Thursday, June 6, 2013

What to bring if you are a movie extra (for kids)

The boys after hair, wardrobe, and "makeup".
The boys just wrapped their first movie background extra work tonight! Something is always being filmed here in NOLA. This time it was for the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. It was great because all 4 boys were hired to work and we got to spend time together. They've already decided they are all buying iPod touches with their earnings.

 Several of the boys' friends have showed an interest in getting some background work, so I decided to make this post letting moms know what is a good idea to bring to the set. Keep in mind this is based off of my experience with the entertainment industry so far. This movie was the first time that the production company was actually nice to the parents and didn't act they were big pains in the booty. When Colby did the music video and the HBO cop show pilot they were just so annoyed that the parents wanted to see and check on their kids and to be nearby to them, even though insurance requires us to be there! Tonight they were more than welcoming and even thanked us for bringing the kids. It was great!

Here is my list of things to bring:
 -A large tote to carry all this stuff in!
-Whatever paperwork they have asked for. Usually you have to sign some releases and consents for a minor to work as well as have a copy of the child's birth certificate and social security card. I've always had to scan and email these documents to the casting office before the shoot but I also bring a paper copy to the set just in case. I keep all the paperwork we might need in an over-sized plastic see through envelope. 
- Something to do! They can only keep kids for 8 hours (adults can be on the set for 12 hours or more). Our experience is that you work about 1/4 of that time, and wait the rest. So bring your phone, your iPod, iPad, Kindle, portable dvd player with dvds and headphones, books, board games, cards,or whatever else can can fit into your bag to keep yourself and your kids entertained. Your kids will make fast friends with the other child extras and keep themselves busy!
This checkers game was a big hit!
-If you have brought electronics, make sure you bring their chargers. Very important! If you are using your phone for entertainment that whole time you will run out of battery quickly. 
-Snacks. Every set we have been on has had snacks and drinks for the crew, actors, and background. But sometimes the snacks get put out at random times so its always good to have a little something on hand for your child or stock up when they do bring out the snacks.
-A portable chair with a carrier. Most of the time the crew has set up an area specifically for background extras to sit and to eat while they are waiting to be called on set. But when you go on set with your child you may be outside and need a place to sit and wait until they are done.
-A blanket and jacket. I generally bring a jacket anytime I go anywhere because you can rarely control the temperature of where you end up! This week we were in "kiddy corner" which was a little conference room in a Holiday Inn. It was freezing in there! I wore shorts because I knew we may have to stand outside in the sun if they got called to set. But I had my jacket and blanket on while we were inside!
-A small first aid kit is handy as well, headaches, belly-aches from eating all the snacks, or the occasional scrape from rough housing with the other kids is possible. There are medics on the set, but sometimes the wait for non-emergency assistance can take a while.
-Hmmm...what else? That's all I can think of right now. If you have something to add, just let me know in the comments!

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