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Back ground Talent. Part 3

So interesting. Please continue posting.

by Anonymousreply 162November 25, 2022 11:09 AM

I worked BG on The Many Saints Of Newark. Who would ever guess David Chase is such an asshole. He didn't have a nice thing to say about anyone, and consequently, every cast member despised him. Deservedly.

by Anonymousreply 1April 5, 2022 6:42 PM

What benefits come with being "number one on the call sheet"? (For eg, in a tv show where there is a main cast of 5-6 characters.)

Do they shoot from the angle showing your face first (in dialog scenes), then later turn the camera setup around and shoot from the angle showing the other character(s) lower on the call sheet?

Do they make the daily production schedule such that you have to spend the least amount of time waiting on set?

by Anonymousreply 2April 5, 2022 7:38 PM

R2 congrats on being a number 1.

I have it on good authority that the directors and producers kind of expect a Number 1 to set the tone. If you're punctual, relaxed and being kind to everyone, it spreads and everyone enjoys their day. So know your stuff and be at ease. People are looking to you to make this work.

How's that for a perk?

by Anonymousreply 3April 5, 2022 8:06 PM

Thanks r3. Nah, I used that name signoff to remind people the topic of my post. I'm not in your biz. Was curious how the number one (say, on a procedural crime tv show) is treated or expected to behave.

by Anonymousreply 4April 5, 2022 8:25 PM

Like a smug entitled bitch, naturally.

by Anonymousreply 5April 5, 2022 8:33 PM

I worked on a show a few years ago, and I did PD/SI work for #2 in addition to #14 and a few dayplayers.

#2 worked a LOT-so therefore I did-probably even more than #1, which tends to happen on some productions. I was on this for about 2 seasons, and although there wasn't much time for a social life of any kind, I would do it all again since the money was great and I was secure with my finances and health insurance for at least a year after I stopped working.

I remember hearing on the most recent 90210 that was cancelled that ALL of the former stars were listed as '1' on the callsheet, which is ridiculous. I'm sure the egos were out of control on that set and I'm not surprised the show didn't last long at all.

by Anonymousreply 6April 5, 2022 8:49 PM

If you're Number 1 on the call sheet, doesn't that mean that you have to stand around longer while everyone else shows up? Seems counterintuitive to me. I would think order in the show credits is most important.

by Anonymousreply 7April 5, 2022 8:59 PM

R4, on long-running shows, #1 usually does set the tone, and it filters down from there. NCIS worked well with Mark Harmon at the top, and NCIS:LA was similar. The crew members stay on the production where they are treated well, and they tend to work very well together.

In contrast, The Mentalist with #1 Simon Baker was not a pleasant set to work on; I wanted to give them another try since my first time wasn't so great, but subsequent workdays on that show made it clear this was not a good working environment. You just felt a lot of tension, people afraid of stepping on other peoples toes, etc. I only watched a few episodes and he appeared to be so charming on screen. Guess he's a really good actor after all.

Of course every set is different, and even the good ones may have lackluster days, but they still get the job done at the end of the day.

by Anonymousreply 8April 6, 2022 4:09 AM

#1 is the actor/actress with the “largest” role, the one that the whole series or film is based upon. It doesn’t need to be the biggest name, or the highest paid contract, or the most lines, but usually it’s a combo of all 3. However if it’s an older actor/actress, they’re usually the biggest name and conversely work less because of it.

by Anonymousreply 9April 6, 2022 5:35 AM

Thank you r8 our TV insider. I'm not familiar with Harmon's acting chops, but he seems like an old school manly alpha man from what r8 and other cast have said: I know I am top dog in this organization, I choose to be mostly humble about it, I want the whole show & set to succeed.

Have you heard what the current NCIS set is like now? Harmon retired in Sept 2021, Gary Cole is the new lead actor. Cole seems like a more shy and private guy than Harmon, and even though he is lead actor now, he can't walk around swinging his dick on set (like Harmon as top dog could) cos Cole didn't build NCIS from the ground up.

Odd position to be the new star on a long-running show.

by Anonymousreply 10April 6, 2022 2:12 PM

[quote] I worked BG on The Many Saints Of Newark. Who would ever guess David Chase is such an asshole. He didn't have a nice thing to say about anyone, and consequently, every cast member despised him. Deservedly.

How would a background person know all this?

by Anonymousreply 11April 20, 2022 4:38 PM

r 11 Maybe he was on set because he was a producer on it .

by Anonymousreply 12April 23, 2022 12:15 AM

Chase was a producer on it. He could have been on the set.

by Anonymousreply 13April 23, 2022 2:51 AM

[quote] I worked BG on The Many Saints Of Newark. Who would ever guess David Chase is such an asshole. He didn't have a nice thing to say about anyone, and consequently, every cast member despised him. Deservedly.

