Representing Models, Dancers and Actors
Stomp Models: How to Become an Extra
There are several definitions for the term extra in TV and film. Extras are also known in the industry as supporting artists or background artists. Within a production their role is to populate the ‘background’ of any given scene. Extras may be required for scenes in films, commercials, TV, corporate videos, music videos and even in photographic stills shoots.
To become an extra you can elect to take two routes, either to be ‘represented’ by a agency who will take 20% commission from every job they secure for you or you can be ‘freelance’ and apply or get discovered via an online service such as Stomp Models where you pay a yearly subscription [with a 30 day free trial]. Any job via Stomp Models you get paid directly from the client, with no commission to pay [as we are not agents].
Anyone can be an extra as no acting experience or training is necessary, however this is professional work and the expectations are high. There are several important factors that must be adhered to when being booked as an extra.
Being an extra, how it works:
When you apply for a job the first thing to consider is are the images on your profile of a current likeness? How old are your photographs, hair colour, facial hair etc.? These details are important as casting is mainly done via photographs for extra work. If you are booked for a job and you look nothing like your photographs you will be sent home. This reflects badly on you and badly on Castlink as in this industry reputation is everything.
It is extremely important when applying for a job that you are available for the required date/s, [shoot date, wardrobe date etc.] If you cannot make the dates do not apply.
If you are booked for a job and you accept the offer, you cannot under any circumstances let production down – bar a major disaster. You may need to attend a wardrobe fitting prior to the shoot itself [these are generally paid]. You will be given a contact name, address and call times for the shoot. The address [with films] is referred to as the Unit base.
At Unit base you will be met by your contact, a crowd-co-ordinator or Assistant director. They will have your name on a list and company you originate from.
When you are required for shooting you will be taken from the Unit base to the location. [Where there is no unit base on a production you would go straight to the location]
There can be long waits between takes so you are advised to bring personal entertainment. You must show patience and these times. When you are needed you will be advised. Extras who complain are not generally used again. You will be provided with lunch and refreshments at the designated time.
On set it is imperative you listen to the director’s instructions carefully. Being able to ‘take direction’ quickly and perform your duties is key to ensuring production get the shot they require. Time is money.
During the shoot do not talk to members of production, just listen and do as instructed.
When the scene has been shot you will hear ‘it’s a wrap’ or something similar. From the location you will taken back to unit base to wait for the next scene or if not required you will be sent home.
Often filming can overrun the prescribed time, if so you will be paid overtime [if this has been prearranged]. You must be prepared for this potential outcome, otherwise do not accept the job. Do not organise anything on the evening of a shoot, as there cannot be a situation where you request to leave because you have other commitments – your commitment is the shoot.
If you are booked for consecutive days, you must, under all circumstances attend. Continuity of shot is extremely important to maintaining the integrity of a scene with the same background characters if required.
Once you have completed the job you will be paid as arranged. [Either on the day or several days later via the production company]
A final note, Be professional, polite and personable. These qualities do not go unnoticed around production and you greatly increase your chances of being used again and again in the future.
For those people who may not want to act or appear as an extra but want to be on TV why not join our site www.Stomp-Models.com it’s entirely free and you can ‘get discovered’ today.
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Stomp Models is a team with spirit, gifted with some extraordinary flair not only to pursue good looks and expose talents but always prepared to meet other demands that the fashion industry and media world need
Stomp Models was established in 2010 by Daniel Rolph and has since earned a reputation as one of the UKs most highly respected Casting Companies.
The company represents models, actors and dancers for high profile bookings throughout the UK, Europe, America and Australia. We have clients ranging from small high street retailers to the BBC, and our members have access to the wide range of jobs that we have advertised.
We are highly acknowledged amongst our clients and members due to our friendly and personal service, and we endeavour to match each individual to the most suitable jobs.