Two years ago I was an extra in the fairly new Guy Ritchie film, King Arthur, Legend of the Sword. When you arrive at the set you sign a hefty confidentiality contract thing, agreeing that you won’t take any photos, nor give away any plot points etc. Because of this, I’ve never thought to blog about it, however the films been and gone now, so I’m sure I’m fine!
I was called for the part really last minute, about 9pm with the shoot set to take place the following morning at about 7am! So I drove to Hatfield, stayed in my uni room and at the crack of dawn drove to the Warner Bros studios in Watford.
The first thing I realised was the sheer scale of the thing. Us extras were put in a gigantic tent, so so huge. It had costume and makeup in one half, and a waiting room/dining hall in the other. Obviously, I ate as much free breakfast as possible and waited patiently for my call to costume. After an hour or so it came, and I anxiously awaited my ‘Nobleman’ outfit. Except when I got there they decided I wasn’t tall enough for this costume. I’m 6’2 so not exactly short! Long story short, I ended up as a peasant… I pretty much wore rags, and even had the pleasure of makeup putting fake dirt, sunburn and fingernail crud on me. Great start!
Then we went out to set and omg. It was i n s a n e. They’d literally built an entire town, complete with a lake, market square and shops you could actually go into. There were even loads of animals like bulls and pigs wandering round. The best thing was, the first shoot of the day was an establishing shot, so I was free to wander the set (acting like a peasant) for about an hour.
Afterwards it was time for lunch, which was some pretty tasty pasta, no complaints from me. Then back on to set, this time for some more detailed shots where I had to repeat the same actions over and over again. This was pretty much what I’d expected, and although it was slightly tedious, the amazing set and wonder of seeing the filming in action was enough to get me through. One shot did involve walking up stairs, which sounds like a small task until the 50th take when my legs were suffering!
I’d read before I did the job that extras was loads of waiting around. I’ve done two jobs now and this hasn’t been the case for either, although they’ve both been big Hollywood Blockbuster type films. Perhaps smaller shoots that require less people would be different. Either way, it was a really good day for really good money. (win win). I’m still signed up to extras agencies now, but obviously I spent a year abroad so I’ve not been available to do any for a while. I’m excited for my next role!
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