R1, if you're still around, I'd love to hear more about the Many Saints set.

by Anonymousreply 14April 25, 2022 8:41 AM

R14-Sorry, I'm dead now.

by Anonymousreply 15April 25, 2022 8:37 PM

Mark Harmon is deeply closeted.

by Anonymousreply 16April 27, 2022 2:39 PM

Well, so is Tom Selleck.

by Anonymousreply 17April 27, 2022 5:33 PM

Sometimes for security purposes #1 and sometimes #2 are given fake names on a call sheet.

by Anonymousreply 18April 27, 2022 5:45 PM

R18 like "Enniferjay Nistonay"

by Anonymousreply 19April 27, 2022 5:51 PM

Alan Cumming had a phony name on the "Good Wife" call sheets.

by Anonymousreply 20April 27, 2022 9:38 PM

Hah, smell HIM!

by Anonymousreply 21April 27, 2022 10:59 PM

R18, I’ve seen only numbers for 1-4, no names on one job.

by Anonymousreply 22April 28, 2022 2:34 AM

#18 correct, Jim Carrey had one on 'Kidding'

by Anonymousreply 23April 28, 2022 2:49 AM

A lot of shows nowadays have fake titles when they’re in production, too. The Tom Holland miniseries The Crowded Room is currently shooting under the fake title Ever’s Blueberries. One of the Spiderman films was London Calling and a Batman film was Magnus Rex. My favorite fake title was the one for The Avengers-Group Hug.

by Anonymousreply 24May 1, 2022 4:21 AM

R24 I would watch Ever's Blueberries 😄

by Anonymousreply 25May 1, 2022 8:54 AM

Fans still find out about the true titles r24, especially if it's outside of California- I've seen GA and MA state's film commission affiliated sites that will say where the locations and the titles are.

On one project outside of Atlanta, we had some hardcore fans show up outside the fences of an abandoned hospital and stand there for hours, hoping to see the talent exit in their cars. Said talent would hunker down (even with darkened windows to avoid being seen. Also creepy- some fans showed up at the gate of Delta in NJ at 6am- they had to have friends working there to get through security. And this was during the height of the Covid Omicron season too.

by Anonymousreply 26May 1, 2022 2:39 PM

David Chase is forever bitter that he's not Martin Scorsese. Chase still has contempt for TV though he created one of the most famous TV shows of all time.

I am a die-hard Sopranos fan, and I was deeply disappointed by The Many Saints of Newark. The main story was BORING, and the only interesting bits were those with young Tony Soprano, who was made a supporting character. I didn't give a fuck about Dickie Moltisanti and his slutty mistress, and going by box office receipts neither did anybody else.

by Anonymousreply 27May 2, 2022 8:09 AM

Is there a formula for how many extras are required?

Who decides an office scene requires a person holding a folder to walk past in the background?

by Anonymousreply 28May 2, 2022 12:14 PM

R28, rule of thumb for present day normal people is 10 BG per artist, just to make sure they don’t have crazy Instagram makeup on, and to cover tattoos. For period/fantasy/sci-fi stuff, maybe 3-5 per artist. I happen to work on a lot of jobs that take place in the 70’s, so I’ll always ask casting to cast guys with facial hair (whereas back in the aughts, we had to glue sideburns and mustaches on), but a lot more guys have ear piercings now, so we have to cover that up too.

On one of the projects I’m on now, we’re dirtying and sweating up all the BG- there’s 5 of us and 50 BG.

The 2nd AD is in charge of the BG- placing them and “choreographing” them- when to cross, walk away, get in cars, etc.

by Anonymousreply 29May 3, 2022 1:40 AM

Interesting perspective, R29, thanks.

What I get pissed about is, on big period projects, there usually aren’t separate hair/make-up stations for men and women. Women always take far longer to get their hair and make-up done and the men have to stand on line for up to an hour. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is the only show that knows how to run the men through “the works” fairly swiftly and efficiently.

by Anonymousreply 30May 3, 2022 5:01 PM

That's a good AD department r30, knowing how to run people through efficiently. Did you have to get your haircut? Or just styled?

by Anonymousreply 31May 4, 2022 4:52 PM

Haircuts are often done at the fittings for Mrs. Maisel, R31.

by Anonymousreply 32May 4, 2022 9:25 PM

SAG-AFTRA just sent out an email that says masks will no longer be required in most situations on set and testing will be less frequent. Not great news for bg on shows like Mrs. Maisel who’ve been enjoying that extra $100-they tested you on two separate days before your shoot date (after already being tested the day before your fitting). Covid tests count as just a little more than half a day each for qualifying for medical insurance.

by Anonymousreply 33May 7, 2022 5:17 AM

Yikes R33

by Anonymousreply 34May 7, 2022 1:46 PM

Yeah, r33, I'm on a huge show right now, where we have yellow and red (or green for some shows) zone positives everyday (as a matter of fact, I was notified on Wednesday that I was exposed to a positive red zone individual). Apparently each production can dictate the mask and vaccine rules- Red Zone/Zone A must be vaccinated, and masks must be worn in vans.

This is not going to end well, especially with actors testing positive all the time.

by Anonymousreply 35May 7, 2022 4:32 PM

SAG-AFTRA is one of the worst, most backward unions in existence. FUCK THEM!

by Anonymousreply 36May 7, 2022 5:46 PM

R36 = Matthew Modine

by Anonymousreply 37May 7, 2022 6:27 PM

I am worried for productions being forced to shut down, but luckily most of the network shows are on hiatus now until mid-July when they start filming again.

Network= free-to-air channels like CBS, NBC etc that have their shows' season finales airing in May now. Filming is done for the season. Old people need to have their ncis and blue bloods etc shows!

by Anonymousreply 38May 7, 2022 9:12 PM

[Quote] Old people need to have their ncis and blue bloods etc shows!

