Click Extras Information Sheet to download a PDF outlining this information
Thank you for choosing Hollywood North Extras! We have been in operation since 1994 and provide hundreds of extras and background performers for feature films, television movies, t.v series, commercials, and corporate videos. Perhaps you are a newcomer to being an extra or you might be a veteran looking for more work. Whatever the case we hope you enjoy the time you spend on set. Please read over this information carefully before applying.
The application that you fill out and the photo that we take are an application and you are considered part of our roster once you have worked. You must have a valid social insurance number or work permit in order to work. Once we book you on a set you are a representative of our agency and therefore we ask that only people serious about being movie extras apply. Usually we place you in larger scenes for the first booking. Once you have applied there are a few scenarios:
We enter you into our system and activate you on the site that the casting directors view. We then send you a password to maintain your online calendar.
We e-mail you a link to enter your own info on the site. We are then notified that you are “pending”. We then add your pic and final info and activate you. Your then receive your password.
We keep the paper application until we have a scene that we want to submit you for and then your profile is entered.
Unfortunately we are not able to accommodate everyone. If you have not received a call/e-mail in 3 months you can try and reapply.
New applicants are asked not to check in. We cannot track people until they are entered in our database.
Once you have received your online calendar it is very important to keep it current! We cannot stress how important this is! We e-mail you more information on this when we send you your password for the calendar.
As you probably realize being an extra should be considered as part time work and not as something to rely on to pay your rent! It is a really fascinating way to spend the day, learn more about the film industry, meet some interesting people and also earn some extra money. We are a busy agency but cannot predict how often an individual will be called. It could be as frequent as a few times a week or as little as every few months. As an agency we are asked to supply a demand. We have no control over how many productions are going on, what they are filming or what types of people we are being asked to book. The extras casting directors choose whom they would like to book, especially for more specific roles. We do strive to keep everyone working and try to book people as often as possible.
It is important to act professionally on all sets. You are being paid to do a job, which is to be an extra. We ask that you take it as seriously as you would any employment. PLEASE READ THE DO’S AND DONT’S and follow them whenever on set. Do enjoy yourself but realize that our reputation is based on the professionalism of our extras. We have a zero tolerance policy for new extras. If a situation has occurred that requires an explanation we expect a call to the office as soon as possible to clear it up.
If it is your first time on set that’s okay, but it is not necessary to make everyone aware of that fact! Fill out the appropriate spots on your sign in sheet and then try to follow what the more experienced extras are doing. Do ask if you are unsure of something. We endeavor to treat everyone with respect and expect the same in return. The better our extras are, the more bookings we get and can provide to people. Everyone is happy!
Extras are an important part of every film, but the best extras are those that aren’t noticed. If you are in a restaurant scene, eat and talk to the person at your table. Do not stare at Brad Pitt at the next table! It is sometimes exciting to be next to a movie star but keep in mind that in the role they are playing they are just an ordinary person. Try to act as natural as possible. It is better to underact than overact.
There are two types of calls we make. One type of call is to book you. The other is to check availability. We often check availability before submitting pictures to the casting directors. This is not a booking. If you are selected we call you back to confirm the booking. When we call to book you, we let you know the date of work. Often we call the day before; we rarely get much notice. At this time, we need a yes or no, not a maybe-depending-on-the-time answer. When we are booking you we do not know the start or end time of the shoot. You need to be completely free on the day of filming with absolutely no other commitment. Under no circumstances can you be late to set or leave early once you are on set. It is often okay to call us back if you need to make arrangements or to check your schedule.
If we get voicemail, we usually leave a message but we must speak to you in order to book you. You can try to return our call at the office as late as you like; we occasionally leave very late when we are busy booking numerous scenes. If you get our voicemail after hours you can still let us know if you are available. We may still be in the office and checking messages or we might need to replace someone last minute. Normally, once we have left the office we have finished booking the next days’ scenes and have sent the completed lists to the casting directors. At this point it is too late to be booked for the next day. If we are booking a scene that is few days away we often have spots available until the day before the scene, so check with us to see if we can still place you. Please let us know if your appearance is different than the picture that we have. Never call the pager to return a call unless we have specified to do so in our message to you!
