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(The Atlantic)   Apparently, being an extra is an actual, honest-to-god living   ( theatlantic.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, steady stand-in gig, 152-installment Trump Time, New York City, local T.J. Maxx, supermodel Coco Rocha, union member, Worst Dressed List, industry casting site  
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2857 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 30 Sep 2017 at 10:57 PM (3 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



38 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2017-09-30 07:59:30 PM  
I've been an extra a few times, and it doesn't pay that well.  At the time I got about $65-$80 a day to mostly sit on my ass and look like I wasn't paying attention to the filming going on.  Plus free food.

Since I had a full time job at the time it was a fun way to get some extra cash and do something a little different on a day off.

I apparently have been in the background of Veronica Mars and Leverage plus a few indie films, but I've never seen any of them.  I may also be in the background of a few other movies and shows.  I wasn't going to pay the membership fee for a union thing so I never really pursued it as more than an occasional spare time thing.
 
2017-09-30 08:15:25 PM  
I've done background work hundreds of times. I've seen myself quite a few times. I was a regular background person on Mad Men for two seasons. davidphogan has it right.

For a non-union extra the pay is not that great. The hours can be ridiculous.

This lady made her way to union stand-in for a star, so she was making decent, steady money. And if they go to overtime (which is the norm) the union extras make a lot more.
 
2017-09-30 08:26:01 PM  
I've never been in a movie :(
 
2017-09-30 09:15:51 PM  
img.fark.net
 
2017-09-30 09:25:46 PM  

fusillade762: I've never been in a movie :(


Have you ever tried?
 
2017-09-30 10:57:14 PM  
An acquaintance of mine in LA makes the most money sitting with his classic car at shoots. He was telling me about ridiculous night shoot wages and such. He's also been a stand-in for Steve Carell for several films. He seems to do okay out there!
 
2017-09-30 11:09:56 PM  
i.kinja-img.com
Professional actor (extra, stand-in); gym member.
 
2017-09-30 11:22:00 PM  
Was an extra in two movies.  To say it was boring was an understatement...but worth it for the experience.  Did one when I was still in high school, then another a few years later while in college.  Never having been on a movie set before, I never realized how much standing around there really was, and how much "hurry up and waiting" you had to do.  But it's a story that I get to share from time to time, and I got to actually hold a small conversation with Jason Robards, so that was cool.  And to a kid, $85 a day for three days plus a story to tell was more than worth it at the time.
 
2017-09-30 11:44:39 PM  
I was an extra a few times when I lived in LA (15 years ago, so this is today's "fark I'm old" moment).

I was around 19-20, so I played a background high school student. I was in an episode of "That's Life" (one season CBS sitcom). I'm tall and I guess look sporty, so I was a volleyball player. All of us were extras cast because we looked sporty, and none of us could play volleyball worth shiat.

I'm also in How High, the film about Method Man and Red Man smoking a smart friend's cremains and going to Harvard. For some reason they forgot to shoot any external shots, so I got paid to pretend to be a law student. I got some extra (heh) money for being in the Halloween party scenes.

Both of these sets had excellent food. The money for extra work was ok, but it was often some of the best meals I had that week. ER was a bunch of stingy farkers--I ended up walking off the lot to a nearby Taco Bell for lunch since they didn't want to feed us. That was a Christmas episode post Clooney. I was some kind of doctor (I had a lab coat and a clipboard).
 
2017-09-30 11:54:32 PM  
I was an extra on a movie for a day just for shiats and giggles.  I can't remember the specifics, but the fact my car was in a shot got me paid significantly more.

Did nothing for 10 hours, for about a total of 30 seconds of screen time in the movie.
 
2017-10-01 12:13:33 AM  

fusillade762: I've never been in a movie :(


Remember Richard Bey?

I was in the audience of his channel 9 show. I was even called on.

The subject of the show was soldiers who went AWOL to avoid going to Iraq, and I said it was an all volunteer army, and they knew what they were signing up for.

Yeah, I still get residuals for that shiat.
 
2017-10-01 12:14:36 AM  

davidphogan: I've been an extra a few times, and it doesn't pay that well.  At the time I got about $65-$80 a day to mostly sit on my ass and look like I wasn't paying attention to the filming going on.  Plus free food.

Since I had a full time job at the time it was a fun way to get some extra cash and do something a little different on a day off.

I apparently have been in the background of Veronica Mars and Leverage plus a few indie films, but I've never seen any of them.  I may also be in the background of a few other movies and shows.  I wasn't going to pay the membership fee for a union thing so I never really pursued it as more than an occasional spare time thing.


Better than what I make a day doing "real" work.

/granted, I don't live in California.
 
2017-10-01 12:27:14 AM  

LoneWolf343: davidphogan: I've been an extra a few times, and it doesn't pay that well.  At the time I got about $65-$80 a day to mostly sit on my ass and look like I wasn't paying attention to the filming going on.  Plus free food.

Since I had a full time job at the time it was a fun way to get some extra cash and do something a little different on a day off.

