London

More opportunities to work as a film extra could be coming to London

London’s film scene may not be on par with Los Angeles or Vancouver, but the manager of Film London says his office is working hard to bring more opportunities for extras to town.

Local actors can look for roles by registering on Film London's database

A director of photography lines up the perfect shot during a London production in February. (Submitted by Andrew Dodd)

London's film scene may not be on par with Los Angeles or Vancouver, but the manager of Film London says his office is working hard to bring more opportunities for extras to town.

Last weekend, a few dozen Londoners answered a call for extras to participate in a film shoot at the London Airport.

Andrew Dodd of Film London said it could be the beginning of more opportunities to be seen on the big screen.

"We are constantly working on London to be getting more productions to come here to town," said Dodd. "We think it's a good time to be doing this.Dodd said that photos from the set were expressly forbidden, as was sharing information about the film in production.

He was able to say that the signage of the terminal had been changed to read "John F. Kennedy Airport" for the film.

Working as an extra may not be full-time, but it can lead to a full day of work at $15 an hour. It's not always necessary to be part of an actor's union, but it can help to get noticed.

Anyone interested in becoming an extra should know rules on set usually require screening and a test for COVID-19, along with signing a strict non-disclosure agreement. Productions may also provide instructions on how to dress, how to do your hair or what technology should or shouldn't appear in the scene.

While it's possible to get close to well-known actors, Dodd said it's best to play it cool.

Film London manager Andrew Dodd tells London Morning how to stay informed about potential extra or background performer work in the next production that comes to the Forest City.

"I was very close to some of the stars that you will eventually see in this production. I think it would have been probably a faux pas had I reached out and tried to speak to them," he said.

"I'm sure the background performers would have been debriefed. You know, these are professionals and they're here at work and they're in a certain zone and mentality. They don't want everybody coming up to them and saying, 'Hey, can they get my photo with you?' I think that would probably get you removed from the production pretty quickly."

Dodd is encouraging local actors looking to get their feet wet as extras to join Film London's online database for free.

When opportunities arise, they'll get an email blast for work that could lead to their next big break.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Angela McInnes is a reporter for CBC London. She's also filed for CBC Windsor and Halifax. She has a particular interest in stories touching on environment, poverty and mental health. You can reach her at angela.mcinnes@cbc.ca.

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