Hello awesome background extras!
This week we are giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we do. Let’s just say it involves a lot of spreadsheets, Diet Coke, and phones to our ears. We love all of you and love going to work everyday. First sneak peek? Andrei at work in our Dallas office.
Look for more pictures and tidbits this week!
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Dick is a salty, offensive and most of the time foggy, ex roadie who still relishes the glory days of arena rock touring. With a crude mind, and no filter, his redemptive qualities still show through with certain co-workers (Kent and Shannon). He’s incredibly ingenuitive and loves his job as lighting technician, which is the only redeeming quality about working at theAtrium, in his mind.
firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com with The Atrium and desired role in the subject line. Include a recent headshot, resume, role you are applying for and contact information. Any reel or example of previous work should be included if available.Please share with others that may be interested or repost, but do not alter the content.
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I get calls and emails ALL THE TIME, asking “please can I get a ‘featured’ role on the project you’re casting for.” I never know how to answer that because I am not in charge of where you get placed on set, or where the cameras get placed. Nor do I do the editing. So booking you as a background actor even a “Featured Extra” DOES NOT EVER GUARANTEE that you’ll be in the final product of the film, TV Show or Commercial we’re casting for. You do not need to keep asking if you’ll be featured. Below is an idea of what we go through to select the so called “featured extras” and how you can put your best foot forward to possibly be considered.
Sometimes when working on a particular Film or TV Show, we’re asked by directors to submit photos of “specialty” or “featured” background actors, that may be in front of camera or may be interacting with one of the lead actors. People that are shown to the director for consideration are called “picture picks”. When we’re asked to do this, we typically create a www.mycastingfile.com character breakdown or open call and also post something on Facebook giving specific dates of what’s needed. Sometimes we’ll even call and email you to ask for different photos etc… (We usually use these multiple platforms because film and tv is a hurry up medium, and people want to see their picture picks NOW!) But we also need to make sure that our background actors are actually available on the days that the scene is supposed to film before we can submit them. (There is nothing worse than showing a great photo of a great person to the director, having that director chose them and then having that person tell you they are not actually available for that date! Then you have to go back to the director and tell him/her “I’m sorry that person isn’t available…” and it makes you look bad, ticks the director off and generally wastes everyone’s time…)
Before picking our picture picks we meet with the director and he/she tells us what he’s looking for, and then we seek it out in our database. When we ask you for different photos, it’s because we know a different look may sell you better to the director. We’ve worked with some of you for 6 years or more and have seen you in a VARIETY of different roles. These directors may not have ever seen you before and are only going by the 1 or 2 photos you’ve sent us. If we’re looking to book a “Body Guard” spot we may ask you to send a photo of yourself looking more imposing. Maybe wearing a tank top instead of a business suit. Similarly if we’re looking for a nurse we may not need to show a photo of you in a cocktail dress. It doesn’t sell the image we’re looking for. So we may ask you to take a new photo of yourself in scrubs and send it to us.
After the pictures have been looked through and the director makes his choices, someone from my department will reach out to you to tell you you’re booked, congratulations! The bummer is that for every 1 or 2 people that book the role there are 20+ people that didn’t book and are disappointed. I’m always sad that people are disappointed but keep plugging away at it and your day will come too! The best way to continue to be considered for “Featured” background roles is to A) have a good headshot that I can show to the director (if your headshot isn’t good I likely won’t show it.) B) Be willing to work as a background actor even though it’s not a “Featured” role. When I see people come to set and have a great attitude, and do it over and over again regardless if they’re seen or not, it makes a HUGE difference to me. It makes me want to cast them more often and continue to give them further opportunities.
So please realize that there are PLENTY of times on a set in which you can be a “Featured Extra” and never be seen at all on TV. There are other times when you are seen really well on a tv show or movie and you weren’t picture picked at all. You were cast by us the casting company who knew you’d have a great look for the scene and knew you were a reliable background actor! If you have any questions about this or anything else please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Friday the 13th, 2012,
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Recently we have been doing a LOT of work in our database and have also been learning how to use MyCastingFile. Some of you really have great photos in the database . . . but then there are some of you that the photos don’t do you justice, so we have compiled this list, in David Letterman style, of “The Top 5 Photos to NOT Submit to a Casting Company.”
1. Photos with a hat on, or sunglasses, or a MASK — we can’t see your hair color or length. If we need a bald guy, how do we know if that is you? If we need someone with lots of hair, how do we know that’s you? Um, really, it’s called a headshot for a reason! LOL!!!!
