An experience #1

A few weeks ago via Twitter I learnt of the crowd-funding for a short thriller which would star one of the actors I like to watch. In return for certain sums the two main producers of the film offered different perks. A perk which included the chance to become a supporting artiste caught my eye and as this description wasn’t familiar to me I asked one of the producers via Twitter if this meant one could become an extra. He answered this was the case, one would be on set with them all.


After thinking about it a little further I decided to join the funding and buy this particular perk. I became a socalled Major.
Two weeks I waited to receive further informations about our roles as extras which eventually came and I learnt when I should be on set and for how long (6 pm – 5 am). I booked my flight and accommodation twelve days before the appointed day. In the following week I received further emails regarding NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement), release agreement and wardrobe and answered these accordingly.
Six days before the set day I was informed of a costume change which left me a little puzzled and uncertain what to wear. I wrote back and asked for details and if we were supposed to apply make-up ourselves. I didn’t receive an answer but another email to all involved plopped into my mailbox. The extras should come with their hair and make-up done. They should also bring along a few coats/jackets. With the help of another Major I figured out what they’d probably like us to wear.
Four days before the set day a schedule change was sent by email which informed me of a slight change of starting and ending time, 4.30 pm – 3.30 am.
One day before my flight to London I emailed and asked the production assistant if she might keep me updated via text message, as then I wouldn’t have to take my laptop along. By this time I still didn’t know where I was supposed to be the next day and I guessed we would be told shortly before the actual appointment. On this Monday I also still managed to finally find the perfect piece of clothing for my outfit.
On the next day’s evening I had arrived at my lodgings in Croydon, South London, and was chilling with sandwiches in front of the telly, when I received a text message from the production assistant. She gave me the meeting point (in front of a junk food restaurant at Liverpool Street Station) from where the extras would be driven to the unit base.

She also gave me a new time. Now we were supposed to meet at 9.45 pm. I asked if the finishing time had also been pushed back and she replied it was still 3.30 am and that they would not be able to provide me with transport home when they finish. So the time on set suddenly had been shortened and it seemed as if I would be left standing somewhere on the streets of London at 3.30 am.
The set day finally arrived. Having some time on my hands now, and not wanting to carry my backpack and bag with the alternative clothing round London I decided to see a movie at the BFI IMAX, which has an enormous screen.
Afterwards I made my way to Liverpool Street Station to have a coffee together with another extra before we met with everyone else. By 9.45 pm quite a few women had gathered most already in evening dress. We were joined by a very friendly member of the crew who told us he was our contact person and that he’d look after us during our stay on set. If we had any questions we could ask him anytime. After introductions he informed us we’d be taking a minibus to the unit base. I asked him if he happened to know why our time had been cut short and he replied there had been several schedule changes which was rather normal during a film production. He also told us we were being part of something special and that the crowdfunding especially the velocity of the money gathered had started a controversy in the business.
While we waited for the latecomers to arrive he collected our NDAs and Release Agreements of which we had sent scanned versions before and checked our passports. When the formalities had been settled he lead us to the waiting minibus and we drove to a car park which actually only was 5 minutes away. On the bus our mobile phones were collected and afterwards stored in the office trailer on the car park. We were taken to another trailer which functioned as a lounge for the crew. Inside were benches and tables. We left our bags and backpacks there and were shown the catering trailer where we could choose from two different dishes. There was also a tent with coffee and tea. We went back into the trailer and sat there with our food. I’d just started eating as someone of the production came in and was about to talk to us when one of the main actors, Benedict Cumberbatch, jumped up the stairs into the trailer. He stood there rubbing his hands and delivered a little thank you speech telling us how very appreciated our funding was. All the time he seemed very tense and nervous. I had the slight impression he was also rather embarassed. After a minute he was gone again. So we continued our late supper and then another extra and I went outside, walked around a little and chatted. When we stood somewhere near the catering trailer a car moved from the car park taking Benedict and a few other people to the set.

read on

5 Gedanken zu “An experience #1

  1. Same for me…. only the first page by the link but after…. even clicking on „read on“… there is nothing. I have already translated the 2 first…. but I can’t continue 🙂

  2. Thanks! I just tried to get to Part 2 and got:
    Fehler 404 – Nicht gefunden
    The link doesnt appear to be working.
    Take care and my fingers are crossed you receive the other things.:-)

  3. Hi – what happened to Parts 2 & 3? I read them last night….what a shame that it did not turn out to be what was promised. Hope you receive the rest of the perks. Hugs, Angie

    • Hi Angie,
      they are still available. If you click on »read on« at the end of part 1 you’ll be directed to part 2. I took them off the front page as I’ve received comments on part 3 which are mainly aimed at my postscriptum. I’d prefer people to rather not read it out of context.
      Also hope to hear about the rest of the perk sometime. I’m sure they’ll let us know in due course. Cheers!

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