Making money as a film and TV extra is full of fun. It is actually a flexible and reliable source of income. Anyone living in the world can be extra because it is not limited just to the actors. It doesn’t requires anything from you, there is no need to train yourself. Just have a few photos and a precise idea of measurement because these two are the major things which you need to do if you want to make money as a film and TV extra.
What is The Need of Working as an Extra?
Extra is a ‘background artist’ – you see the grind in all sorts of scenes on TV and in the movie. You could be a WW2 soldier one day and a cafe customer the next day!
If you are interested in movies and TV, doing extra work can be a exciting experience. Being in a real package and seeing a product come to life is a unique opportunity.
It is incredibly flexible. Extra part-time work can also be used as a way to fit in other part-time jobs, study, or earn money on your weekends.
Entering is easy and everyone has a job. You do not need to have previous acting experience or formal training, and you do not need to be censored.
You don’t have to be a model to get to work in front of the camera. The scenes are extra to make it look realistic, and the products are aimed at a diverse audience. It doesn’t matter if you are of age, gender, race, or disability – everyone has extra opportunities.
However, don’t be misled into thinking that being extra on a movie set is always sexy. You often work long hours, with early call times, and wrap up late. But even so, if you are ready for this, go with a lot of patience and a doable attitude, this is the best way to offset your income!
Always Use Casting Agencies
Always check out for different casting agencies as it is the easiest way to get extra work. Although many of them charge an initial registration fee and take a one percent commission, they do a lot of work and work for you.
Agents who have been in the business for a long time and come up with star reputations:
– Universal Extras- Their annual registration fee is £ 30 (or free for students), plus they charge 16% commission on each job.
– Casting Collective – Their annual administrative fee is around £ 65 and will vary depending on where you are registering. Then their commission fee is 15% + VAT.
– Extra people – they are free to join, but they charge 20% commission for each job.
– Mad Dog Casting – for a fee. 32.50 (£ 61.25 in London) + VAT is deducted from your first job with them. On top of that they deduct 15% commission from each reservation.
Alternatively, even if the extra work is hard, you can find it yourself. Most of the agencies also often have open castings that anyone can attend to get selected. However, you can still find work for yourself. Check out Casting Call Pro and Star now as you can apply directly as there are regular template posts. You can also keep track of which movies and TV shows are being produced by Movie Insider.
Local publications and social media often contain additional announcements about upcoming products, so it’s worth keeping an eye on these and using social media to keep track of relevant hashtags.
Ways to Get Started and Find Work
Research agents and opportunities:
Additional agencies work just like trigger agencies: you can join as many as you want. Be careful about registering with them as there are plenty of people who will cheat you with fees. The four agencies we nominated are all well-known and respected in the industry.
Also, Equity is a British Actors Association, so any casting agencies they adopt would be fine.
Make the effort
When you sign up for a company you need to create a profile. You will need to upload some photos and fill in the details about your look and measurements. Don’t lie about your appearance – it doesn’t mean they will find the second thing they meet you if you do.
Make sure you send and include the headshot and full body shot. You do not have to pay for a professional photo shoot, but they must be of good quality and represent you well.
Regardless of how you look, most time productions prefer ordinary everyday people who do not attract attention from ordinary actors. You may find it a little rough, overweight or have an unusual appearance, and still have a good chance of being chosen
Show off your skills
If you have some talent, you can earn a little extra, so make sure the agencies know what you can do! Special Skills Background Players Needed to Perform Skills –
– Game Skill
– Social dance
– Driving and so on!
Sometimes extras can be upgraded to extra day performers (walk-on), they provide a conversation or have to do more complex tasks. It’s easy because you get paid more for anything you do, which is more than usual.
Stand-ins are used to change the cast, so the crew can center the scenes and set the lights between picks. This is often a time-saving exercise, with the leading cast leaving the team to do other things until they are ready.
Stand-in work usually pays better than extra work, and you can get extra booked for longer periods of time than on a daily basis, and then you will be paid even more.
Film Extras get very little detail when called upon to pick a character from their company, and full information is provided the day before actual filming. You will be told what your area is, what time it should come, where it should come, as well as what to wear to that area.
Assistant directors will usually have additional responsibilities, so they will know you are there when you arrive. Even if they tell you to simply walk in a hall, listen carefully. The extra backgrounds should blend in and take their direction well.
When you get to work as an extra film, pick up a bag with things to keep you busy as there is a lot waiting on the sets! Avoid using your phone in general, especially if it is not settled. Some large products will block mobile devices to prevent information leakage. Especially in large movie collections, you have to sign a confidentiality section. This means there are no photos or discussion about the product, but although there is nothing to sign, if in doubt, ask permission.
Don’t bother asking for autographs because there are actors to do a job. Most people are friendly, but busy and want to give it up.
How Much Can You Make?
Generally, in addition, you will only need a maximum of two days per production, and work is booked for day-to-day needs. In some cases you may need a longer time for persistent reasons.
There are 3 major trade union agreements in use in and around London. Rates vary in different parts of the UK, so it is useful to check production in advance.
– FAA / PACT Agreement – Rate for 9 hours working hours including meal breaks from 9am to 10pm. Is 92.69.
– BBC Equity Deal – for 9 consecutive hours. 86.40, which includes 8 hours of work and at least one hour of meal breaks. Or, it even includes a 7-hour continuous period without any sort of a meal break.
– ITV Equity Deal – 79.89. It can take up to 10 hours, during which time 8 hours of work can take place. There is no need to give any individuality or dialogue.
Some production rates vary, but it should provide a rough idea of what you can expect to pay for.
Some additions will further increase your income
– Additional time, or attendance at the rehearsal is required
– Work at night
– Starring in several episodes
– Being a walker, having a little conversation or interacting with key actors
– Special skills, for example, horseback riding, dancing, music skills, driving.
You should also note that each agency charges a commission of about 15% each time you book a job. Many charge a fee to join, so be careful not to stumble! Paying does not guarantee you work – you will still be responsible for paying more.