2. Submitting only a photo of your head. A “headshot” is a great start but it’s also REALLY helpful to send in a full body shot so we can see your body type/build. Then we know if we can book you as a bodybuilder, a champion food eater, an anorexic mother, whatever!! We need all kinds!
3. Photos with lots of people in the picture. How do we know which one is you?
4. Sending in two photos in which you look TOTALLY different. How do we know which is your current look? We don’t want to know what you looked like five years ago!!!
5. The photo from your awesome trip to the Pyramids — so we can’t actually see you because you are so tiny in the picture.
So, what should you submit? Great photos are of just you, are current, are well lit and show your face and body. (It’s best to submit one photo from your chest up and one photo of your whole body.) Photos should also be in color. Black and white photos are artistically beautiful but it is hard to tell your hair color, eye color, skin tone, etc. And remember, photos do NOT need to be professional!!!
See you in the database . . . and hopefully on set!!!!
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As many of you know, Louisiana is one of the top three places to film in the United States behind LA and New York! Here’s a chance to meet some of the people that are in charge of bringing and creating films in the North Louisiana Area! Below you’ll find my blurb on Facebook, but further below you’ll find a Press Release from the Robinson Film Center itself. To get involved and volunteer to work/act at the parties please contact Sherry Kerr her email is email@example.com. Include your name, headshots and phone numbers!
SHREVEPORT MOVIE PARTIES SEEKING VOLUNTEERS- Hello awesome Actors/Background Actors!!! You all rock!! I was contacted today by one of the Party Planning Committee members for 2 BIG parties coming up in Shreveport,LA. Party #1 is at the Robinson Film Center on March 15th. They’re expecting 100 guests. These guest will be the 100 most influential movie people in Shreveport.
Party #2 is at Millennium Studios on 04/14. They’re expecting 1,000 guests for this. Producers, actors and directors coming from ALL OVER the USA for this event. They’re looking for actors to impersonate famous characters, and actors. They’re going to make it look like a real movie set, and they’ll need pretend photographers, camera operators, stunt people etc… it’s a GREAT way to network and gain exposure. She said you can bring your business cards and pass them out etc…
The contact’s name is Sherry Kerr and her email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please email her a headshot, with your contact numbers. She’ll be glad to hear from you and will give you the next step in what to do. Thanks y’all! Let’s make these events amazing and all get some additional exposure and work out of it!!!
Robinson Film Center announces blockbuster ‘Backlot’ gala
April 14, 2012, at Millennium Studios
SHREVEPORT – Millennium Studios will swing open its downtown studio doors April 14, 2012, for the “Backlot”
gala of the Robinson Film Center (RFC). All proceeds from Backlot will benefit the nonprofit film and media
education organization, which operates daily in downtown Shreveport.
“This party is going to be a blockbuster!” said Waynette Ballengee, the RFC board member who is serving as gala
chair for Backlot.
Millennium Studios, a movie production studio complex in downtown Shreveport, opened its doors in early 2011
and serves as headquarters for Nu Image/Millennium Films’ Louisiana operations.
“We’re thrilled to be holding this gala on an actual soundstage at Millennium Studios,” Ballengee
said. “Millennium has graciously donated their space. This will allow us to offer our supporters a behind-the-
scenes movie experience they will never forget.”
Backlot will offer more than just great music, great food, and great entertainment. By staging the gala on a studio
soundstage, RFC and Millennium will recreate the mystique of an actual movie studio’s backlot – like the ones
idealized by Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Performers – playing actors, directors, and crew members – will restage the filming of classic movie scenes. Table
decorations and displays will showcase some of the coolest props from Louisiana-made movies. And partygoers
will grab their lunch trays and dine from the catering trucks that serve actors and movie crews on a daily basis.
(Adventurous partygoers might even be asked to act in a classic movie scene!)
“Everybody is going to get some star treatment come April 14,” Ballengee said, “and we can’t wait to turn on the
Tickets for the gala will be $125 for individuals, and gala sponsorships are now available for between $1,500 and
“The Robinson Film Center will actually honor its $15,000 gala sponsors by installing a permanent named star in
the sidewalk in front of the film center. How cool is that?” said Lampton Enochs, RFC’s development committee
chair and a cofounder of Shreveport’s Moonbot Studios. “Our Sidewalk Superstars program is like the Hollywood
Walk of Stars, only these honorees support the critical mission of Robinson Film Center.”