When we book you, you are confirmed! Your name is given to the production company casting director when you are booked. It is a big deal to replace you. If you foresee a problem, say no to begin with. Every single person is important, even in larger scenes. At this point we give you the information you need, which is listed below. At this point we do not know the time you are needed on set. On most productions they only determine the call time of the extras between 8-11 p.m. the night before the shoot date. At that point we e-mail/call you to finalize your information. As mentioned earlier, you need to be free the entire day once you agree to work. You might be required to be on set for a start time of anywhere between 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. When you say yes you are committed to be there regardless of the start time. An average day is 6 to 10 hours but can be as long as 14 hours. Please never agree to go to set unless you can stay for the duration. There are few things worse than someone established in a scene and them having to leave for a dentist appointment!
When we book you we let you know what day you are needed the production name and a brief description of the scene(s) you will be in. The night before the day you are booked we e-mail you with all your booking info. We ask that you check your e-mail frequently during that time and confirm back as soon as possible. We prefer not to have to call you to see if you have received the information but we do need to do this if you have not confirmed by e-mail. Our days are very long and a quick e-mail confirmation saves us from making more calls! If you do not have e-mail or access to a computer in the evening please let us know when we book you and we will call you and give you your details verbally.
1. Production name…please note of this as well as the date you are working.
2. Scene…what role are you playing? If it is a restaurant scene-is it a nice Manhattan restaurant or a fishing village diner? This will determine how you dress.
- * Arrive on set camera ready.
- * For women, arrive hair and make up done and men clean shaven unless specified.
- * Wear your first choice of clothing to set appropriate for the scene and bring 2 other full changes.
- * If you are in an office scene, have 3 business options. If it is a rough blue collar bar play the part and have 3 scruffy looking casual changes. Dress how you normally would for that occasion.
- * Do not wear solid black, white, very bright colors or very bold patterns. The best colors are muted tones such as brown, beige, olive, rust, grey, pastels and sometime jewel tones. No logos (Kokanee beer t-shirt, B.C Lion’s etc) allowed on set. The idea is to blend into the background and not take any focus away from the main actors. Exterior scenes require accessories such as coats, umbrellas, briefcase etc.
- * Feel free to bring additional accessories or props that you feel could be useful.
- * Always bring wardrobe to the set, do not leave it in the car.
- * Occasionally you will be asked to be in two or more scenes in the same day and they will require you to change. If you do not have the clothing for the scene we are booking, such as formal evening wear, please let us know, we will just book someone with appropriate wardrobe.
- * The costume or props department may provide you with an item for the day.
You are responsible for it.
- Please take care of it and return it to the appropriate person at the end of the day.
At least a few times a year we work on period films such as the 1800’s, the 60’s etc. For these productions you are often asked to go to a wardrobe fitting. The production provides the wardrobe for these occasions but we might ask you to bring any clothes you have that would be suitable. You are paid for four hours for the fitting. These productions are usually very interesting!
4. Location…Many scenes are filmed in the Vancouver area, but we are finding that more frequently they are taking advantage of all cities so locations can be anywhere in the lower mainland, i.e. Maple Ridge or Langley. You are responsible for your own transportation. If you do not have a vehicle, it is best to refuse jobs that are difficult to get to. Better say no than to be late. When working downtown, try to avoid metered parking or parking with a time limit. You normally cannot leave the set. Parking is often not provided downtown. Mapquest or google is fine to look up locations but always take a look at the maps provided do not just enter a location. On the maps that we e-mail you it is the same map the crew gets to get the big trucks (circus) to set. They often include the start location of the studio and then the “crew park” which can be the same parking for the extras but not always. In the body of the e-mail it will tell you where to sign in. Please read this information carefully. The filming location is rarely where you are signing in. They often shuttle the extras to set once you are signed in.
5. Call time…This is the time you are needed on set. You are paid from this time onward but we ask that you sign in 15 minutes before that time. On most production they only determine the next days’ call time after they finish filming for the day. This “call sheet” is usually sent to us between 8 and 11 p.m. We in turn e-mail/ phone you and give you your call time.
