Another check on the bucket list! I have finally become an extra in a movie; titled Code 8. Currently being filmed in Toronto, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to get a set tour, before becoming an extra, background character. Character may be a little of a stretch due to the fact that I had no name, no lines, and was in the scene for about 3 seconds – but still, I’m in a movie!
The lead actors in the film are cousins from Toronto, Robbie and Stephen Amell who you may know from Arrow and The Flash (if you watch the shows), and Sung Kang who plays Han in The Fast and the Furious franchise. Amongst them, there are a few newer, unknown talents as well. It is an independent film, but was started by Robbie and Stephen in a way for them to be able to work on a movie together.
As an extra, we spent the entire day on set, watching, observing and during breaks, getting a chance to talk/take pictures with the actors. Our day started right at 8 am where we had to meet downtown at their holding area. Upon arrival, we had to sign a NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) and meet with wardrobe in order to be fitted for the scene. Luckily, I knew ahead of the scene, and was able to come prepared. Afterwards, our guide for the day, Davin Lengyel came up, and met with us. He told us all about what was going on, what to expect, and our schedule for the day. Shortly after we were allowed to go down to the set (about two blocks away) and start watching the filming of two scenes. Now, being on a movie set definitely requires a lot of patience. There is a lot of sitting/standing around and waiting and very minimal amount of action. We were there from 8 am (filming began at 9 am), until 6 pm, where we left, but filming was still going on.
For the first few hours on set we just walked around in the back (out of camera) watching the filming of one scene being done multiple times (a TON of times), before being told where we would be standing/ walking in the background for the filming of the same scene, but form a different angle. I swear, this one scene was easily over 100 takes. This is not to say that people were messing up, or things weren’t going right, it’s just that they would shoot a scene from the same angle multiple times, then switch angles and do the same scene again. Then, because it was a car chase scene, the first shoot was of the first car, and then they had to do EVERYTHING all over again (multiple takes from different angles) but for the second car. Then they re-did everything again, for both cars at the same time. So that basically took all morning, until lunch (1 pm). This was obviously done for cutting floor footage, so then can match up, and find the best cuts to work with.
After that scene was completed, we broke for lunch, in which we were served quite a large buffet of food, which was pretty good! I was surprised that we were fed that decently, as I thought it would just be quick sandwiches or something easy. After lunch, we returned to set, and this is where Robbie and Stephen arrived to film their scene. We were fortunate enough to get a group picture with Robbie and Stephen and then Robbie decided to do solo pictures with us as well. Stephen was a little busy as he had his some other stuff he was trying to work on, but anytime either one of them had a break or chance, they would come over to talk and hang out with us. They have always been two of my favourite celebrities because both are so down to earth, and love interacting with their fans. They never act stuck up, and that they are better than other, but show genuine love and appreciation for everyone. Watching them film their scene was pretty cool because I am big fans of them from their respective shows, and the fact that you can watch behind the scenes of them actually working… it was a great experience.
Overall, it was an amazing day, and I was truly fortunate to have had that experience and meet some great people. I am quite excited to see the final product, especially since I have tickets to the Toronto premier (not until fall 2018), and I will be able to meet the whole cast again. Still quite a wait, but the experience will definitely be one to be remembered.
Have you ever been an extra in a movie? What was the experience like?