5 Proper Etiquette that Movie Extras Need to Observe

Marie Skillern| November 15, 2013

Your acting skills, resume, and headshots are not the only bases for you to get hired for jobs meant for movie extras. There are a lot of things to consider that you might not be aware of. These include your “attitude” and “manners” on and before your auditions or casting calls. Even if they think you are talented but you showed some manners they did not particularly like, you will not be considered for a role. Keep in mind that there are a lot of background actors out there who are after the roles you want, so you always have to be on your toes.

To keep you reminded on the proper movie extra etiquette, here is a list of them that you should observe while on set:

1. Do not be late.

Always arrive on time. Set your alarm clock to wake you up 2-3 hours of your call time. Leave early, so as not to get caught in traffic.

Keep in mind that your tardiness will reflect on your working habit. It will set a bad impression. You do not want to be tagged as a late comer, right? In most productions, those who arrive late will be sent home early.

2. Stay where you are supposed to stay.

Do not wander around. You should stay inside the designated holding area at all times and wait to be called for the next scene. You should only move from if you have been instructed to do so. If you have to go to the restroom, inform the casting crew or the production assistant. You do not want to miss your turn to be on camera.

3. Be friendly. 

Do not just stay in one corner while waiting for your turn. Take time to talk with your co-extras. Just make sure not to talk too loud as this could disturb the filming.

Make friends. Make connections. Who knows both of you will be on the same project next time or maybe the person you are talking with can help you look for another film extra job in the future.

4. Do not be a “paparazzi”.

Working as an extra can be overwhelming. There are instances that you get star struck on the set, making you take photos of the actors on the sly. You should avoid doing this.

Taking pictures or asking for autographs from the main cast. They are there to work, not to make a public appearance, just as you are. There are productions that will confiscate your camera once you are caught taking pictures, especially when filming is going on.

5. Do not hound the big bosses.

They are busy and do not have time to socialize. If you want to get noticed by doing things which you think are sweet, know that this might actually be annoying for them.

If you tend to focus your attention on the big bosses just to get noticed and known and ignore the other crew on the site, then know that this is very rude behavior. Instead of bugging the producer and film director, try to be friendly with the crew. Most of the crew members know each other. Who knows one of them will be the next film director of the project you will be working on in the future.

The tips for proper etiquette mentioned above are quite easy to remember, so they are not that hard to practice or observe. Keep in mind that the way you carry yourself and your manners on the set will give create the impression you want to leave with the people you work with. Make it good, so you won’t have a hard time finding jobs for movie extras.

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