I'm surprised there isn't a Blue Bloods spin-off.

by Anonymousreply 39May 8, 2022 2:52 PM

Mrs Maisel has an extensive wardrobe department filled with fabulous vintage outfits. Downside is they’ve never been cleaned and they smell musty.

by Anonymousreply 40May 10, 2022 2:33 AM

All the FBI shows have not only been renewed by CBS they’ve been handed two additional seasons. Good news for bg but Jesus, network television has obviously given up if they keep extending lives to these factories which grind out the sausage.

by Anonymousreply 41May 10, 2022 5:32 AM

r40- isn't part of SAG-AFTRA that wardrobe needs to be cleaned after every wear? I wonder if "cleaning" means just febreezing it.

by Anonymousreply 42May 10, 2022 5:24 PM

Magnum PI reboot got cancelled today after 4 seasons. The only CBS show left filming in Hawaii is "ncis hawaii" which gets a season 2 in the 2022-2023 season. So, do not expect to get much background work if you live in Hawaii!

by Anonymousreply 43May 13, 2022 4:42 AM

r43, too lazy to look, but isn't Doogie Kamealoha and Hawaii 5-0 still around? A lot of films still go there (Aquaman 2, Adam Sandler's latest project, the latest sequel to Jumanji).

by Anonymousreply 44May 13, 2022 3:56 PM

R43 what else is CBS is cancelling? It's been a blood bath for the CW.

by Anonymousreply 45May 13, 2022 4:15 PM

CBS gives Chuck Lorre free reign to come up with the worst shit. How long did they think B Positive would last once the guy got his kidney at the end of Season One? And after Afghanistan fell, who wanted to watch United States Of Al? The Neighborhood is insulting, and Billy Gardell is starting to look like a corpse on Bob Hearts Abishola. CBS will be the first network to implode. They shovel crap onto their schedule, have no interest in promoting said crap after it starts to air, and then just cancels crap and approves more crap. WTF are they doing over there?

by Anonymousreply 46May 13, 2022 4:51 PM

It was a bloodbath at the CW in terms of cancelling shows because it could be sold off at some point.

by Anonymousreply 47May 15, 2022 2:03 AM

R47 it's actually amazing it's managed to run this long with how abysmal the ratings are for alot of their shows.

by Anonymousreply 48May 15, 2022 7:34 AM

Question for my fellow background friends: I worked on a show 2 weeks ago and was just asked to work again next week but in a different situation. Casting director said I will not need another wardrobe fitting. The show is a period piece. Does wardrobe hold onto the outfits they put together in case the person is called back or do they not need you for a fitting since they have your accurate measurements? I was hoping to pick up a few extra bucks for another fitting.

by Anonymousreply 49May 27, 2022 3:50 AM

R46 anything called Bob Hearts Abishola should automatically make the network implode.

by Anonymousreply 50May 27, 2022 4:03 AM

R49 do you recall if costumes took your picture? They usually do this, in case they need to match a scene (even though you mentioned it would be a different situation).

Since your work date is next week, they may need you for another fitting, but they should probably let you know by tomorrow since Memorial Day is Monday (& majority of production will be shut down)>

by Anonymousreply 51May 27, 2022 6:21 AM

I'm in Toronto and was thinking of picking up some background talent work on some shoots while I'm between jobs. Anyone from around here have experience? It looks like my best options are to go through a few local agencies, but I don't know which are the most reputable ones. Also, when it says head shots don't need to be professional, does that mean they'll take a pic off your phone?

by Anonymousreply 52May 27, 2022 6:34 AM

R52 With the camera quality on phones nowadays, you can take a decent shot instead of paying someone if you are just doing this to fill in between jobs.

Stick to a basic white backdrop though, nothing fancy that would be distracting.

Solid color shirt. Natural lighting by a window if possible.

One of my better photos I use was taken with my phone propped up on a barstool.

by Anonymousreply 53May 27, 2022 7:26 AM

r51 did you try different outfits for your first fitting? It's quite possible they'll use the alternate outfits that you tried on, or it'll be like r51 says.

by Anonymousreply 54May 27, 2022 2:21 PM

I think sitting around and waiting can still be interesting. Exchanging stories, gossip and finding out what filmmakers and actors/actresses are really like on set.

by Anonymousreply 55September 23, 2022 12:57 PM

[quote] SAG-AFTRA is one of the worst, most backward unions in existence.


by Anonymousreply 56September 23, 2022 3:59 PM

You don't need a link. You'll know just by being a member.

by Anonymousreply 57September 23, 2022 5:22 PM

SAG had an opportunity to join the teamsters and become an extremely strong union but then president Melissa Gilbert torpedoed it. Cunt.

by Anonymousreply 58September 23, 2022 11:29 PM

[quote]Mrs Maisel has an extensive wardrobe department filled with fabulous vintage outfits. Downside is they’ve never been cleaned and they smell musty.

I wonder how many of them have the vaginal secretions of Helen Lawson. (FUN FACT: The same musk they used as the base note in Helenesque.)

by Anonymousreply 59September 24, 2022 2:39 AM

R59 🤮🤮🤮

by Anonymousreply 60September 24, 2022 12:45 PM

I did background for a bunch of shows while I was living in NYC... It was interesting to see what happens behind the scenes...until you realize how MUCH happens behind the scenes and how LONG the shoots are, considering how little actually makes it into the episode.

