Toronto’s film industry has seen an explosion in growth and interest in recent years. For those living in Toronto who are interested in maneuvering through the film industry – or hey, just want to make a little extra pocket change in a fun way – this means that there are more opportunities now than ever to become a Toronto film extra.
Which, of course, brings up this question: do you really have what it takes to be a movie or TV extra? Although some people think that literally anyone can be a good film extra, this actually isn’t quite true – playing the role of a Toronto film extra doesn’t require a college degree or even a high school diploma, but it does demand specific personality traits that’ll either make your time as an extra pretty enjoyable…or get you booted off set.
With that in mind, we assembled these 5 “clues” which suggest you probably have what it takes to be a good Toronto film extra. Here they are:
- You can maintain composure while the camera is rolling. Yes, being a film extra on set means you’ll have to do stuff that many might consider a little unusual. Stuff like pretending to talk to another extra – but not actually saying anything (well, not anything audible!), else the boom mic will pick up on that talking. For some, these sorts of “unconventional activities” (which most people don’t do in their day-to-day lives) can result in a loss of composure as soon as the camera pans their way – whether through laughs or excessive smiles or something else. But if you’re good at maintaining composure – even when cameras are on you – then you might just do an awesome job as a Toronto film extra.
- You have patience. Being an extra on set means a lot of waiting around. In fact, much of the time you’ll just be waiting around while the crew arranges lighting, camera, props, and so on. If you don’t have the patience to wait around for hours at a time during the day (or night), you probably won’t enjoy it and won’t make a great Toronto film extra. There’s another reason why you’ll need patience, too: scenes might have to be re-shot again and again, so you’ll have to repeat what you’ve been told to do – again and again.
- You don’t have a penchant for causing drama. Extras who think they’re some kind of big shots – trying to get into every scene or insisting that they’re in the shot get booted from set fairly quickly. They also won’t get many – if any – callbacks.
- You take directions well. Film and TV sets are fast-paced, so the ability to understand and follow through on directions from the assistant director is an important trait to have as a Toronto film extra.
- You know how to show up on time – every time. The importance of this can’t be overemphasized; if you can’t show up on time to the set and aren’t generally reliable, you probably won’t do that well as a film extra. Of course, the reverse is also true: those who show up on time, every time, will get more callbacks and be viewed as an extra who is willing to work hard.