn movies and a heroin addict, which killed her. The locals provided us with tamales to eat and their children asked for, and received, my autograph. I was a star, in their eyes at least. One can see the back of my head in the film if you freeze frame it. When it opened at a local theater it was so bad that it was laughed at as if a comedy. But decades later, after playing at drive-ins in Albuquerque and occasionally on late-night television, it has somehow become a cult classic, available with a director's cut/interview, etc. at Blockbuster. It was fun but I have never had any desire to be in the movies again. But I would like to dress in drag again.
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    May 02, 2012 1:09 AM GMT
    These are some great stories. Keep it up!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 02, 2012 2:36 AM GMT
    Nope.. never spent a day on any film set in my life!


















    I'm lyin like a dawg!icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 02, 2012 2:37 AM GMT
    Repetitive, and you have to wait a lot... But from my experience I can say that you get to eat a lot... of junk food.
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    May 02, 2012 2:40 AM GMT
    cavaleiro saidRepetitive, and you have to wait a lot... But from my experience I can say that you get to eat a lot... of junk food.
    True.. good food depends on who ya are onset!icon_wink.gif