Have you zero experience in the film industry? Do you have free time during the week?Have you ever wanted to be on TV and do you live in Belfast? If you answered yes to all of those then you would be perfect for a role on Game of Thrones, The Fall and The Line of Duty.
If you haven’t guessed already the role would be as an extra! What is an extra? It’s a non-speaking role in the background of a movie or television series and the purpose of an extra is to make specific scenes as real as possible. If you watch any of the shows you’ll understand why they would need extras but I might as well explain why to boost my word count.
‘Game of Thrones’ require a huge amount of extras because the show has massive battle scenes and so extras are essential, you could be anything from a Lannister soldier to a White Walker, if you watch ‘Game of Thrones’ you’ll get those references and if you don’t then you won’t find this blog very interesting, if you even did in the first place.’The Fall’ and ‘The Line of Duty’ are more simple, you would more than likely be playing a member of the general public as these shows are as close to reality as television could get.
The company that handle all of the extras in Northern Ireland is called ‘The Extras Department’. Here is a link to their website – The Extras Department
To sign up all you have to do is fill in some basic personal information along with your body measurements, it takes around 5 minutes to do and you can make up to £100 for a day of filming! You can even set your account up for late notice work , which means you will get a text the day before or even the day of shooting to work. Which if you’re like me and can’t commit to long term filming it’s the perfect set up.
The photos you see above this are screen-shots I took of the scene I was in from Game of Thrones season 6 episode 9 and I played a Lannister soldier (sorry, I didn’t get to choose my role). Now I know what you’re thinking, there is absolutely no way to prove that is me. Well it is me so back off, prove it isn’t me? That’s what I thought.
Anyway, this was filmed in October of 2016 and it was the last bit of extra work I’ve done! With my part-time job, university and placement right around the corner I soon lost any free time I had. The only reason I took the role was because it was a last minute text I got the day before and I was free.
The day involved me getting up at 3:30am and driving to a meet-up point where buses would then take us to the film set. We arrived to the set somewhere in Dromore at around 5am, then myself and about 100 other people were taken to get fitted for costumes for our specific roles. After that we were all welcome to breakfast and were left to wait for a producer to call us for filming. It was a constant back and forth all day of being called to film and going back to the waiting tent, but we did get fed all day and it wasn’t too hard to get a nap in between shoots! As a Lannister Soldier I was in plastic armour all day and most of the filming took place in a field that was made to look like a temporary base as the Lannister’s made there way north in the show. Filming went on for 12 hours that day (after 10 hours its time and a half) and I only got back to Belfast at around 8pm.
As a one off experience it was brilliant for a number of reasons; I am a huge fan of Game of Thrones, I made £120 that day, I was at one point right beside Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) & Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) and ultimately ended up on the show in the most minuscule way possible (still counts).
The one thing I would suggest is to sign up with a friend! My day would have been a lot better if I had a friend to chat with and share the experience with, instead of having to make small talk with strangers to pass the time! I would recommend to any of you reading this to give being an extra a chance, especially if you like Game of Thrones and earning decent money to mostly sit around all day.
Aaron is a final year student studying Public Relations and can be contacted on Twitter @aaronoreilly and – LinkedIn