What Movie Extras Are

Movie Extras are needed for Movies and television shows that often use people like props to create a background which seems like a real environment. These people who are often needed to participate in such roles are known as background actors or extras, background performers or most commonly movie extras. Movie extras are used in an attempt to make scenes in films and TV show appear fuller, richer and natural.

So what do movie extras do in a movie or on television? The movie extras provide as background performers in almost every scene. Regardless of the scene, location or time period, movie extras are used play the role of background fillers. You will see them as crowds at sporting events, students in the school hallway, patients in restaurants and diners at restaurants. Movie extras are the foot soldiers on the battle field and even the actual criminals in jail cells.

Movie extras  are different from actors, by definition, movie extras never speak. When a movie extra is given dialogue, even if it’s just one word, then the extra becomes an Actor taking a minor speaking role.

Jobs are available for movie extras in films or television shows whether they are a part of an acting union or not.  Extras get paid in the range of $7 – $15 per hour for an audience job or $50 – $200 for a 12 hour job for a non-union film to whatever the employer may decide to pay.  All union jobs have to abide by the SAG agreement.  Screen Actors Guide has launched a new section called Background Performers (movie extras).  Therefore, if you want to be part of the union, then SAG offers some helpful information to becoming a movie extra.

They have sanctioned the requirements for Background Performers.  Also, the National Background Actors committee has also approved replacing the three-voucher eligibility rule with a brand new points-earned system.   According to this, there shall be two options to becoming a member of the Guild via work for movie extras.  The two options are: 1) Union (Covered) or 2) Non-union (Non-covered) work on SAG Signatory projects. The movie extras may also be eligible for earning membership points by being a part of other designated activities aimed towards raising the professional standards and supporting the basic aims of SAG.

Now that you have understood how to be a member of the Guild, you need to understand about how to get work and what to expect once you have work as a movie extra. To get work, you can visit any of the online sites which offer casting in movies such as talenthunter. Other option is to approach the casting agents in your city for work.

If you think you’d enjoy being in close proximity to your favorite actors and want to see yourself up on the big screen at the theaters or on a episode of your favorite television show, give the motion picture industry your best shot!


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