As new projects arrive, so do calls for extras, non-speaking acting roles, and atmosphere in films, music videos, documentaries and television shows.
“For me, our job as artists is to serve the story, serve the director, and serve the fellow actors. And if you do that, by osmosis you’re serving yourself because you’ll get the best out of yourself.” -David Oyelowo
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A FILM EXTRA?
Every film has different requirements for the extras they might need, be they related to complexion, haircut, height, sex or anything else. But generally the application process is similar for every casting agency. Anyone looking to become an extra needs the following on-hand:
Three or four full-color photos
Try for a photo of your face and shoulders, one of your entire body and a profile (from the side) shot. Have the photos taken against a plain background. The goal is to show casting agents what you look like, rather than how artsy you can be.
Measurements and sizes
Many roles will require actors to be in period clothing, specific uniforms or the like. Including your clothing measurements, clothing sizes and shoe sizes will help the costume department cast according to their capabilities.
A social media account
Casting agencies tend to be more active on social media than anywhere else, plus many social media sites allow readers to set notifications when certain pages post. Those planning to audition can always be ahead of the game.
Willingness to wait around
Filming is a long and arduous process. As an extra you will be required to stay silent in the background for 8 to 12 hours per day. We recommend you keep yourself occupied with headphones or a book.