Planners of the gala hope to attract 1,000 supporters and secure ten $15,000 sponsorships.
“This is a big goal, and we need the community’s support to reach it,” Enochs said. “This Backlot gala is a great way
to get a little taste of Hollywood movie magic, plus support an outstanding, vital nonprofit organization.”
Mission of the Robinson Film Center
The Robinson Film Center is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit arts organization based in Shreveport, La. Its mission is to
provide a venue for independent, international, and classic cinema while serving as a resource for film production
and media education. In addition to daily film programming, the Robinson Film Center offers film and media
production classes for all ages and provides a variety of resources and facilities to the region’s burgeoning film
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Alright everyone, Tina here … I’m checking in with you guys again to continue telling you the low down on my latest adventure in the world of background acting!
I can honestly say that my last experience is the most fun I have had on set yet! Before I go into the gory details, I do want to emphasize that I am writing about the inner emotions I am currently feeling due to my own personal accounts working as BG. I don’t want to be blamed for fooling anyone into believing that any of this work is easy for everyone simply based on the things I say. I want everyone to always remember that my perception and my experience, as background, may seem even better than winning the lottery from my description. That’s honestly because I think it is better but that’s probably just me!!! I should also probably include a disclaimer saying, ‘that results not typical, outcome may vary’. I can’t help but LOL at that last comment.
I’ll be skipping and hopping right into the good stuff now.
I arrived on set around 9:30am Friday morning. I parked at the Municipal building parking lot then gathered my things from my car. I proceeded to walk across the street to the honey wagons that were sitting in clear view. Once I got to them there were two familiar faces standing nearby. I didn’t know either of their names but I asked one of the gentlemen if he knew where I needed to go. He first pointed to a building about two blocks away and said, “do you see that building across the street to your right?” and quickly laughed then told me, “no, no, I am just kidding! Do you see that girl in white over by that truck in the parking lot? That’s Ashley and she will send you where you need to go.”
I laughed and admitted that he had me fooled then thanked him for his help. I left the honey wagon area and walked over to Ashley. I knew Ashley because I had met her on Tuesday. She pointed me into the Municipal building where I then got a very pleasant surprise! I finally got to meet the man with the plan! Sitting at the table where I received my voucher was none other than Andrei Constantinescu! It truly was a great honor to meet him and I was looking forward to catching up with him later in the morning but unfortunately time didn’t allow for it and you will find out why.
I took my voucher down the hall to wardrobe where I got in line to get fitted.
A fellow veteran BG actress who I had met on Tuesday joined me in the line. It is an amazing feeling to bond with new people and make new friends. I think it’s safe to say that is one of the many reasons why this is so much fun to me.
Once wardrobe picked out what she wanted me to wear, I went downstairs to change. The outfit she had picked for me was a jumpsuit in a sort of sea foam green color with shapes/patterns including yellows, pinks, oranges and whites. It would have reminded you of a curtain or tablecloth if you could have seen it. Very retro! It was FAB-U-LOUS!!!!
I put my outfit on and guess what? If you refer to my previous blog you might have an inclination. You guessed it! RIIIIIIPPPPP! I had another wardrobe malfunction! This time it was the top zipper. You see, the clothing was not tight it is just very delicate in material and stitch. I might not be so delicate myself and when you add me into the equation with something that is, well, you end up with minor set-backs. A little stitch coming loose was not going to keep me from begging to stay in this outfit though! I asked if we could just do a quick stitch or safety pin for it. They apparently had big plans to get this clothing on camera though and said that they were going to stitch me into the clothing. I can understand that if you are potentially going to be on camera from various angles.
I get sent to the mile long hair and makeup line as a “priority”. They wanted me fully made up and sent back to them for stitching. I was placed first to go next in line in the hair station. There were four stylists working on hair and all four seats were filled at the time but the minute the next chair opened up, I plopped down in it. Since I had been in background on the pedestrian scene on Tuesday, I was determined to have a different look for the “disco” scene. I had worn my hair extensions and told the stylist that they were in place. She loved it and said that she had just the hair-do for me! She finished me up, set my hair and sent me to the makeup line.
