Are you thinking of becoming a movie extra? Do you want to know how to become a TV or movie extra?
Movie extras are used in hundreds of productions all over the US and becoming an extra in a TV show or movie is as easy as signing up with the extras casting agency in your city or attending an open casting. Of course, you need to live an an area that has a good amount of production and filming going on. Large movies can hire hundreds to thousands of extras and use paid extras to fill up large scenes like stadiums, restaurants, club scenes and many more.
Extras are used as background for scenes that involve crowds. An example may be filling a stadium at a concert scene or a restaurant with patrons. Sometimes extras get some makeup and wardrobe, but usually, extras are asked to show up wearing certain clothes. If something very special is required then the casting director would post that information in the casting call.
Well, the good news is it’s pretty easy and no special skills or experience of any kind is required. All you need to be a movie extra are your looks, whatever they may be. You see, extras are needed of all shapes, sizes and looks. Whether you get the job simply depends on what the casting director is looking for and whether you fit the bill.
What do movie extras make?
Unfortunately not that much. If you are hired to be an extra on a set you will most likely make about minimum wage and be prepared for long hours since it is very common for extras to work 10 to 12 hour days.
Being an extra can be fun but definitely not a great way to become famous or make lots of money. To apply to be an extra you will need to attend a casting call. To find out what movies are being shot in your area you can search your local paper or call your local film office. The film office can give you info on what is in production and where to go to apply.
Looking locally for information is your best bet since this is not something you will be travelling for. Also, keep in mind that most states do not have much production going on but the ones that do also have casting directors that specialize in extras. In Los Angeles a company called Central Casting supplies the majority of extras to L.A. productions.
If you live in a large enough city you can call the film commission and request a list of background casting directors. You will then need to contact your local extras company. In small towns there may not be any extras casting agents and you will need to stay on top of what is filming to find out who to talk to.
Beware of things you find online. We are drawn to finding our information online because of how easy it is, but doing so also opens you up to scammers. There are scams that pretend to be legitimate companies casting extras. The way you normally spot them is in their promises. They hook people in with offers of fame and fortune.
Many people believe that extras for movies are cast nationwide. That is absolutely not true, because of the low pay, most extras on any film are locals. It really makes no sense to spend hundreds on travel and hotels just to earn 80 bucks for the day.
Movie extras are not high paying jobs, actually they are as low paying as one gets. Most extras will make minimum wage which ends up being between $80 to $100 for up to a 12 hour day. Movie extras normally only get 1 or 2 days of work on a film. You can see how travelling for a 1 day job that pays minimum wage may not be very economical. For that reason, most extras cast are locals that already live in the area.
If you do not live in an area that does a lot of filming like Los Angeles or Atlanta and you still want to work as an extra you may actually lose money on the gig due to travel expenses.
Where do you find extras casting calls?
The best place is a agency like Central casting in Los Angeles. Producers hire the casting agency to book all the background talent. You will need to register with central casting to be available to work when needed.