Models Direct Guide to Becoming an Extra: Part One

From: Models Direct
Published: Mon Feb 22 2010

Do you love films and TV? Would you like to get inside knowledge of the new releases? Do you like the idea of being on screen but didnít go to drama school? If so, becoming an extra could be the perfect role for you! However, being an extra or walk-on isnít always as glamorous as you might have hoped. Read on for the first instalment of Models Directís guide to becoming an extra.

What is an extra? Think about scenes that are set in a crowded space, such as a party or a train station. Extras are the people you see in the background of a shot while the lead actors are playing their role. Walk on parts are slightly different. If you have previous acting experience, a particular skill (which could be your day job or playing a sport) or maybe even a distinct look you could find yourself being put in a more prominent role rather than just a face in the crowd. This will add an extra bonus to your pay packet as well.

What will a typical day involve? Youíll most likely have to arrive at the set early in the morning, especially if itís a production that will require you to have certain hair and make-up. It will be a very long day and can be dull at times so make sure you bring some entertainment in the form of a book, mp3 player or portable games console. If you know youíre being filmed outside, Models Direct advise you to take plenty of warm clothes!

How will it benefit your career? You probably wonít become the next big thing through being an extra, but it provides a nice pay check at the end of the day, a free meal and the possibility of appearing in a scene with your favourite film star. It can be a great experience for students of both drama and media as it gives you a chance to find out what working on a film set is really like.

What experience do I need? You simply need to be able to follow simple instructions, have patience and be able to tolerate long working days. As mentioned above it may benefit you to make any skills or talents known, especially if you want to make a more lucrative career from this type of work. Youíre also more likely to be noticed for your wardrobe, especially if you have vintage or old styles of clothing, as itís likely you will have to bring at least some of your own costumes.

Will I meet anyone famous? Itís a shame but probably not. Itís not good extra etiquette to try and mingle with the actors, try to take photos or ask for autographs, in fact, it could mean getting blacklisted from future jobs. As a general rule, cameras arenít allowed on set as producers will not want shots of the actors or sets leaked and you may have to sign a confidentiality contract. Just enjoy watching the actors work from afar, especially the outtakes!

About Models Direct

Models Direct ( is a talent and model agency for female models, male models, teen models, child models and baby models for advertising, fashion, film, TV, promotional and photographic modelling work. We are a Government-regulated Model Employment Agency... not an online showcase, we're the real thing!

If you think you, or perhaps your partner, child, baby or pet, might be a suitable model for us to put forward for selection to appear in films, TV, fashion, promotions, advertisements and photographic modelling, please visit the website ( or call us on +44 (0)871 224 6000. Modelling can be great fun & often rewarding as a part time hobby.
Company: Models Direct
Contact Name: Suzy O'Connor
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Contact Phone: (+44) 0871 224 6000

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