The weirdest thing for me was that the actors (especially the famous ones that you see on TV all the time) don't actually look like anything special. I was standing next to one of them and didn't even realize - she was just a pretty woman, but with none of the 'glamour' or charisma that you see in the final product (I guess that's what lighting and camera angles are for).

I got called for a lot of nightclub scenes, and usually you bring your own outfit (unless they say otherwise). I remember how rude the costume people were as they were inspecting the outfits people had brought along - they were literally looking down their nose at people's lack of designer clothing, and one costumer actually said "This is what you brought for a high-end club?" to one of the BG actors. That made me so mad - if we could afford designer clothing we wouldn't be schlepping out to the ass end of Brooklyn at 7 in the morning for $12p/h BG work!

But my worst memory was this 'alternative nightclub' scene... I brought my own 'club' outfit, but the costume people decided to put a spiked dog collar on me! The shoot lasted for 14 hours and there was nowhere to sit (even during lunch and breaks) so I had to stand practically the whole time in uncomfortable goth boots. You get paid extra once the shoot goes beyond a certain number of hours, but the whole day/night was just painful. And when the episode aired on TV, it lasted for about 2 minutes and I wasn't even shown onscreen (probably a good thing, in hindsight).

I wouldn't do it again, but when in NYC...

by Anonymousreply 61October 7, 2022 9:15 AM

I thought you could make 200 bucks a day as an extra? they even pay a lot of money for you to get covid testing. or that's what I heard

by Anonymousreply 62October 9, 2022 4:19 PM

They pay $100 per Covid test day.

I worked on Friday on a show here in NY and for 17.4 hours I grossed $1141.92. Not bad for one day of SAG background work.

by Anonymousreply 63October 9, 2022 5:21 PM

If you're working 17.4 hours in a day, then the poor crew is working at least 20. Shit- that is blood money.

by Anonymousreply 64October 9, 2022 8:05 PM

No, R64, because it’s a period show we were called in two hours before the crew.

by Anonymousreply 65October 10, 2022 2:15 AM

Yes, r65, the costumers were called in before you, and have to stay after to catalogue/put away the clothes. Hence 20 hours, unless they're doing shifts.

by Anonymousreply 66October 10, 2022 2:49 AM

I did PR for a west coast soap. I often had to do background and under-five when actors didn't show up. My favorite was when I had to "bump" a main character in a bar scene and look at him like I was going to kick the shit out of him. Let me just say I was not acting lol. The guy was a royal pain in the ass. Only took one take. Fun part was I had been working out more and they put me in a tank top so when I bumped into him and mean mugged him I flexed my triceps. That and I am about two inches taller than him.

by Anonymousreply 67October 10, 2022 3:07 AM

R66, yes, the costumers and bg PAs, too. But you seemed to insinuate the entire crew had to work 20 hours and that isn’t true.

by Anonymousreply 68October 10, 2022 5:25 PM

r65, jeez, don't be so literal. I am part of the crew that gets to work the extra hours too (Makeup/Hair/Wardrobe), so I was commiserating with them. Don't forget the teamsters!

by Anonymousreply 69October 10, 2022 6:34 PM

Jeez, don’t be so sensitive, R69. You were generalizing and I was calling you out on that. Lighten up.

by Anonymousreply 70October 10, 2022 9:29 PM

*sigh*....See what we have to put up with, for months at a time?

by Anonymousreply 71October 11, 2022 3:53 AM

Do daytime soaps normally shoot more than one take, R67? They may have changed since I last watched one, but given the amount of flubbed lines and other gaffes that used to make it to air I assumed they only had time to shoot every scene once unless a major star tripped and faceplanted or something similar.

by Anonymousreply 72October 12, 2022 2:34 PM

Yes, they shoot multiple takes.

Interesting, these days they often don’t rehearse. They get their blocking and roll.

In the olden days, they would block and then rehearse each scene a few times. After all scenes were rehearsed, actors would go into hair and makeup and work on memorizing lines/blocking.

Budget cuts mean actors are thrown into the deep end.

by Anonymousreply 73October 12, 2022 5:18 PM

R73 I was surprised that cop shows like NCIS still do table reads with the cast. Seems like extra effort. Just do the blocking in the police station sets and move on.

by Anonymousreply 74October 12, 2022 7:14 PM

R74, listen to the episode of West Wing Weekly where Emily Proctor is interviewed. She is very frank (and funny) about the differences between how shows like West Wing and cop shows are done.

by Anonymousreply 75October 15, 2022 9:30 PM

Can you specify which episode, R75? I don’t see her name in the listings.

by Anonymousreply 76October 15, 2022 11:17 PM

Try the search function.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 77October 15, 2022 11:29 PM

I love how someone who cannot figure out how to search for a podcast episode assumes other people have the mental bandwidth to remember which out of dozens of episodes a specific interview happened in.

by Anonymousreply 78October 15, 2022 11:31 PM

Fuck off, R78. That is all.

by Anonymousreply 79October 16, 2022 8:48 PM

Has anyone done stand-in work? If you are a stand-in for say, Tom Selleck, must the stand-in have a mustache like Selleck too? Or just the same height and body built as the TV star?

