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Techniques for Independent Production
The challenges of creating Digital Cinema and other narrative forms.

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Old February 17th, 2005, 09:37 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Bellmore NY
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Suggestions for finding Extras

I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on finding nonpaid extras for shoots.

I've tried both Craig's list and and have not had the desired results I would have liked.

I've also placed flyers at one of the local colleges which have also not brought in as many extras as I would have liked.

I'm looking to get about twenty or so extras for a shoot next Friday on Long Island, that can pass for either High School or a College Freshman, but haven't had that much luck as of yet.

Any suggestions on a resource I might be forgetting?


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Old February 17th, 2005, 09:54 PM   #2
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This can be one of the hardest things. At least with a featured part, you can find actors who will do it for the experience. What's in it for an extra who might not even end up in the final cut? I wouldn't do it, and neither would you, unless it was a favor to a friend. That's pretty much your only recourse. Beg and plead everybody you know and don't ask them again until a couple of years have gone by. Ask 10 times as many people as you need, because 80 percent of them will flake out on the day of the shoot. Your only other recourse is cold hard cash. This is a big enough problem that I've given up writing anything involving a crowd shot. That's the easiest solution, actually.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 12:49 AM   #3
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High School drama clubs or classes. Call every school within 30 miles, talk to the teacher in charge. It's easier to get 3 or 4 than one, since they can hang together and one of them can drive the others. Easier on parents too.

Call the modeling schools and dance schools.

NYU and other NY Universities have drama programs, don't they? Forget flyers, call the professor. See if he will give students class credit for attending. Don't neglect freshman filmmakers. They get to hang around all day and see a movie being made, and only have to "extra" for a little while. Same deal, call the prof. Pay for transportation if you have to.

You are either growing or dying.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 07:05 AM   #4
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And you have to feed them SOMETHING.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 08:23 AM   #5
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Also, in most cities there's usually at least one website somewhere that attempts to bring together the filmmaking industry of the area. Usually they have email lists or 'what's shooting' sections, and aspiring filmmakers/actors/etc. usually are eager to help in productions and tend to closely monitor casting/crew/extra calls.

Also, put up notices in the artsy places around town - like independent coffee shops or playhouses or bookstores or bars if you can.
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Old February 20th, 2005, 01:44 AM   #6
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
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For our film, Knighthood, we needed a dozen extras for a fighting sequence.
We advertised in the local papers from the momment the concept of the fight scene was brought up in Pre-Production, which gave us about a year to build up "people resources".
Needless to say, it was a great success.

Give it a crack.
Also, put up notices in universities etc...full of arty hippie type folk that would love to give it a try. Just make sure you cater for them.
Kiss me...I'm Irish
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