How to make it as an extra

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The Independent Culture

HOW TO GET STARTED

It is essential to register with an agency if you hope to work regularly. You do not need film or television experience to be taken on; your CV and a passport photo is all that most agencies demand. Agencies are entitled to charge a fee for finding you work, but be wary of those asking for money up-front.

TURN YOUR PHONE ON

Because of the erratic nature of the film industry, those who are most easy to contact and available at short notice are likely to get the job. It also helps to be an early riser; call time is often as early as 6am.

DOES IT PAY?

The industry minimum day rate is £69.43. But different organisations have their own standards: by the terms of the BBC Equity agreement, supporting artists get £75.50 for a day's work and £80.50 for a night's, and walk-ons are paid £93.50 for working a day and £110 for a night.

ANY PERKS?

Anecdotal evidence about the benefits of the job abound (kissing the leading lady, anyone?), but those expecting to rub shoulders with the stars 24/7 will be sorely disappointed. Extras are usually clearly segregated from the actors and strictly forbidden from approaching anyone of any note.

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