The Need


Sorry, can't come to set tomorrow I'm maneuvering a Mars rover.

Sorry, can’t come to set tomorrow I’m maneuvering a Mars rover.

It turns out that extras are difficult creatures to lure onto a movie set. Post an audition for a walk on role with one line and you will get 70-100 submissions but post a call for a featured extra who will play a key role in the story of your film and you will get one. Or maybe two.

I suppose it is no surprise: there is a big difference between acting as a character and acting as human set dressing. Maybe if I were shooting a film with a big star or could actually afford to pay people for their time I would have better luck, but as it is I am the lowest of lowest men on the totem pole: the independent student filmmaker.

My quest to attract extras has taught me a few interesting things:

-People like things that are difficult, not things that are easy. Present an actor with a challenge and they’ll come running because it will be something interesting to try and something cool to put on their reel. Present an actor with a free meal and an afternoon of easy work and they’ll have to decide whether it is worth giving up their afternoon for.

– Asking actors if they’d be willing to be an extra during auditions is a great way to find out who is willing to give it a shot. If they say “yes” then call them- the ones who show up are actors who will show up in the future when it’s for an important role and that is a BIG point in their favor.

-That there aren’t many actors with mohawks.

It so happens that it is VERY important that I have an actor with a mohawk to do a walk-on appearance in the scene and so far I have no one firmly committed. Logically I suppose this is because there are a limited number of roles that someone with a mohawk could be cast in and most actors are trying to cast as wide of a net as possible. This is an interesting challenge that I didn’t expect.

So the bottom line is that I have a need for an actor with a mohawk. Or anyone with a mohawk really- and at the moment I am still just trusting that when the time comes the actor will arrive. Manifesting, they call it here in Southern California. “Ask the universe for what you need and it will come to you” they say. Well, if a guy with a mohawk walks onto my set tomorrow then my next blog is going to be entirely composed of me apologizing for making fun of any crunchy-granola-yoga-hippie-tofu-horoscope-commune-co-op comment I’ve ever made.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on November 1, 2013.

One Response to “The Need”

  1. Want me to get a mohawk and fly out tomorrow?

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