So you think your mug should be flashed across the big screen? Being a movie extra might be your ticket. The term “extra” refers to a background or atmosphere actor. An extra is basically a prop to fill out the background in a movie.
HOW TO START ?
The good news is you don’t have to look like Brad Pitt. In fact, it’s usually the case that the more average looking you are, the better. And all types are needed. Extra roles can range from the ordinary, such as a businessman walking down the street in Spider-Man 3, to the extraordinary, such as a Greek warrior engaged in battle in Troy. And you don’t have to be a member of the actor’s union (the Screen Actors Guild, or SAG) to get work as a movie extra.
Here’s how to get into a position to have some fun on movie sets, make a little money in the process and maybe even meet some stars.
GET A HEADSHOT
If you can afford it, get a headshot photo taken by a professional, with your resume printed on the back. If that’s out of your price range, just have a buddy snap some color photos of you, which can be printed cheaply. Be sure to create an electronic version of your headshot and resume in addition to the hard copies.
CREATE A RESUME
You should tailor a resume specifically toward extra work, which should include physical characteristics such as height, weight, hair and eye color, as well as contact information and entertainment-related experience. Also indicate special skills, hobbies or sports at which you excel. I’ll explain why later.
SUBMIT YOUR PICTURE TO EXTRA WORK
Most extra work is found in major North American film centers such as Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, and Chicago. Other areas such as Vancouver and Florida also host a fair amount of film productions.