- Entertainment and Media
How to become a movie star... actually an extra
Me? A Movie Star?
Maybe we've all wanted to be a movie star. But I never thought I'd get a chance. But in the fall of 2007 I got the chance of a lifetime. I was living in Denver where a casting call was spread far and wide for extras. I applied!
This was a great experience for me. I love movies and just getting to see a movie being filmed up close and personal was a real treat!
Okay, so I wasn't a real movie star but I did get to spend the day on a movie set as an extra. Here's what happened.
And the movie is...
Imagine That! with Eddie Murphy and Thomas Hayden Church
This movie was originally scheduled to be released in the fall of 2008. According to the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB), the new release date was June 2009.
Check out the Web site here: Imagine That
I noticed that they forgot to give me credit, but that's okay. I didn't do it for the fame. It was all about the money. More on that later.
Imagine That - with Eddie Murphy, Thomas Hayden Church, and ME!
I got to see Eddie Murphy from a distance. The scenes they shot the day I was an extra included Eddie Murphy "driving" a car and we were pedestrians on the sidewalk.
We watched him get in and out of the SUV that was being pulled by a truck. A camera was mounted to the hood of the SUV to film Eddie Murphy through the windshield. I loved seeing how they did things. Fascinating!
How did I get to be a movie extra anyway?
I read about the casting call for extras in The Denver Post and went to the hotel during the open casting call. And waited in line a long time. Three plus hours. But that's how it goes. Fame does not come easily.
After waiting in the long line with hundreds (maybe thousands of others, some with head shots and professional portfolios in hand), a couple hundred of us were escorted into a huge ballroom of the hotel and given the lowdown. We filled out paperwork and after about 45 minutes were escorted out so the next batch of extra wannabes could take our places.
I was called to show up for work a few weeks later. I was going to be a movie star! The details were included in the packet I received in the mail: Where to go. When to show up. What to wear. It was thrilling!
I showed up on the scheduled day at 6:45 a.m. with the clothes on my back and the requested two to three changes of clothes. We were told to dress for Fall weather. The extra clothes would ensure (hopefully) that at least one outfit would fit the bill. As it ended up, the clothes I was wearing were fine (black slacks, green turtleneck, black jacket, black shoes).
I was in a group of extras that included construction workers, cars (yes, some people were asked to park their cars on the street during filming and the cars were considered to be extras also!), and the special group of which I was a member: 50 street pedestrians. I tell you, I think I was selected because of the sheer number of extras needed, but that was okay with me!
A fellow extra was scheduled to work at the next day's shoot as well. Two days in a row! She was hired for the following day because the casting call had requested people bring their well-behaved dogs to the open casting call. She took her standard poodle and was hired for a day of shooting at a park as a dog walker.
The money? We were paid the standard industry rate for a 12-hour day. Something under $100 as I recall. It was okay though. The thrill of just being there amidst the excitement was payment enough. I can say that now; I've already cashed my check.
This photo shows a Lockheed employment line in Los Angeles, California from 1917. The people are holding their places in the waiting line by making out the preliminary applications standing up. Photo is in the public domain.
Photo Credit: Rondal Partridge
Books on Acting, Being a Movie Extra
Have you ever been a movie star? - Leave a message in the comments section with any movie buzz you want to share!
Have you been an actor or extra in a movie?
When You're a Movie Extra - You Stand All Day. At Least I Did.
At the end of the 12-hour day, I was tired. A lot of it was the excitement of being there, seeing a movie being filmed. And a lot of it was the shoes I was wearing. I wore some dress shoes that are comfortable enough for an evening, when I'm sitting, but they were not comfortable to stand in all day.
We also had to walk from the gathering point several blocks to shoot one scene then several more blocks to shoot another scene. Then we walked back to the gathering place for lunch. After lunch we walked back to the second shooting scene. And in between we did a whole lot of standing around. There really wasn't anywhere to sit. So, I'd recommend you wear comfortable shoes if you are going to be an extra.
I own a pair of ECCO shoes and they are the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn.
Wearing these shoes would have been wonderful the day I was a movie star!
More Eddie Murphy Movies
This author, Peggy Hazelwood, participates in Amazon, eBay, All Posters, and other affiliate advertising programs. When you click an advertising link on this page and make a purchase, I receive a small percent of the sale. Thank you for reading this far!