Wondering how to work as an extra in Canada? Well, Canada’s film industry is booming! Many famous movies and TV shows have been filmed in Canada. And, when you work as an extra, it’s a great way to earn extra money.
Toronto is one of the largest film production centres in North America. And, Vancouver has been dubbed Hollywood North. In both cities, there are many film projects taking place for Amazon Prime, Netflix, Disney, Warner Bros, ABC, and others in the industry. And you can be part of a famous (or not so famous) production when you work as an extra on a set.
What is an “Extra” in the Film Industry?
“Extra” is another name for a background performer. These are usually non-speaking roles. So typically you would be part of a crowd or background for scenes.
Who Can Work as an Extra?
Anyone! No matter how old you are, what skills you have, or how you look. No training is needed.
You must be able to legally work in Canada. And, the agents or agencies can provide you with the list of documents that you will require to work as an extra.
Children up to 15 years old have to be accompanied on a set by an adult.
What Does a Day on a Production Set Look Like?
The working day can be anything from 2-3 hours to 12 hours in a row, any time during day or night. You may not get the exact schedule in advance.
You will have to arrange your own transportation to the location (usually it is a parking lot where you can leave your car if needed). And, you’ll be transported from the parking lot by bus to the actual film location.
It can be an outside or inside location so dress accordingly. The agency will let you know in advance if you can wear your own clothes, or if they will provide you with special clothes.
Also, you can spend most of the time waiting for the filming set to be ready for action or maybe for the rain to stop. So, you can bring a book or a tablet to help you to pass the time. You may not be able to meet leading actors, but there is plenty of time to talk to fellow “extras” and make new friends too.
How Much Will I Earn When I Work as an Extra?
You will be paid for all the hours you spend on the set. The rate per hour differs based on the production.
There are food and drinks offered at no cost.
The agency will let you know these details in advance and they will mail you a cheque.
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How Can I Apply to Work as an Extra?
The easiest way is to apply is to create an online profile in a Background performers database.
Check out these databases for more details:
BCF casting in Vancouver
Astra online Background performers in Toronto
Usually, there is no registration fee and you can update your information on a regular basis. You will be asked to provide your:
- height, and
- other descriptions.
In addition, you can list any specific skills you and have, and most importantly, provide your availability.
Once there is an opportunity the agency may contact you with more information and specific details about the production.
Alternatively, you may choose to work with an agent who represents background actors. In this case, there may be additional fees or commissions involved.
Working on a movie set can be an exciting experience. You get to see the insides of the film production process, earning extra money, and meeting new people! These are among some of the biggest perks. And, there’s a chance to see yourself on the big screen too!