I apparently have been in the background of Veronica Mars and Leverage plus a few indie films, but I've never seen any of them.  I may also be in the background of a few other movies and shows.  I wasn't going to pay the membership fee for a union thing so I never really pursued it as more than an occasional spare time thing.

Better than what I make a day doing "real" work.

/granted, I don't live in California.


I didn't know you could sustain life without two people pulling over $200 a day
 
2017-10-01 12:27:41 AM  
I starred in an indie.
We couldn't afford extras.
We filmed it while catering a Hollywood movie.
 
2017-10-01 12:30:20 AM  

chitownmike: LoneWolf343: davidphogan: I've been an extra a few times, and it doesn't pay that well.  At the time I got about $65-$80 a day to mostly sit on my ass and look like I wasn't paying attention to the filming going on.  Plus free food.

Since I had a full time job at the time it was a fun way to get some extra cash and do something a little different on a day off.

I apparently have been in the background of Veronica Mars and Leverage plus a few indie films, but I've never seen any of them.  I may also be in the background of a few other movies and shows.  I wasn't going to pay the membership fee for a union thing so I never really pursued it as more than an occasional spare time thing.

Better than what I make a day doing "real" work.

/granted, I don't live in California.

I didn't know you could sustain life without two people pulling over $200 a day


"Life" is a generous term.
 
2017-10-01 12:43:01 AM  
I sometimes feel like I'm an extra in my own life story.
 
2017-10-01 12:49:24 AM  

LoneWolf343: chitownmike: LoneWolf343: davidphogan: I've been an extra a few times, and it doesn't pay that well.  At the time I got about $65-$80 a day to mostly sit on my ass and look like I wasn't paying attention to the filming going on.  Plus free food.

Since I had a full time job at the time it was a fun way to get some extra cash and do something a little different on a day off.

I apparently have been in the background of Veronica Mars and Leverage plus a few indie films, but I've never seen any of them.  I may also be in the background of a few other movies and shows.  I wasn't going to pay the membership fee for a union thing so I never really pursued it as more than an occasional spare time thing.

Better than what I make a day doing "real" work.

/granted, I don't live in California.

I didn't know you could sustain life without two people pulling over $200 a day

"Life" is a generous term.


Not trying to be a dick
 
2017-10-01 01:01:31 AM  
I was an extra awhile back for something they were filming locally. It was a good way to make some money on my day off and the catering was actually really good. Not a bad gig at all. Glad the author was able to make a living out of it.
 
2017-10-01 01:52:39 AM  
I briefly dated a guy who made his living as an extra. He had the right "Hot Generic White Male" look combined with a good agent to successfully book gig after gig.

Another friend is a professional stand-in, she basically acts out a scene in place of a Top Billing Actress so that the camera and lighting crew can get the set-up right so Top Billing Actress can concentrate on her lines instead of standing/sitting around.

It's fun work when you can get it. Just prepared to be bored out of your skull until the camera rolls, which is like, less than 5% of the time.
 
2017-10-01 02:09:14 AM  

LoneWolf343: chitownmike: LoneWolf343: davidphogan: I've been an extra a few times, and it doesn't pay that well.  At the time I got about $65-$80 a day to mostly sit on my ass and look like I wasn't paying attention to the filming going on.  Plus free food.

Since I had a full time job at the time it was a fun way to get some extra cash and do something a little different on a day off.

I apparently have been in the background of Veronica Mars and Leverage plus a few indie films, but I've never seen any of them.  I may also be in the background of a few other movies and shows.  I wasn't going to pay the membership fee for a union thing so I never really pursued it as more than an occasional spare time thing.

Better than what I make a day doing "real" work.

/granted, I don't live in California.

I didn't know you could sustain life without two people pulling over $200 a day

"Life" is a generous term.


We have refrigerators and everything.

/farknut
 
2017-10-01 02:46:03 AM  

Walker: [img.fark.net image 330x500]


Best. Scene. Ever.:
images.mid-day.com
 
2017-10-01 03:16:32 AM  
I was a crowd extra about 15 years ago for a music video. I hated every single second of the entire experience. We were told 10 hours of work for $200 cash. I was in college and that sounded good to me.

Because of delays in filming (which were never explained to us), we were basically held captive for about 24 hours, at which point I'd had enough and literally threatened to kick the person's ass if they didn't pay me right then, on the spot (which they did, after making a million excuses).

It was boring, hot, the food wasn't good, and after all that, the pay sucked. Never again.

/I did get to meet Kerry King from Slayer which was cool.
 
2017-10-01 03:51:59 AM  
I had a friend who was in Three Kings, went down to Casa Grande, AZ to be in a few scenes, and ended up putting in months and months. I can't remember how long, but it was long enough that I viewed it as his regular gig. Never gonna get rich unless breaks go your way, but you can make good money for someone in their 20s with no family, which is how your 20s should be. Fun, and a prep for being an adult later...

CSB: The producers were going to rent the house next to my wife's parents for George Clooney to stay in until he saw how much of a dump CG was. He never set foot in that house and instead stayed in Phx the whole time. I really don't blame him...
 
