#4 Short Film on a Shoe String: Extras

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A movie extra is someone who appears in a minor role, usually in the background of the primary action going on in a particular scene, they will usually only appear for short periods, often a matter of seconds, and are not recognized in the movie credits.

Movie extras serve to create the illusion of a real-life setting behind and around the actors and primary action of the film, and serve to fill the roles of everyday people, helping the production to seem more realistic.

The final scenes in our short film, is set at a school prom night, my first title for the film was “The Prom Gig” because everything that comes before it is leading to the end of the story and the climax of the film. “Mystery Girl” felt like a better title because the story is about Danny (the protagonist) searching for the mystery girl. Here is a sample of the final scene which gives you an idea of what is needed.

INT.  MAIN HALL – EVENING

We see — dancers — happy — laughing — flashing lights

INT. THE STAGE – CONTINUOUS

The DJ — on stage — working the deck — we see the fans from the stage — everyone having great time.

Callum dancing with a girl — Amy and Eleanor join in — Callum looking — chuffed.

So I hired a suitable venue and asked the actors to spread the word, that I need extras dressed as they would do to attend a prom night. Only four arrived to be extras, so it was a complete failure, but we did manage to rehearse with the actors, and they were very good, and that made us feel a little better.

We have now postponed filming until early spring 2019, this will give me time to promote the film for the extras with the inducement of a free buffet. To be honest I could have made life simpler for myself, if I had made the last scene a smaller gig, but I’m going to stay with the idea because it just feels right for the story, and just hope that I can find the extras. I’ve learned from this mistake, and it has high-lighted my lack of experience in movie making, which is very different to making music videos.

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