I stood in the makeup line for about an hour. I think I was actually supposed to go to the front of the line for that too but I knew they could stitch my top up very quickly so I did the respectful thing and got at the end of the line which there were only two people ahead of me in line at the time. Unlike the hair station, the makeup station only had two makeup artists. While I was in line I stood in awe as I watched the ladies get their hair done because the hair station was right beside the makeup station. There was so much talent in the hair-makeup department. These ladies are good! After standing in line for a good hour it was finally my turn! My makeup artist gave me some green and pink eye shadow, glossy lips, blushed cheeks and instructed me to go to the bathroom and really goop up my eyelashes! I obliged!
Once I got back up to wardrobe I scouted out the head of wardrobe but she was nowhere to be found and I still needed to get my top sewn. It was not a problem according to one of the crew because she told me that they were all on set. They guided several of us out to the van because the director and AD needed us on set NOW. Since wardrobe was there they could stitch me up over on set.
Once I got to set one of the production crewmembers guided me downstairs to wardrobe and she took me to the side. I stayed in my clothing and she just stitched the separated zipper while I stood there. After she finished she informed me that I would have to get one of them to help me out of the clothing at the end of the day.
Production grabbed me and took me into the club where the other 85 background people had already been placed. He sat me beside two guys in a booth next to the dance floor. I was given instructions to sit and pantomime with the guy beside me and on the count of 15 seconds I was to get up and go out to peer into the crowd on the dance floor. Everyone was given specific instructions and most of them were given props. They even had cigarettes that were nicotine and tobacco free for more realism. It was COOL!
When the AD said BACKGROUND and BLONDIE music started blaring on the sound system … I got up and walked/danced along the isle to the outskirts of the dance floor. I ended up looking out into the disco dancers then found a fellow background crony to pantomime with. I think I left an impression because the AD came to me after that take and told me he had something bigger he wanted me to do. He grabbed the guy that I was originally sitting with and he placed us standing at a table. We were to stand there and “flirt” until Michael Shannon got to the bar, ordered a drink, and walked toward the dance floor. Once he started walking toward the dance floor it was our cue to pull one another hand-to-hand out to the disco-dancing going on! On the next take that is exactly what we did! It slowly evolved from there! We were then instructed to walk in behind Michael Shannon and Chris Evans, stop at the table, wait on Michael to go to the dance floor, then follow suit! As the night progressed we got to walk out right in front of Michael Shannon and a couple of his cronies! It was exciting. I spent most of the night standing at an elevator door with Chris Evans and Michael Shannon then proceeded to go from that to disco dancing with both of them! II have to admit that was pretty darn cool!
After multiple re-takes, and I do mean MULTIPLE we were given the go-ahead to break for lunch! The director of “THE ICEMAN” is awesome. Have I mentioned that this film is in brilliant hands? The confidence I get in knowing this director has such a vision and such high standards leaves me anxious for the final product.
Ashley led all of the background performers upstairs and to the holding tent where we were divided into two lines, one for males and the other for females. Wardrobe came around and took pictures of everyone in groups of four because there would be an exterior night shoot after lunch. They would use the pictures to help decide who they wanted to keep and for continuity.
Production and crew caught vans back to base camp first then everyone in BG lined up to catch vans back to base. This was all around 6pm that afternoon. Once back at base we got to delve right in at the lunch line. Normally background waits until the last crewmember has eaten before they can eat but since there were so many people for this particular shoot we had two separate lunch lines. Production and crew had lunch downstairs while background had lunch upstairs. I had not eaten all day so I was famished! Catering always does an outstanding job with lunch. I fixed my plate and after approval from Ashton I grabbed a seat on the stairs where I would be well out of the way of everyone else. My new friend Joy joined me. We sat, ate, and enjoyed sharing our experiences for the day.
After lunch a slight confusion set in for many people. It was rumored that we would have to do a line up for the director to come down and hand pick several of us to stay for the exterior night shoot. There ended up being a line up and head of wardrobe picked about 27 of us. Wardrobe put everyone (except me) into coats/jackets. My ‘costume’ didn’t allow for a jacket because there was not much to choose from to start and what was left for me didn’t work. Wardrobe made a wise choice because it truly wouldn’t have looked good otherwise.
