How To Earn Extra Money In Movies

Become an Extra in a Movie
If you’re interested in acting, becoming an extra is a great way to gain on-camera experience. Even if you don’t want a career in the entertainment industry, it’s a cool way earn a little extra money. Search online for casting calls, and reply to listings with your photographs and basic information. Often enough, being an extra is as simple as signing up, looking the part, and following directions. If you’re booked, take the opportunity seriously, and be sure to act professionally and respectfully at all times.

Method 1 of 3:Applying to Be an Extra

1 Reply to casting calls with your current photographs and information

Reply to casting calls with your current photographs and information. The simplest way to apply to a casting call is to reply to the email address included in the listing. Typically, you’ll need to email a photograph of your head and shoulders and another of your full body. Additionally, you’ll need to include your contact info, age, height, weight, and measurements.

The photographs don’t need to be professional or fancy. They just need to be current and show what you look like. Listings may also ask for a profile shot, or a photograph of your face or body from the side.

Be sure to carefully follow a casting call’s specific instructions. For example, if the casting call says “Please respond with the subject line ‘Extras Casting,’” use that as your subject line. Directors want extras who can follow instructions.

2. Register with multiple agencies for the best shot at landing a gig

Register with multiple agencies for the best shot at landing a gig. Find “Register” links on casting agencies’ websites. Upload your photographs and fill out the registration form, which will ask for details including your contact information, age, height, weight, and measurements. Register with as many agencies as possible to maximize your chances of getting booked.

Usually, extras aren’t absolutely required to register with casting agencies. However, if you’re registered, your info will come up when casting agents and directors look up people who match the background roles they need.
Beware of agencies that ask you to pay up front to register. Registration should be free, but the agency may take a 10% cut of your earnings.

3. Research casting notices and agencies to avoid scams

Research casting notices and agencies to avoid scams. If something sounds too good to be true, chances are it’s a scam. Search online for agency names, production companies, and other details included in casting calls to make sure they’re legitimate. If a listing provides a phone number, call it and ask for more information.

Steer clear of casting calls and agencies that make outrageous promises, like “Earn $400 in a day!” or “I can make you a star!”
Typos and spelling and grammar errors are also red flags.
Be especially careful about casting calls posted on Craigslist.

4. Clear your schedule if you’re booked

Clear your schedule if you’re booked. Having a flexible schedule is helpful if you want to be an extra. A call for extras may include a specific shoot date or times but, more often than not, details change last minute. If you’re booked, you might get a call asking you to show up on set at 7 a.m. the next morning.

Additionally, you never know how long a shoot will last. Even if you’re told you’ll only be filming for a couple of hours, clear your schedule for the entire day.
Don’t apply to a casting call unless you know you can be there and stay for the duration of the shoot.

Method 2 of 3:Finding Casting Calls

1. Look for casting calls posted directly by films

Look for casting calls posted directly by films. Search online for productions currently shooting in your area, and see if they have websites or social media pages. Occasionally, casting directors also post calls on Craigslist, but you should research any names or agencies included in the ad to make sure it’s not a scam.

If the ad lists a phone number, call it and ask for more information. Steer clear of ads that ask you to pay an upfront fee or guarantees that you’ll get the gig.
You can also search for local casting calls on entertainment industry job listing sites. For instance, if you live in the U.S., check out https://www.backstage.com/casting/open-casting-calls/extras-casting.

2. Check for casting notices on agencies’ social media pages

Check for casting notices on agencies’ social media pages. Search online for “casting agencies” and your location, then find links to social media pages on agencies’ websites. Sign up for alerts or check the pages for casting calls at least once a day.

The sooner you apply to a call, the better your chances of landing the gig.
Central Casting is the biggest background actor casting agency in the United States; Casting Collective is the largest in the United Kingdom. If you live near a big city or major movie market, you should also be able to find several reputable local casting agencies.

3. See if your city, state, or province has a local film office

See if your city, state, or province has a local film office. Areas where movies are frequently filmed often have government entertainment offices or commissions. Search for “film office” plus your city, state, or province, and check their website for directories of films currently in production, casting agencies, and casting calls.
Examples of film offices include the California Film Commission, the Georgia Film Office, and the Ontario Film Commission.

4. Search for extra roles that match your look

Search for extra roles that match your look. A standard casting call specifies details such as an age range, gender, ethnicity, and body type. Whether you search casting agencies’ social media pages or your local newspaper, make sure you fit a role’s description before you apply.
Film and television productions aren’t looking for just one type of look. They need people of all ages, genders, ethnicities, and body types. Often enough, looking the part is all it takes to become an extra.

Method 3 of 3:Succeeding on Set

1. Bring all required documents to the set

Bring all required documents to the set. In order to be paid, you’ll need to bring the documents required by your federal or local labor laws. In the U.S., you need to fill out an I9 form and provide either a passport or 2 forms of ID. If you don’t have a passport, bring a government-issued photo ID, such as your driver’s license, along with your Social Security card or birth certificate.
If you’re a minor, a parent or legal guardian will also need to accompany you on set and sign a release. Keep in mind you may also need to provide a work permit issued by your local department of labor.

2. Arrive at least 30 minutes before your call time

Arrive at least 30 minutes before your call time. In the film world, the saying, “early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable” is definitely true. Arrive early to find your way around the location and make a good first impression.

You should receive instructions on parking and checking in when you’re booked. As soon as you arrive on set, check in with the designated member of the crew, such as the assistant director, a production assistant, or an “extras wrangler.”
Never arrive late to a set. It’s unprofessional, and it’ll guarantee that you won’t get called back if a local production needs extras in the future.

3. Show up with the correct wardrobe, hair, and makeup

Show up with the correct wardrobe, hair, and makeup. Before you arrive, you’ll likely be told what to wear, how to style your hair, and how to do your makeup, if the company isn’t providing it for you. For longer shoots, you may need to bring multiple outfits. If so, pack them in a garment bag along with the right shoes and accessories to keep them clean and organized.

If you’re filming a period piece, the crew might do your wardrobe, hair, and makeup.
Try to look polished or fit the role’s description to the best of your ability. The better you look, the better your placement in the scene will be.

4. Follow all cues and instructions carefully

Follow all cues and instructions carefully. Make sure you clearly understand what a production assistant or assistant director instructs you to do in the scene. Listen for cues such as “Action,” “Background action,” “Cut,” and “Quiet on the set,” and always do as you’re told.
The most important things about being an extra are looking the part, blending in, and following instructions. If you take direction well, the agency or production will be more likely to call you back in the future.

5. Blend in instead of calling attention to yourself

Blend in instead of calling attention to yourself. Extras make up the background of a scene, so don’t try to steal the show. Directors will be more impressed if you follow directions and play your part correctly. Do exactly as you’re instructed, don’t improvise, and don’t try to divert attention away from the main actors.

Even if you think adding an extra step or smile would make the scene better, don’t do it.
Never look at the camera directly or speak when the cameras are rolling, unless the director specifically asks.

6. Act professionally at all times

Act professionally at all times. Take the opportunity seriously, and remember that being an extra is a job. If you want to work as an extra in the future, you don’t want to burn any bridges by behaving poorly on set. Be respectful of the crew and actors, and keep your cool instead of becoming starstruck.

As you’re on set, you can speak with other workers and actors. If you want to have an acting career, you should plan on networking while you’re on the job. Do so in a professional manner.

Taking pictures is forbidden and cameras will be confiscated. That means no selfies, either! They may also ask you to keep your phone in your car or a bag at all times.