Being a music video 'extra'

film camera

Film camera

A last-minute opportunity came about which resulted in a paid gig as an extra for a music video.

During school I really enjoyed creative art subjects – visual arts, music and drama. I even made short films which I entered into competitions. When I started university, I didn’t want to lose that creativity and embarked on putting myself out there for any opportunities.

Within recent years, I’ve prioritised university but recently got offered a music video opportunity and thought: why not? Being an extra is such a random, fun and unique experience. I had previously been on set for a TV show and it was so exciting to see how things are filmed behind the scenes.

Some interesting experiences from being an extra:

1. There is a lot of waiting around

Call times are always a lot earlier than when actual filming starts. I’ve found myself waiting around for an hour until filming begins! Technical difficulties are also inevitable. 

2. You’ll likely have to choose your own wardrobe and make-up

Adelaide isn’t like Hollywood – unless you have a large budget or an actual role – being an extra involves pro-activity. The clients will send information on what they’d like you to look so it’s up to you to bring outfit choices! However, when I was an extra on a TV set, I did get given an outfit due to the different time era of the show.

3. You’re not going to be the main show

As an extra, you’re simply ‘background props’. You will not be the main focus while filming. Seeing an elbow or back of your head is still exciting though! 

Being on set for the music video was so fascinating because I got to see the band play live while trying to sync up to the soundtrack. It involved lots of takes and trial & error. I simply had to vibe in the background pretending like I was having a conversation. Easy work (and good money)!

The upcoming summer holiday is the perfect opportunity to get involved with random film gigs. Why not take up a job as a professional ‘extra’?

Tagged in What messes with your head, Student life, fun, jobs, employment