Seems like an easy gig and probably pays better than a good office job, if you can stand-in for a main cast member on a long-running network show.

by Anonymousreply 80October 22, 2022 10:41 PM

It depends, R80. I do a lot of stand-in work. I currently stand-in for an actor on a series who has facial hair but have never been asked to grow any. Yes, height, coloring and body type are often important factors in getting jobs. But sometimes the DP (director of photography) doesn’t care, he or she just wants someone who will always be there when needed who is polite and not glued to their phones.

by Anonymousreply 81October 23, 2022 3:38 AM

Thank you r81. It makes sense that a stand-in's hair color (or wig) must match the actor's as hair is a big source of lighting diffusion/absorption etc. Facial hair is a small swatch of hair so DP might or might not care, as you said.

I wonder when the actor is needed on set, vs when the stand-in, well... Stands in. I feel like sometimes, the actor has to be the one there for blocking with the camera, etc.

by Anonymousreply 82October 23, 2022 4:32 AM

I heard makeup and wardrobe people know all the dirt about everything and are real nasty pieces of work.

by Anonymousreply 83October 23, 2022 9:44 AM

R83 and???

by Anonymousreply 84October 23, 2022 12:58 PM

R82, the primary function of a stand-in (especially one for a lead on a series/film) is not just standing on a mark, it’s doing the blocking and working out each shot with the camera department. There usually is the intent to only bring the actors (known as “first team”) to set when camera/lighting are ready for them. Stand-ins are known as “second team.” Steven Soderbergh doesn’t use stand-ins at all but he operates the camera himself and works so rapidly that I guess there’s no need for them.

by Anonymousreply 85October 23, 2022 4:57 PM

I've been on shows where the stand ins will have a wig (for females) to approximate the lead's hair color, or platform shoes/heels (to duplicate height) and their clothing will have the same colors as well. Then there are some cinematographers that demand that the stand in have the duplicate skin, hair color, and wardrobe as the leads so they can light them the same and have it consistent. I saw one photograph of Julianne Moore Seriously talking with her stunt double and stand in, all facing in, and you couldn't tell who was whom (who?)- I think it was for Hannibal.

by Anonymousreply 86October 23, 2022 7:26 PM

According to the search function, Emily Procter's name has been misspelled three times o'er the years. (r75)

by Anonymousreply 87October 23, 2022 7:49 PM

On Orphan Black, Tatiana Maslany has said her stand-in was a true acting partner because she was having to play the scenes with her, as Tatiana was playing multiple characters.

by Anonymousreply 88October 23, 2022 8:53 PM

The same was true for the actress who was Rachel Weisz’ “acting stand-in” on the upcoming miniseries Dead Ringers. Weisz’ character plays twins. She also had a regular stand-in in addition to somebody who was like her acting partner when the twins had scenes together.

by Anonymousreply 89October 23, 2022 10:20 PM

I've always wondered who was Anne Heche's stand-in during her time on Another World playing twins Vicky Hudson and Marley Love. Whoever it was played all those scenes twice, same as she did, I suspect.

by Anonymousreply 90October 24, 2022 6:25 AM

Hair and makeup people do know all the dirt, and they have excellent memories.

Keep in mind, on big budget movies they'll have to be ready to work at 5am, coiffing and painting hundreds of extras, some of whom think this is their "big break" and want their hair to look extra special. It must be exhausting, trying to get it all done in 2 hours and having to deal with the egos and expectations of a bunch of people for whom this is a Big Day, even if they're likely never to be seen on camera.

I have heard hair and makeup people talk, and especially when they're on a challenging shoot, they need to vent. Always, always be polite with these people, because they're vital to making you and everyone else look good, and they're there first-thing.

by Anonymousreply 91October 24, 2022 6:49 AM

There are also ‘doubles’ - similar to stand ins. Expected to be physically similar to the actor, often paid the same cheap rate as extras and filing a role in scenes where the character is filmed from a distance or from behind. Had a summer gig on a German project being filmed in rural Scotland. Spent days, in costume, driving or being driven around in Landrovers, taxis, buses or just standing alone or among groups of extras. The actor’s kids visited the set one day and seemed freaked to see their daddy double.

by Anonymousreply 92October 24, 2022 9:21 AM

R90 It was someone named Debbon Ayer.

by Anonymousreply 93October 24, 2022 1:39 PM

so you can't take out your cell phone while waiting? I read somewhere that an actor got a extra fired for it.

by Anonymousreply 94October 24, 2022 4:52 PM

Cell phones are a SUPREME no-no on 99% of sets.

For one thing, studios want to keep what they're making totally under wraps. Extras are "loose cannons" who will film or take pictures of anything and everything, including costumes and props and even whole scenes if they think they can get away with it, so to cut that off at the pass, cell phones are expected to stay off and out of sight, or they each get locked up in a special room at the start of each workday and returned at the end of the shoot.

For another, film sets are not your typical workplace. People are changing their clothes, or flirting or gossiping, or there could be possible workplace violations...anything that if documented and shared on social media, could suddenly create a narrative very damaging to the production. Actors rehearsing a love-making scene? Someone in the crew making an offhand homophobic remark? Wires left tangled on the floor in a way that could later be used by someone looking to sue the production for negligence? NONE of that can leak. So taking the cellphones away cuts down the likelihood of "something stupid" derailing the project.

Think about it - if some interns came into your workplace for one or two days and were free to document everything they saw, unsupervised, how quickly would your workplace get sued, embarrassed or shut-down?

