World War Z – Casting in CornwallPosted: July 12, 2011
As many of you may have heard recently, World War Z. Emily King has done a post on it over on her website. To cast, first you’ll have to sign up on their casting site, found here.
But I’m not going to dwell on this specific opportunity (mostly because I cannot audition due to other work commitments) – although Emily will be. Instead I will talk about casting extras. Now I haven’t had the opportunity to do this personally (usually lack of funding is a major issue – though it doesn’t stop you from setting up a casting call).
What would I look for in an extra? Well, first of all, personality. You don’t want someone who is going to overact. You want someone who is going to be able to take direction, and remain in the background, or wherever you need them. Most people will be able to do that, so you can also look for signs of things like reliability and punctuality as well. If someone is punctual and willing to take instructions, then you’ll be fine. If you’re oversubscribed, you may need to cut down the applications. Just make sure that the best person who applies gets it.
What’s the purpose of extras? Wikipedia defines extras as:
A background actor or extra is a performer in a film, television show, stage, musical, opera or ballet production, who appears in a nonspeaking, nonsinging or nondancing capacity, usually in the background (for example, in an audience or busy street scene). War films and epic films often employ background actors in large numbers: some films have featured hundreds or even thousands of paid background actors. Likewise, grand opera can involve many background actors appearing in spectacular productions.
Simply put, they’re there to be part of a crowd that appears in the film/TV show.
Can it get me a foot in the door into the industry? It can, but be aware, this is how a lot of people will do it – start out as extras, network and try for any parts going. Quite simply, there’s no easy answer to getting in to films, but you never know until you try!
Actors attitudes can vary greatly. Some actors will be almost willing to be in anything. Other actors will only perform if you’re willing to give them anything they want. Be prepared for people to say no to you. Likewise, don’t automatically assume that someone will say no. If you have an interesting project, an famous actor may actually say yes to being in your film. Basically, don’t take anything for granted. And that also means treat your actors well (although you should be treating everyone on the production well if you want a positive atmosphere).