The remaining background performers loaded up in the van and headed to a new location to shoot the exterior scenes around 8:30pm. We all got placed by the AD and were given new instructions. Several of the guys were asked to drive some of the vehicles for the shot. There was an array of old cars, one of which was an old taxicab. It was really cool and very nostalgic to see all of the props for the film. It really makes you feel like you are in a time warp! I honestly think I would enjoy scouting locations and/or wardrobe and props! To find these items must feel like you have struck gold!! I was very impressed. My feet felt like ground beef and I was in major pain by this point. It had also gotten pretty cold outside. The wind was the worst part but since I was standing next to a building I was able to walk just inside the entranceway to block the wind. In this scene I was placed with a new guy. We were apparently married in this scene so in other words we could have possibly been swingers since we were both flirting with other people inside the club! Haha! Once the principal actors walk across the street to their mark, my new “man” and I were instructed to walk down the sidewalk then out under the street lamp where would then pass through the shot directly behind the three principal actors. We did several takes then we were placed again. This time we were filming the shot where the actors go into the club. We were still at the same location but we went inside the building and hung out. The last shot only had about four re-takes and then we were done. I was a little torn because even though I was tired, I truly didn’t want to leave.
Anyhow, that last shot proved to be the last of background. We all loaded up in vans to head back to base. We had to turn in our wardrobe and get our vouchers back so we could get signed out. I have seen the same faces for twelve plus hours on two separate days during the week and I just can’t help but feel a sense of loss when I leave. These folks may not remember or notice me but once I see a face, I remember it and I miss that familiarity but always look forward to seeing them again one day!
I will say that the hardest part about being an extra is not standing in 6 inch heels for twelve hours. Your feet feel like you have skated on cheese graters by the end of the day and for the next two days of course but that’s not the hard part. The hard part is getting amped up and totally into the film then having to wait until it is released. “THE ICEMAN” is scheduled to release sometime in 2013. I highly recommend keeping your eyes peeled for news and press on this film. It’s going to be EPIC and I’ll be modest, it won’t be because of my two seconds as background. It will be a great honor to be able to say I participated in this phenomenal piece of work though! Needless to say I will be anxiously awaiting my next email, with my next project and my next call time! CHEERS!!!!
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ICE ICE BABY!!
I can’t contain the excitement of my recent work on the set of “ICEMAN” and I want to just dive right in but first things first. I must brag on the LEGACY team! This TEAM is a piece of ACE! Without these guys, this opportunity would not be possible for any of us, so never forget how you got to where you are! I sure won’t!
I personally have to thank Rachel for being my own personal cheerleader and Ashton for not only being at everyone’s beck and call while in holding but for personally rescuing me from being lost Tuesday morning when I was trying to find base camp. Thanks guys!! You RAWK!
Okay, on to the “cool” stuff about working as background (BG) on the movie “ICEMAN”. I was booked for Tuesday as BG for a very special scene with Robert (played by Chris Evans) and Richard (played by Michael Shannon) but as is the business of show business, things changed. It NEVER discourages me and I only look at it as the opportunity for the possibility of an even greater experience! I arrived to the base location around 6:30am Tuesday morning. This was after speaking with our very own Ashton (I like to refer to him as Tom Cruise BUT MORE AWESOME). Ashton may not realize it but he rescued me from my directionally challenged GPS. Ashley (with production) called shortly after I had dialed up Ashton so I decided I’d call her back one I was no longer lost. Ashley was calling to see if I was going to make it because due to Mr. GPS taking me to the wrong location I was running a tiny bit late.
Ashton led me to the main route and led me to signs with arrows that said “ICE” on them so I knew I could find my way from there. I called Ashley back as soon as I hung with Ashton to let her know that I was almost there! Once parked, I was able to catch a van then head down to quickly check in with Ashley and head to wardrobe. Wardrobe hooked me up in 1970’s clothing, then hair and makeup did their magic and I was ready to roll! Around 7:45am Ashley said they were ready for us on set so she took me and the three other BG actors to transportation where we hopped in the van to head up the road to location.
Once we arrived on set the director pulled Ashley aside to speak with her briefly then Ashley came back over and let us know that there had been some alterations she had not been informed of and some changes were definitively being considered.
No probs! Flexibility, patience, and understanding are golden for anyone willing/wanting to work in the industry: no matter the position you are filling to help out. I think I have a little too much fun doing this to be honest because I always get a bit excited when things changes because I know it will always be for the good of the film!
Anyhow, we hopped back in the van and headed back to base where we sat in the holding tent. We were to sit tight and wait for further instruction. Again, no probs! It was about 32 degrees Fahrenheit that morning so the four of us huddled around a little propane heater in the holding tent and waited patiently.
