How to be an Extra

What Is An Extra?

An Extra or Background Actor is a person hired by the production to make each scene come to life in a realistic way. You may be a “featured” extra as a secretary in an office or you may be an extra in a crowd scene at a concert or a student in a cafeteria scene. ALL are important and ALL are needed. There are MANY opportunities to work as an extra in Baton Rouge. Follow the guidelines below to get started.

Getting Started

  • Have pictures of yourself ready

Be aware that the digital photo that you submit may determine if you are selected for an extras role, i.e., send a candid photo that fits the part and make sure that it is recent. They want to know what you look like now. You should send a close-up or “headshot” and a full-length shot. The digital photo should be 50-500 kilobytes.

  • Have your basic measurements ready

This includes your height, weight, shirt size, pant size, and shoe size. Ladies can include dress size as well.

  • Get your info to casting directors

Many casting directors have their own websites. You can email or fax your photos and measurements, or fill out an application. The websites may include information on what films are currently being cast. After signing up with these websites, check back regularly, as new movies begin casting all of the time. Here are some of the websites:

◦ RPM Casting

◦ Caballero Casting

◦ Coulon Casting

◦ Glorioso Casting

◦ MyCastingFile

◦ Central Casting

  • Apply to specific films that are currently shooting

When emailing a specific film always put “Extras Casting” in the subject line and when calling, always ask to speak with “Extras Casting.” Additional casting call information can be found on Facebook. Follow the Baton Rouge Film Commission on Facebook and visit our web page. Also, follow these groups on Facebook: Baton Rouge Film Peeps, The Holding Tent, Gulf South Actors, Gulf South Entertainment Professionals and CastingCarpool.

How to Conduct Yourself on Set

  • This is a Job

Alway remember that this is a job that demands a professional attitude at all times. Be on time, be respectful and be flexible. No friends or family should accompany you. If you are a minor, one guardian should accompany you. Be prepared for a long day even if Casting tells you it’s only going to be a few hours; you are booked for the entire day. Casting relies on the Assistant Directors for schedule details and those details can change at anytime in the middle of shooting.

  • Listen to the Assistant Directors

The AD Department is responsible for making sure everything on set happens in a timely manner. They will guide you from place to place and give you cues such as-

“Background action!” This is your cue to begin walking, jumping, or doing whatever activity you’ve been directed to do.

“Cut!” This is everyone’s cue to stop. Sometimes it isn’t always clearly said, so MAKE SURE cut has been called before you break character by stopping your assigned activity.

“Back to one.” This is your cue to return to your original position or “one.”

“Quiet on the set!” or “Quiet all around!” Means exactly what it says. Be as quiet as possible!

“Watch your back” or “Points!” Be aware that you may be in the way as they bring in equipment or camera.

  • Hurry Up and Wait

As soon as you show up, you may be escorted to Wardrobe and sometimes Makeup. Afterwards, you may be waiting in holding for several hours. Since waiting is a big part of the job, always bring something to read or do quietly. However, do not bring any valuables. You may also want to bring a snack.

  • Do Not Disturb the Principle Actors

If they are on set, they are at work. As a general rule, don’t speak to them unless they speak with you first. Remember that you both have the same professional goal to make the movie as efficiently as possible.

  • Avoid Wandering on Set Or Leaving

There will be a designated area, “Extras Holding” for you to sit and wait. Stay put! If you must leave the designated area, whether it’s going to your car or going to the bathroom, tell the extras wrangler or a PA. When you are released, you will check out with an AD and he or she will give you a copy of the signed voucher that will be your evidence of work.

  • Never Look at the Camera During Filming

  • Park in the Right Place

  • Eat before you show up

Sometimes, snacks or a meal may be served upon arrival, but productions are only required to provide you with food about every six hours.

The Baton Rouge Film Commission does not do any casting. Please do not send photos or resumes to the office, we do not keep them on file.