Every producer, director or any type of movie maker refers to their video or film their ‘baby’. Some of us have a fairly high budget to work with, some low. No matter what, we want the best outcome on our final product. Each shot has to be perfect, creating realistic, spell bound imagery for the viewer’s imagination. You want the best props for staging, cool music to set the tone, and your actors HAVE to be camera ready when they are called to action.
“Lights, Camera, ACTION!!!”
The main actor heads into a popular restaurant to meet his date on a Friday night. Everything looks great on camera, the actors order drinks and the waiter is cued to bring over the drinks from the bar in the background. Then…“CUT!” This is the third take and the waiter keeps on looking right into the camera when sitting the drinks on the table. Everyone is getting restless from all the takes. Why? You didn’t take the time to hire the best extras. You’ve spent good money for your production but wasted time.
Of course, extras aren’t paid much and sometimes don’t have the experience, and just have a foundation of acting or TV inspiration, but they are also the most important prop you can have in a film/video. Some extras have dialogue, some don’t. They merge all components together, from the foreground, mid-ground, to the background…simply by action.
Extras not only get the chance to learn about what happens behind a production, but they develop an understanding of how a film/video is put together. Extras need to know where to pick up from the last shot, if you need to do a takeover, or move to the next scene. They play a crucial role in each of your scenes. Your extras are characters in your film or video and must follow the same guidelines as your actors and actresses, including not looking directly into the camera. One they learn, your characters can become real.