Additional BG was scheduled to check in a little after 10:00am and as the time continued to creep by and 10:00am inched toward us, we were pretty certain that “our” BG scene wasn’t going to happen. Long story short, it didn’t happen but wardrobe took us out of our 70’s get-up and placed us in 1980’s attire so we could get placed in the next scene with the approximately 30 new BG arrivals. Filmmaking is an art form and if it is placed in the right hands, it’s beautiful! I hate to jump the gun but I am willing to put myself out there and say that “ICEMAN” is in the hands of brilliance! I can’t give any vital information away but from what I have seen thus far, this movie will be AH-mazing. I know how to spell amazing, BTW.
Back to the scene … it was later in the afternoon now and even though it had warmed up a tad that day, we found cooler temperatures starting to recur as it got later. Don’t think that you don’t have to possess acting skills to work background because you certainly do! It takes talent to pretend it’s warm outside when it’s really not. It takes talent and good lipstick to cover your blue lips!
So it’s pretty cool outside but this was a “summer” scene. Most of us were in summer type clothing with little protection from the cool air. Some of us were even in worse shape than others too. If I were “PC” I would simply tell you that I had a wardrobe ‘malfunction’ but I’m not really PC so I’ll just tell you that my lovely, white bell bottoms ripped at the seem around the zipper. My awesome turquoise panties were saying “HELLO!” to everyone and I was getting an extra breeze thanks to that new opening! I didn’t want to have wardrobe redress me so I asked if I could wear a camisole under my shirt to pull down over the exposed under garments and my outer shirt would just cover the cami. Wardrobe said it was fine so I was good to go! Everyone in BG is strategically placed on set and given specific cues/tasks to achieve once they hear “background”. We were all set up and given our instructions and thankfully mine was simply sitting at a picnic table. I didn’t have to worry about flashing everyone since I didn’t have to move around. Here we go!
CAMERA ROLLING! SOUND ROLLING!!! ACTION!!!! BAAAAACKGROUND!!!
The shoot was only around two hours, maybe a little less. I can’t say exactly because I didn’t have a watch at the time. That’s pretty quick but the director was pleased after about twelve takes and several re-shoots from different angles and close to 5pm we were wrapping the scene up and heading back to base. Once back at base, we all lined up in front of the honey wagon to get out of wardrobe and put our own clothing back on so we could turn their clothing back in and get our vouchers.
I was standing in line to turn my wardrobe in when the head of wardrobe walked up to me and asked if I would be available on Friday for a big disco scene. I calmly (on the outside) and ecstatically (on the inside) told her I’d be available. She also asked my two fellow BG friends beside me if they would be available as well. She told us that she would get in touch with casting and let them know! I know me and anyone that knows me, does too and I could NOT wait to get home to email Rachel so I could tell her this exciting news!!! That’s exactly what I did too. Then it was official … I was booked for the Friday “DISCO” shoot! WOOHOO!! To be continued …..
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Thanks to Ava Eadie for this blog about her day on set!
The day before . . .
5:00 pm: Reread Legacy Blog, “A Day In the Life of Extras Casting” – noted tag – ”Anyone want to be a ‘guest columnist’ about a day on set….” Oo, Oo, I do, I do! And so it began…
7:11 pm: Reviewed call for Neiman Marcus Dining Scene, call time . . . 1:30 pm bittersweet…would love first day on a film set to be full effects but, Ces’t la vie..
7:13 pm: Finish filling out Emergency Contact form – Check
7:15 pm: Make copy of DL – Check
7:25 pm: Review Garment bag for Clothing options – Oops, forgot to iron that blouse, Oops, Oops, this scarf needs pressed – Check, check and check – Oops, Ooops, Ooops forgot panty hose…will have to run to the store in the morning.
8:00 pm: Mention to hubby I will be a “RICH” matron in the scene – smirked he, “That will take some acting!”.
10:42 pm: Lights out. At least I don’t have to get up at midnight early.
Day of filming . . .
11:45 am: Last minute clothing preparation.
12:15 pm: God please keep I30 clear of traffic problems and keep me from becoming a traffic problem.
12:16 pm: Enter 2500 Main St, Dallas into GPS – I Love GPS!
12:40 pm: GPS took me to Ceasar Chavez Blvd South instead of North – forced stop on Hartwood while an old, hoary faced truck driver deftly maneuvers his diesel, blocking the whole street, between two SUVs in a tiny little delivery parking lot at Harry and Sons. Arrggg GPS!
12:53 pm: Woohoo! I am here at BASECAMP for filming.
12:54 pm: Meet Robin.