2017-10-01 05:42:04 AM  
I took my kids to audition for a movie being filmed nearby but neither of them made it in. However the casting folks pointed out that auditions for adults were the next day so I went back in and got a part as an extra for a party scene. Two days of mostly sitting around and chatting with the other extras. I think we got $50 a day (this was 1987). I got to show my kids a clip of me dancing in the background behind Jeff Daniels and Elizabeth Perkins and also tell them that I was in a movie with Bernie Sanders.

/it was not a good movie
 
2017-10-01 07:58:58 AM  
I was an extra in "The Breakfast Club".
 
2017-10-01 09:24:57 AM  
Seems like getting an extra role on a tv series would be more common.  They've got to churn through people? Or maybe they just use the same prople over and over?
 
2017-10-01 09:32:32 AM  
I was an extra in a book once.

/It was a technical manual.
 
2017-10-01 10:17:32 AM  
I knew a guy who was a regular working extra as a Cowboy. He looked just like Sam Shepard (not as good-looking alas), and he was a real cowboy. So he was the background Cowboy in movies.
 
2017-10-01 12:57:55 PM  

AppleOptionEsc: LoneWolf343: chitownmike: LoneWolf343: davidphogan: I've been an extra a few times, and it doesn't pay that well.  At the time I got about $65-$80 a day to mostly sit on my ass and look like I wasn't paying attention to the filming going on.  Plus free food.

Since I had a full time job at the time it was a fun way to get some extra cash and do something a little different on a day off.

I apparently have been in the background of Veronica Mars and Leverage plus a few indie films, but I've never seen any of them.  I may also be in the background of a few other movies and shows.  I wasn't going to pay the membership fee for a union thing so I never really pursued it as more than an occasional spare time thing.

Better than what I make a day doing "real" work.

/granted, I don't live in California.

I didn't know you could sustain life without two people pulling over $200 a day

"Life" is a generous term.

We have refrigerators and everything.

/farknut


No fridge of my own, but I do have a trashcan.
 
2017-10-01 02:23:26 PM  
images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com
 
2017-10-01 02:25:33 PM  
I was an extra in a critically acclaimed movie, and all I got was a lousy t-shirt...and "punched" in the forehead by Mickey Rourke.
 
2017-10-01 07:38:11 PM  

KellyKellyKelly: I was an extra in a critically acclaimed movie, and all I got was a lousy t-shirt...and "punched" in the forehead by Mickey Rourke.


You should get a new agent.
 
2017-10-01 08:24:00 PM  
I've never been an extra, but I have semi-accidentally basically walked onto a few sets. Film crews in my city have the occasional tendency to setup all their crap on sidewalks and other publicly accessible walkways. Since those areas are public, and they never seem to try to block anything off, I just keep walking. Which has led to me occasionally standing behind the cameras wondering if I'm going to be able get through without pissing anybody off.

The film crew people are obviously used to this, as they just calmly direct me to a path off to the side or something.
 
2017-10-01 10:35:44 PM  
I was a sextra in a gay porn about 10 years ago. I started out in a small crowd scene as the star walked through us "drunk".
He finds a guy in the basement of a bar, they decide to hook up there and all of a sudden guys are doing the deed all around. Sextras, in the background, could be clothed or naked and there was to be no penetration so not to distract from what was going on with the main story.
Two hours of making out with an ok looking older guy. We were enjoying it. After the shoot ended and the stars left we went to the bathroom together and got off
 
2017-10-02 01:25:09 AM  

fusillade762: I've never been in a movie :(


I don't watch movies and I don't even own a movie theater. Never saw the point.
 
2017-10-02 08:40:42 AM  
These pretzels are making me thirsty.
 
2017-10-02 09:59:54 AM  

Uranus Megahertz: I was a sextra in a gay porn about 10 years ago. I started out in a small crowd scene as the star walked through us "drunk".
He finds a guy in the basement of a bar, they decide to hook up there and all of a sudden guys are doing the deed all around. Sextras, in the background, could be clothed or naked and there was to be no penetration so not to distract from what was going on with the main story.
Two hours of making out with an ok looking older guy. We were enjoying it. After the shoot ended and the stars left we went to the bathroom together and got off


User name checks out.
 
2017-10-02 11:14:21 AM  
I was an extra for 5 years way back in the early 90s. Basic flat rate was £69 for 10 hours plus OT.. I worked once every month or so..

My wife does background work now and she pulls in around £150/£200 a day. She works 3/4 days a week on average 😳..

Gave up doing extra work because of the low pay and went into full time acting.. it was bad for the first 17 years as i made on average of between £2000/£5000 a year.

It's finally paid off as i have had lead/supporting roles on tv and Hollywood movies. (if i may be allowed to squeeze my big head through the door, it's none of that crap where one only appears in one scene/one line shiate, like Mr 26 minutes..)

My average daily rate is anywhere between £700 to £3k a day, plus residuals, depending on the production. VO for games (like FF16) pay shiate money though..

Worked with major well known stars, most whom are down to earth and fun to hang out with on our days off but had the misfortune of working with Ben Kingsley.. what an arsehole...
 
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