Extras don't exactly go to an Institute for Background Players or something. They're Joe Schmoes who wanted a thrill and a day's work on a film set (or legit actors trying to work their way up). The ways extras behave can really really surprise you and yes, they do get fired or sent home if production sees something they don't like. It happens.

by Anonymousreply 95October 24, 2022 9:54 PM

Very informative r95. But main cast are allowed their cell phones surely? That's how they pass their time sitting in their folding chairs.

I even saw a Veep bloopers reel: main cast Tim Simons was filming, when suddenly his iphone's Siri pipes up and ruins the take.

by Anonymousreply 96October 24, 2022 10:43 PM

[quote]I've always wondered who was Anne Heche's stand-in during her time on Another World playing twins Vicky Hudson and Marley Love. Whoever it was played all those scenes twice, same as she did, I suspect.

If it was filming during one of her manic phases she might have been able to zoom back and forth between marks and play both roles simultaneously.

by Anonymousreply 97October 24, 2022 11:02 PM

R96, yes, the principal actors as well as the entire crew are allowed to use their cell phones on set.

There’s one particular set in NY which allows background to keep their phones as long as it’s in their socks. I’m not kidding. And it’s a period show,

by Anonymousreply 98October 25, 2022 1:26 AM

R98 that's not unusual. Socks, pockets, in your underwear even...you stash it wherever you can, so long as the camera cannot see.

Some productions don't want the hassle of prying them away from people. But I wouldn't be surprised if all sets adopt a zero tolerance policy for extras at the least. Again, its risky to be lenient.

by Anonymousreply 99October 25, 2022 6:36 AM

[quote]R99 Socks, pockets, in your underwear even...you stash it wherever you can, so long as the camera cannot see.

Can I put my cell phone in my underwear, on VIBRATE?

by Anonymousreply 100October 25, 2022 6:51 AM

Some big films (Marvel) and commercials (Apple) will even ban most crew except department heads and their keys to use phones- they'll put little stickers on the cameras so you can't take photos. Marvel/Disney will even monitor your browsing or logins on the web if you're on their wifi. The BG on those projects will have to check their phones in with production, and they get them back at wrap.

by Anonymousreply 101October 25, 2022 10:52 AM

Remember when people didn't carry phones with them every single damn place they went?

by Anonymousreply 102October 25, 2022 7:43 PM

I remember on the original Law & Order back in the 1990s there was a free phone in the holding area and the background (then known as “extras”) would get pretty nasty to those who’d stay on it too long between breaks.

by Anonymousreply 103October 26, 2022 2:18 AM

I worked on Succession a few months ago and was shocked that they didn’t ask us to sign NDA’s because the episode involved a major plot twist. Wardrobe people are, for the most part, miserable. I find them to be the most angry and abusive on set. Mrs Maisel is finally coming to an end. I’ve had such bad luck with that show including putting me on hold for an episode and letting me hang for months without telling me it wasn’t happening. They reached out last week and asked if I wanted to be a talk show audience member in the final episode and I passed. Most disorganized show I’ve ever worked on.

by Anonymousreply 104October 30, 2022 3:09 PM

Has anyone worked on Capote and his women yet?

by Anonymousreply 105October 30, 2022 3:11 PM

R104, tell us more about Succession. Such a great show!

by Anonymousreply 106October 30, 2022 3:18 PM

Mrs Maisel staged a huge firework display. No one was informed, no notice. Buildings shook from the explosions. The city didn't inform residents either, nothing on 311 webpage. Thought a bomb went off. Tuesday nite 9 pm. That mayor of NYC is a mouth breathing dud.

by Anonymousreply 107October 30, 2022 3:30 PM

Succession is very tightly run and the PA’s and wardrobe people are the nicest I’ve ever worked with.

by Anonymousreply 108October 30, 2022 3:35 PM

^ That's refreshing.

by Anonymousreply 109October 30, 2022 3:48 PM

Succession really is one of the best run shows there is. The crew on it really does seem to be an extremely cohesive unit. They could be smug as shit because their show has won the Best Drama Emmy twice but they’re not. And yeah, the costume department (the word “wardrobe” is apparently a no-no now) is wonderful,

by Anonymousreply 110October 30, 2022 5:26 PM

My problem has never been with film crews in the neighborhood. My problem is the ignorant goons who show up the day before to hold the parking spaces on the whole block, smoke reefer and drink while lounging on the stoops, without any sense of courtesy toward the residents. Law & Order, Mrs. Maisel, and FBI are the worst offenders.

by Anonymousreply 111October 30, 2022 5:32 PM

i can't remember but I there was a tv series filming close to a place I was at and they fucking clapped after every take or something. It was late at night. like around 11pm. the whole group would just clap! so fucking annoying. on a weekday!

by Anonymousreply 112October 30, 2022 6:59 PM

Crews usually only clap when the 1st AD announces “It’s a season/series/picture wrap” on whatever actor has just finished his or her last day.

by Anonymousreply 113October 30, 2022 7:41 PM

R113, I don't know what was going on but there was a lot of clapping for at least 30min. It was late at night and maybe they were finishing up or something...not sure.

by Anonymousreply 114October 30, 2022 8:03 PM

R112, that puts another slant on an incident I heard from behind the scenes of filming [italic]Angel[/italic] years ago, where residents of an alley dumped urine out their windows onto the proceedings during a night shoot. If it was disrupting people's sleep (particularly of families with babies or small children) I can sympathize with the urge to demonstrate displeasure with the crew.

by Anonymousreply 115October 30, 2022 11:00 PM

R115, that apparently also happened on the set of Streisand’s The Mirror Has Two Faces, night shoot on West End Avenue.

by Anonymousreply 116October 31, 2022 12:17 AM

I could understand wardrobe being a miserable bunch, having to clean and maintain costumes between each use and hoping the actors don't get stains on the clothes. They're probably willing to do it for the main cast, but might get huffy with background's costuming.