1:10 pm: Meet a cluster of other “RICH” Matrons in the parking lot: B.J., Sara.. “with an h”, Pam, Laura…”It’s Lori”.
1:20 pm: Waiting back in my car under the street above, watching some young, viral guy play with his very WOLF looking pet across at Dog Bark Central.
1:30 pm: Meet Andrei.
1:43 pm: Hear “RICH” Matron, B.J., frantically tell Andrei that her car won’t start and the windows are down.
1:45 pm: Handed a voucher to be filled out.
1:50 pm: Robin attempts to staple my DL copy and Emergency form to the voucher with her cute, teal colored, mini-stapler only to discover she is out of staples …she will be right back
1:53 pm: Matt checks my voucher …I failed to notice the voucher form is in Triplicate or perhaps it is
Quadruplicate…anyway back to the car to fill it all out…
2:00 pm: Waiting in line to have voucher checked again by Andrei….”My maiden name?..Oh, sorry, didn’t think that was highlighted.”
2:30 pm: Haul my bags to the wardrobe trailer to have outfit checked.
2:45 pm: Woohoo! Outfit approved, don’t have to change!
2:46 pm: Haul my bags back to the car and lock up.
2:48 pm: Share my “set bag” with Pam for her flats and newspapers.
2:50 pm: Standing out in the parking lot with a larger cluster of “RICH matrons” and Andrei waiting for vans to take us to Neiman’s.
3:09 pm: Sheila, a makeup lady, comes around and bans my red lipstick- …go to makeup trailer for tissues to clean up…Sarah there too trying to remember my name, asks me what my name rhymes with….I have never known of a real word that rhymes with Ava…but then I have not thought long on it…
3:15 pm…Corrine and Costume Designer decide I need an alligator bag to go with my outfit. They take my voucher…
3:20 pm: Van arrives and 10 or so of us all climb in… the Principle Stand-ins also happen to be in this van.
3:27 pm: Once at Neiman’s, in their breakroom, Ingrid goes over the lowdown of all the quiet stuff we have to do.
3:45 pm: Waiting with all the other “Rich Matrons” in breakroom…many are re-primping and helping others primp… the girl with the Snookie hair (she is much lovelier than Snookie and dressed far more sophisticated but I never got her name) helps Pam tease her hair….
4:23 pm: JJ and wardrobe people come in and make selections of “Rich” Matrons and Men.
4:27 pm: I along with several others are selected and shown to the dining area.
4:30 pm: Kara and I are to sit at the right front table next to the Principles’ table…right now the two Stand-in’s are sitting in…
4:40 pm: Kara and I become acquainted and practice our quiet background acting….
4:51 pm: Crew are dressing our table for dining…Kara and I have plates with bits of lettuce and tinier yellow bits of what sorta look like egg and two small chunks of chicken….I think I will pass on pretending to eat….really looks like someone already ate what was on my plate….
4:53 pm: Crew member puts ice in our glasses. He is wearing latex gloves. He gets some sort of critique by some other crew guy. First gloved crew guy walks away commenting that he needs some wine. I think that would be good too…some people have some on their tables, and some even have flutes filled with champagne or what looks like champagne, a crew guy is adding drops of Coke to the champagne to increase the bubbles I think.
5:10 pm: Still sitting, still waiting and practicing. I become concerned about looking stupid with over mouthing quiet conversations….I try to “tone down” my quiet mouthing.
5:15 pm: Someone calls for Sound, then Camera begins rolling, literally, and immediately proceeds to knock over a vase on the long table in the middle of the Zodiac Lounge, sounds like marbles fall all about. Director comes through calmly commenting for the retake.
5:30 pm: Back to breakroom while they film the left side of the scene.
5:35 pm: Starving …Pam shows me where the little snack cart is…YUM -sea salt potato chips. .Finish off little bag of almonds
5:37 pm: Christine, Pam and 4 others have not been taken for any background in the scene yet…
5:42 pm: A crew member comes in and takes half of the ladies not picked back into the dining room….Christine chuckles to Pam, “And then there were 3”.
5:48 pm: Those of us on the right side of the scene are called back in.
5:52 pm: Phil the AD, who has made sure he knows everyone’s name in the scene, adjusts me and the table. Three Makeup people actually come over and work on my hair and pony tail.
5:58 pm: Camera rolls…..pretend to converse with Kara….Principle scene sounds different…. Print….
6:05 pm: Camera Rolls for background sound.
