Before your filming day …
Make sure you know the shoot day. Your call time will be emailed to you the day before your filming day usually between 4pm & 6pm.
Ensure you have the contact number for the person from The Extras Dept. that booked you for the job – You will use this number if due to unforeseen circumstances, you are unable to attend filming.
Ensure you have the contact name and number for who you are to report to from the production with you – you should use this number if you are having problems finding the location or are delayed. If you are going to be more than 10 minutes late you must call.
Make sure you know where the shoot is happening, how you will get there, and how long it will take to get there. If you do not know the location, Google the directions the day before and figure out how you are going to get there and how long it is going to take you.
Make sure you know where you are going to park. Parking tickets will never be paid for by a production or by The Extras Dept.
Make sure you know what clothing and props you are required to bring and any hair or makeup requirements that you have been asked to do in advance – don’t forget to bring them!
On your filming day…
Listen carefully to the directions you are given by members of the Assistant Directors’ team in relation to where you should go and what you should do on the day. Clarify anything you do not understand.
Be quiet on set. The film crew need to work and communicate without interruption.
Never be late and never be rude.
Never look at or in the direction of the camera when filming.
Don’t over act – act naturally.
It is strictly not permitted to talk to the actors, ask for autographs, take photographs, or use recording equipment of any kind. This can result in you being dismissed immediately without pay.
It is not permitted to bring a friend or family member with you, this also applies to costume fittings.
Talking to the local media and local press is not permitted by the productions you may work on. Prior to filming you will sign a release which means you are entering into a confidentiality agreement with that production.
No personal belongings are to be brought onto set. Mobile phones must be switched off.
If you must take regular medication or have medication on hand in case of emergency, please make a member of the assistant director team aware when signing in. If your medication cannot be on your person due to your costume, they will take measure to have it kept in a safe place or with the on-set medic.
Do not take unscheduled breaks. Once filming begins, it may not be possible to release you from set until the next break. Please ensure you go to the bathroom, smoke, etc. in plenty of time before you are called.
Do not leave the set or location until you have been told officially by an assistant director that you have been “wrapped” (finished for the day). Before you leave make sure you have signed out with a member of the Assistant Director team and you have returned any costume or props that have been provided to you. Props and costume must be in the condition you received them in. The company will hold you responsible for any loss or damage to wardrobe and other articles loaned to you.
Booked extras showing up for a job, being on time, friendly, and easy to work with all affect our company’s reputation. If you are repeatedly late for jobs, fail to turn up without a good explanation, or we receive negative feedback, we will remove you from our database.
If you are under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, this will result in instant dismissal and you will be removed from our database.
Extras that play well are also more likely to get rebooked by production companies, so it is in everyone’s best interest to behave in a professional manner when on set.
Some useful phrases
This is the actors’ cue to start.
The team who are responsible for ensuring a smooth running set, the coordinate with all departments to make sure it all comes together. They are also responsible for the extras on set, they will give you your instructions of what to do.
This is the extras’ cue to start.
A daily report given to the crew with all the details pertaining to the filming day.
The time you must report to the location for your day of filming.
Check the Gate
Checking a part of the camera to ensure there are no unwanted objects on the lens.
This is a firm commitment to work on this day. Ensure you keep yourself free and available for a confirmed booking.
A sequence filmed over more than one day, or over several shots. It is essential that nothing changes to upset the continuity of the scene. If you are booked as continuity over many days, you must attend every day.
Where you would often eat. It can also be used as a holding area.
A person used in place of a Principal Actor when they are not available. These shots are usually from long distance, from behind, or for a part of the body such as hands or feet.
The direction you are required to look in shot.
Final Checks / Checks to shoot
Hair and make-ups last chance to check everything is right before filming. Final checks happen on set, directly before filming.
Sometimes referred to as Number Ones. You will be given a starting position for each take of a scene.
From the Top
To start the scene from the beginning.
Similar to Crowd Base. This is where you will wait before being called to set.
After going through costume, hair, and makeup, the extras will form a line where they will be looked over by someone from each department to ensure everyone looks perfect before heading to set. Make sure you stay in the line up until you are told to leave by an Assistant Director.
Filming that takes place through the night. While there are no set hours, you could be finishing anywhere between 1am and 6am.
A provisional booking which is not yet confirmed.
A small part of a scene which has been missed or needs to be reshot.
An extra who is used as a double for a Principal Actor if they are not available. They will have a strong resemblance to the actor.
Any object you may be given in addition to your costume. You will be responsible for this item until you wrap for the day.
An artificial body part, applied by the make-up department.
Red Light and Bell
Usually in a studio, a red light and bell will be sounded before filming is about to happen. Save the Red marked by two bells, means filming has stopped.
When a scene is rehearsed prior to filming it.
Moving the camera to a different position.
See Turning Over/Turning.
Runner or PA
Can be instructed to do anything to support the AD team and the Production Office. Duties can include, collecting people to and from set, to taking lunch orders.
A completely separate crew, filming different scenes to the main unit. Second Unit will often film insert or pick up shots.
A day that is shifted in hours. Usually a later start and finish. Pay is still a standard day.
A warning that filming is about to commence.
A person used in place of an actor to set up initial lighting and camera. Usually of a similar height, age, and skin tone to the actor.
This means the camera is about to roll.
Where the production team will base itself. This is often where you will report for call time.
This indicated the end of the filming day. It actually stands for Wind Reel And Print!