If you're a production assistant, your main job could be the designated jacket holder for a main cast during hot outdoor shoots.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 117October 31, 2022 3:29 AM

I did a film in another county where it was the height of summer at the time. Only one other actor was, like me, working under SAG rules and the contract was followed to the letter (two other actor unions were involved, it was a big international project). As all of my scenes were outdoors I got a bad sunburn on my bald spot after the first day, which was very red and peeling the next day. I wasn't in too much pain, but as we'd just started shooting production was alarmed. Apparently meetings were held and everyone was apologetic, so until the end of the shoot I had a PA in place who held an umbrella over me to keep it from getting worse in between takes!

I offered that if given the umbrella I could do it myself, but it was a done deal, and the PA remained in place until we wrapped!

by Anonymousreply 118October 31, 2022 5:30 AM

R115 probably not the worst thing that's happened on the set of Angel.

by Anonymousreply 119October 31, 2022 9:03 AM

With period shows using vintage clothes, they cannot dry clean a lot of them, esp for BG. What the costumers have to do every day is to spray down the costumes with vodka, and lint roller them. The usually make the women wear vintage bras (esp the 40's/50's) and girdles/corsets, which also have to be cleaned as well. Gotta schelp all that shit around (including hats/shoes/jewelry) early morning to all the actors/BG and collect/categorize/clean at wrap.

by Anonymousreply 120October 31, 2022 10:39 AM

Worked the last five days on Mrs, Maisel. Jealous, bitches? Hah. It was for one particular sequence which will be a climax of sorts. The actor playing Lenny Bruce wasn’t there, dammit. There were about 150 of us each day but we were treated extremely well by the PAs. The costume supervisor Dan had his crappy moments but he ended up being rather sweet. I think he was extremely relieved that the show was finally ending.

by Anonymousreply 121November 7, 2022 2:45 AM

Not jealous, wont support the franchise after the big middle finger that production gave NYERS.

by Anonymousreply 122November 7, 2022 2:49 AM

Congrats R121! $$$$$$$$$$. Did you shoot at Steiner or in Manhattan?

by Anonymousreply 123November 7, 2022 3:05 AM

I can't stand background roaches! They stink.

by Anonymousreply 124November 7, 2022 3:53 AM

I did background for “Girls” before it premiered (ie nobody had heard of Lens etc). I didn’t interact with the main actors at all but actually got some direction so felt like I was acting!

by Anonymousreply 125November 7, 2022 4:02 AM

R123, we shot the final week at Steiner. Which is a fucking pain in the ass for those of us who have to take a subway, especially early in the morning. But last week was worth it. I think we grossed around $2500.

by Anonymousreply 126November 7, 2022 4:37 PM

R126. That’s fantastic! Yup, Steiner is a pain in the ass especially if it’s a 5am call.

by Anonymousreply 127November 7, 2022 4:41 PM

So do you put yourself down as self-employed on your tax returns?

by Anonymousreply 128November 7, 2022 5:24 PM

Just out of curiosity, how common is it for extras to be warned about hooking up with with the main cast? Like through DMs...

by Anonymousreply 129November 8, 2022 7:33 AM

r129- Maybe back before 2010, but now, unless they're specially directed to look or pretend to interact (e.g. barista), they cannot speak to the principals at all, unless spoken to. Male principals used to chat up hot BG all the time- I don't see it as much now.

by Anonymousreply 130November 8, 2022 1:17 PM

I’ve worked as ‘featured background’ where I’ve been in scenes with cast members but don’t have any lines. I smile and nod if they smile and nod first otherwise I don’t look at them until they yell Action. Between takes one of the actors told another actor that I was ‘odd looking’ and they laughed. I could tell she was a major cunt and she’s also a lousy actress.

by Anonymousreply 131November 8, 2022 1:43 PM

R130 thanks for answering. Maybe it's different if said actor made it a habit to continually sleep with extras while also high as a kite.

by Anonymousreply 132November 8, 2022 2:21 PM

I always wonder why people who are successful can't be pleasant, rather than laughing at others. I guess in creative fields it's because so many people are fucked up.

by Anonymousreply 133November 8, 2022 3:10 PM

R131, please give us the actor’s name.

by Anonymousreply 134November 8, 2022 4:28 PM

hey 131. name names

by Anonymousreply 135November 8, 2022 4:28 PM

OP, R131 etc... are sets generally - generally - nice places to work? Or are they typically wildly under pressure and stressed? We all like to imagine the creative spaces are great work environments. Overall, is it still a place where you can't believe your luck or it is just a day at the office in the end?

by Anonymousreply 136November 8, 2022 6:07 PM

I imagine sets depend on your role. If you are the script supervisor overseeing the continuity, that might be one of the most high pressure roles on set, besides the director and maybe AD. Versus being a low-level lackey who does their task and smokes.