When you get to set you must first sign in. Arrive 15 minutes earlier than your call time. Do not be late! When you are late the production calls the casting director and demands to know where you are, who then in turn call us and demands the same thing…This should never happen as it disrupts everyone. We realize that it is often hurry up and wait in this industry but that is the way it is. If you are going to be late you need to contact us on our emergency pager number which is (604)641-8490. Check in with the extras “wrangler” who will give you a form to fill out. It is a standard release form. There is a spot for “agent” where you must put “Hollywood North Extras”. You will need to know your social insurance number. If you are here on a work permit please bring a photocopy of your work permit and your sin number to set. Please also provide us a copy of your work permit, which we forward to the production company if need be. Failure to do any of the above can delay payment. Always remember to sign out once you are wrapped.
You are paid an hourly rate from your call time to your wrap time. You are not paid for your meal break (usually ½ hour) but lunch is provided on set. The pay scale can vary, but most commonly it is $12.42-$13.00 per hour. It can go up to $29.00 an hour for special ability work. Labour laws apply to film sets so you are paid straight time for 8 hours not including your meal break. The pay is then time and a half up to 11 hours and then double time after that. The higher rate is reserved for union members who are part of the Union of BC. Performers (you need to have 6 acting credits before becoming a union member). On occasion a “permit” can be given to a non-union extra. This can happen if you are booked as a Special Ability Extra because of a special skill, if you are doing something more specific, or if you are in a small scene. This does not happen frequently so consider it a nice bonus! We also book extras with vehicles. The usual rate for a vehicle is $35.00 for the day plus your hourly wage. The rate may be increased for luxury cars or period vehicles.
We recommend our mail-out cheque service. There is no fee for this service. You can request to have your cheque mailed on the application, by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling our office at (604)466-3045. Please provide us with your full name and address. If you circled the mail cheque when you applied then it will be sent to you automatically. We will make a note on your file and it will be sent out by mail each time you work. It is very important to notify us if your address has changed and you have worked or are booked to work as it will go to the wrong address. If you have not received your cheque and it has been a month since you worked and you have asked for it to be mailed, please feel free to give us a call. As per the information below it takes us 2-3 weeks to receive payment and we will process it and mail it out within 3 days.
Cheque pick up is on select Thursdays on the 26th floor of Metrotower II. Please see home page of the website for days and hours. In order to avoid being inundated with e-mails/ calls about paychecks being in, we ask that you check the date you worked and then calculate three weeks from the Thursday of that week. We do not check to see if your pay is in! It will be in when you come to pick it up if you have filled in your form correctly and follow this procedure. For features, t.v movies and t.v series it takes us 2-3 weeks to receive your payment from the production company. Therefore if you calculate 21 days from the Thursday of the week that you worked it is then available for pick up. For commercials and corporate videos it can take 6 weeks or more to receive your pay. For these projects we do ask that you call the office first to be sure it is in, specifying which production. We hold checks for you and it is fine to let a few accumulate for one pick-up.
There is an annual $25.00 photo fee. This is deducted from your first check. There is 15% commission on all work and we are required to charge 12% h.s.t. on the commission. The agency pays in the form of a company cheque if the amount you are picking up is over $100. If it is under $100 we usually pay in cash. It is possible to cash our check at the Bank of Montreal on Kingsway with picture I.D.. Please note that there is a $3.00 bank charge if you do not have an account with The Bank of Montreal.
If an emergency should occur that will prevent you from going to set please contact us as soon as possible. This should only occur in case of a real emergency. It is always a huge inconvenience for everyone. If you don’t show up for your call time we normally need to replace you which means phoning other extras at that time to get to set immediately. Please do not wait until we call/e-mail you with your call time to cancel. It your scene is 2 days away it is okay to call the office and leave a message. If it is for the next day you will need to call my cell phone number. This number can be found in the booking information sent to you. It is a good idea to have this phone number with you when going to set in case of an emergency. Please use this number for emergencies only.
We hope that sums it up. Feel free to call us if you have any questions. The B.C Film Industry is booming and living here we have a unique opportunity to experience what being a movie extra is all about. Have a good time!