Film Extras

You can make money being a film extra or TV extra if you have time to spare during the week and live in, or near, a major city. Doing film extra work can be a great way to make easy money and meet celebs at the same time.

There are lots of films and TV programmes in production right now as you can see here and many of them need extras. You can be old, young, black, white, able-bodied or disabled and there will be work for you.


A background actor or extra is a performer in a film, television show, stage, musical, opera or ballet production, who appears in a nonspeaking or non-singing (silent) capacity, usually in the background (for example, in an audience or busy street scene).

Film extras exist to make productions look realistic, giving a setting behind the main actor’s dialogue. Parts for film extras include:

  • passengers at the train station,
  • people at a concert
  • customers in a café.
  • soldiers in a battle scene
  • ladies and gentlemen in a Victorian ball
  • people sitting on a park bench or walking by the river

…and many more!

You don’t need any formal acting experience at all to be a film or TV extra (also more politely called a ‘supporting artist’ or SA), but you do need to be punctual, reliable. You will also need to be able to take direction as even if you are just sitting or standing in one position, it will be as directed. It will also partly be your responsibility to remember your starting and ending positions if you are moving, miming or performing specific actions.

The length of an extra’s employment on a production depends on the needs of the director and the scenes being filmed. You tend to be booked for a day at a time but it could be a night, a weekend or even several weeks depending upon the production. Bookings which last more than a day are usually due to continuity of the filming. For example, if you are seen or occupying a position, you will need to be there in later takes so that things look right.

The movie extras provide the rich tapestry of background performers in almost every scene. Regardless of the scene, location or time period, movie extras are used play the role of background fillers. You will see them as crowds at sporting events, students in the school hallway, patients in hospitals and diners at restaurants. Movie extras are the soldiers on the battle field and even the criminals in jail cells. hat makes movie extras different from actors, is by definition, movie extras never speak.

When a movie extra is given dialogue, even if it’s just one word, then the extra becomes an ‘Actor’. On a film or TV set, background actors are usually referred to as “background talent”, “background performers”, “background artists”, “background cast members” or simply “background” while the term “extra” is rarely used. In a stage production, background actors are commonly referred to as “supernumeraries”. In opera and ballet, they are called either “extras” or “supers”.


OneModels can help you get into this industry by providing the right tools and support and connecting you to the best extras agents. Apply by filing our registration form HERE


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