Grateful actors always say they love working on set. I can see why, know your lines and marks, and the rest is gravy. Literally, you can tell a PA "I want gravy from ABC diner" and they'll run to get it for you.

by Anonymousreply 137November 8, 2022 6:57 PM

R137, I think the costume department are under the worst pressure on sets.

by Anonymousreply 138November 8, 2022 11:30 PM

[quote]So do you put yourself down as self-employed on your tax returns?

Actors, background and everyone working on a tv show is paid by a payroll company and is issued a regular paycheck with taxes withheld, which legally makes one an "employee".

by Anonymousreply 139November 8, 2022 11:49 PM

On-set sex/romances happen more often than people in the industry care to admit. There's just too many high-profile stories of leading ladies hooking up with co-stars, producers, directors and other crew members. Among other examples. I guess it's an easy way to meet people and emotions are running high.

by Anonymousreply 140November 9, 2022 8:42 PM

They are called "showmances", and leading men do it too.

by Anonymousreply 141November 9, 2022 9:13 PM

[Quote] On-set sex/romances happen more often than people in the industry care to admit. There's just too many high-profile stories of leading ladies hooking up with co-stars, producers, directors and other crew members. Among other examples. I guess it's an easy way to meet people and emotions are running high.

Which is why it's funny when people still freak out if an actor cheats. Like of course they do. Why is that so surprising? Or you have the opposite with ____ would never cheat because they're married lol

by Anonymousreply 142November 10, 2022 12:29 AM

Has anyone worked on the top secret Amazon show FALLOUT aka HONDO? Where are they shooting?

by Anonymousreply 143November 10, 2022 3:50 AM

Crew member- currently working on Minx S2, Six Thirty (AKA Lessons in Chemistry), and will be working on Joker 2.

by Anonymousreply 144November 10, 2022 6:36 AM

For some reason i thought Minx was cancelled. Glad to hear it's getting a second season.

by Anonymousreply 145November 10, 2022 10:29 AM

Will Austin Nichols be back for Minx season 2? Will his prosthetic?

by Anonymousreply 146November 10, 2022 5:47 PM

R142, Fallout/Hondo is shooting on soundstages in Brooklyn (Steiner) and Long Island (Gold Coast).

by Anonymousreply 147November 10, 2022 10:08 PM


by Anonymousreply 148November 10, 2022 10:37 PM

I will not do television now, only film. I worked on a few television shows at the beginning of my career (wardrobe in the 90s), and I hated it so much.

Mrs. Maisel is a hell set for the wardrobe people.

by Anonymousreply 149November 10, 2022 10:49 PM

r146, as far as I know, no.

by Anonymousreply 150November 11, 2022 1:34 PM

Worked on Hondo. Production put a piece of tape over the camera on our phones. Fine. No problem. They also locked up our phones before we went to set. We were told in advance but the reality is we were away from our email for 3-4 hours at a time and missing out on availability checks for other work. They’re worried about leaks yet we were not asked to sign NDA’s. But, like I said, we were warned in advance but I don’t think many of us realized how stressful it would be to not have access to email for extended periods of time.

by Anonymousreply 151November 22, 2022 3:28 PM

I heard that a bg lady on Feud: Capote’s Women took a Covid test yesterday, showed up to work this morning, got hair done and then was told she’d tested positive and was sent home. She was around other bg, PAs and the hair person for two hours. The other bg supposedly were notified by email in the middle of the night but for some reason her diagnosis didn’t show up until around 9 am. Ouch.

It’s going to be a rough winter in this business, between Covid, the flu and RSV already wreaking havoc.

by Anonymousreply 152November 22, 2022 5:50 PM

I’ve taken a PCR test on Friday and reported to set on Monday with not so much as a rapid test in between. Stupid. I could have gotten Covid anytime between Friday afternoon and Monday morning. There are productions that go along with Covid testing because they have to and productions that actually take it seriously.

by Anonymousreply 153November 22, 2022 6:25 PM

R152 are entire productions still being shut down by covid, like a few had to in January 2022 (right after new year)? Or just re-casting guests and re-writing episodes if a main actor gets covid? CBS scripted shows still doing masks for crew, main cast free to walk around unmasked and... Blow out birthday candles.

by Anonymousreply 154November 22, 2022 9:47 PM

Does anyone know which studio is home to Feud? Steiner? Kaufman Astoria? Thanks.

by Anonymousreply 155November 23, 2022 12:02 AM

Steiner, R155.

by Anonymousreply 156November 23, 2022 12:08 AM

R156. Thanks!

by Anonymousreply 157November 23, 2022 12:11 AM

I did a co-star on BILLIONS this week and it was a very smooth set. It was a cramped location for so many crew and background actors. But the director was laid back and nice, and everyone was in a good mood. It's really nice to be on set when the atmosphere is positive and calm.

by Anonymousreply 158November 23, 2022 2:05 AM

R158 sounds like a dream.

by Anonymousreply 159November 23, 2022 7:23 AM

I gather one of the regular directors on Billions is a snotty piece of shit, though.

by Anonymousreply 160November 24, 2022 12:58 AM

R93, Debbon Ayer is now married to Rob Morrow. She guested on his TV show, Numbers. He was the lead. She was just ok as an actress, IMO.

by Anonymousreply 161November 25, 2022 4:11 AM

Well, I feel like a dunce! I thought Debbon Ayer was some made up character, a la Dora Dumbfuck. A play on "debonair."

by Anonymousreply 162November 25, 2022 11:09 AM
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