6:15 pm: Outside Neiman’s waiting for Van ride back to parking lot…It is cold and raining….Crew and Principles come down and get in the first Van.
6:40 pm: Made 3rd Van ride back with Stand-ins and a full van load….Someone behind asks if anyone wants to go with her to some “Twisted something “ restaurant…
6:47 pm: Walk to back of the Wardrobe Trailer in the rain and turn in my alligator “clutch”, which I think was never viewed in the scene, to Corinne for my voucher.
6:50 pm: Turn in my voucher to Matt…
6:55 pm: Headed home…that’s a Wrap! Tired but delighted! Thanks Andrei and Legacy and Film Crew, You were all Awesome! Can’t wait for next time!!!
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When we are in the midst of filming a show, extras casting seems to be a 24-7 job. Here’s a glimpse into one 24 hour period. This is an HONEST glimpse . . . no fabrications or exaggerating!
12:03AM Send out the skins for the day now that final call times have been confirmed.
12:05AM Send out an updated skins with some revised information.
12:30AM Go to bed.
4:30AM Wake up. Ugh. Early call times are a beating, especially since I was up so late working.
5:15AM Leave the house to drive to set.
6:00AM Arrive on set. Get breakfast! It is going to be a LONG day.
6:15AM Extras start arriving even though call time isn’t until 7AM. Check in extras until 9AM.
9:15AM Arrive at the office. Check email. Take phone calls. Get constant updates from the set. Put out fires. Pull photos for the director for several specialty extras. Send them via a PA to the set. Call the barber who is a consultant for a scene to confirm availability.
2:00PM Lunch break at the desk while checking emails. (Cafe Express — assortment of pastas and salads. Love this part of working in the office but wish I could actually stop and enjoy the food/get to talk to others in the office!)
2:15PM Robin calls with an emergency on set. Help with that for an hour.
3:15PM Hear back from the directors. They likes some of the photos I have sent them but they want more choices. Pull more pictures.
4:30PM Call Robin. Ask her to come back from set to the office to pick up the photos and drive them back to the set for the directors to see.
4:35PM Continue booking future scenes.
6:00PM Meeting with producer about situations on set.
6:10PM Status meeting with Robin to touch base on bookings.
7:15PM Leave the office. There is still more work to be done but this is a good breaking point to get home or else I will be here until 10PM . . . plus the Rangers are on! (Told you I would be honest!)
7:47PM Get a call from a featured extra canceling for tomorrow as I am driving home. Can’t answer because I am in traffic.
8:00PM Arrive home. Begin working on trying to find a new featured extra for tomorrow. Are you kidding me? Post on Facebook, Twitter, and start looking in the database. This could be tough. Very specific sizes and very specific look is needed. Put a panini in the panini maker to eat for dinner when I get to it.
8:30PM Get a call from a possible actor. He can work but lives six hours away. Yikes!
8:33PM Brainstorm possible extras to use with Robin and Rachel.
8:40PM Call a possible actor for the scene.
8:45PM Book a new extra as the featured extra. Phew, that was easier than expected. Thank you GOD!
8:48PM Try to call an extra for a scene and have the wrong phone number. Annoying!
8:50PM Call the out of town actor back to say thanks but no thanks.
8:55PM Get my burning panini out of the panini maker. Waiting for the final call sheet. Have to wait for them to finish filming. Start to make bets on when it will come. Start to work on the skins and website information for the extras once I have calltimes. If there is any downtime, check one of the 92 unread emails in our inbox.
9:03PM Send a text to wardrobe letting them know there is a different extra for tomorrow but his sizes should work for the costume that was bought last week.
9:09PM New panini in the panini maker. Take three phone calls. Write blog post.
9:14PM Panini out of panini maker.
9:16PM Text from the 2nd AD saying preliminary call times have been pushed a half hour.
9:35PM Six extras for tomorrow. Because each is absolutely vital, call each personally to confirm they know current call times and are coming! Work on updating skins with new call times. Post updated info to website.
9:53PM Eat panini. Gotta love a late dinner.
9:55PM Call sheet arrives. Call times confirmed. Sweet! Final post to the website. Email the skins out to the crew. Email the standins with their final times.
11:56PM Bed, sweet sweet bed. Oh how I’ve missed you! Set the alarm for 6:30AM but know it won’t be necessary because an extra, PA or director will call before then and wake me up with an emergency.
Here’s the play by play of my day! Anyone want to be a “guest columnist” and write about a day on set? We would love to feature it!
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