Extra Extra

Extra Extra

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

And the pint of Harp

And the pint of Harp

Recently on my Facebook newsfeed I came across this video –

Now I can’t say it’s the first time I’ve seen the ad as I think it pops up on my Facebook every other week but coming across it again had me thinking.

How come we don’t see more Northern Ireland based companies getting on board with this style of region targeted advertising/campaigning?

Harp are definitely the stand out company when it comes to these types of ads as they’ve been doing them for years, one of my favourite ads tells the story about a NI resident who is missing home. He begins naming the things he misses about home the most in threes and at the end of each sequence he says ‘and the pint of harp’. Maybe its just me but I personally love it because it’s stupidly funny and so simple. If you watch the ad, it’s some what true and relatable when you’re missing home.

Their most recent campaign is currently underway and its called ‘Pure Here & There’. It’s based around the six counties in Northern Ireland and it involves two actors using a Northern Irish comedic approach when describing the most well known facts about each county and their including cities and towns. There are six ads for all of Northern Ireland’s six counties and any Northern Irish resident with a sense of humour will appreciate them.

Pure Here & There, Co. Antrim

Pure Here & There, Co. Armagh

Pure Here & There, Co. Down

Pure Here & There, Co. Fermanagh

Pure Here & There, Co. Legenderry

Pure Here & There, Co. Tyrone

I think this campaign is a brilliant example of knowing your audience. I hope nobody takes offense to this but harps main consumers are men, obviously. The two characters in the adverts for the campaign are of course men (if you watched any of the links above) and they work their way around Northern Ireland describing its most famous features in horrible fashion as they sup on Harp beer however that’s what makes the adverts funny. My point is that this sense of humour is performed by men for men and I think Harp know that.

Along with the television adverts they have been selling their harp cans with individual county names on them and their accompanying iconic landmarks designed onto the can. They have even avoided the on-going controversy surrounding Derry\Londonderry by calling it Legenderry, turning a negative into a positive.

There is also the main ‘Pure Here’ advert that tries to figure out the perfect drink that has the pure essence of Northern Ireland. It’s a mix of a column from the giant’s causeway, shavings from the H&W cranes and the buzz of a night out in Belfast however the ad ends by saying these things are undrinkable and that harp had it right all along and closes with the slogan, pure here. An unexpected anti-climax but good advertising all the same!

As a fan of Harp and all things Northern Ireland I think this campaign is excellent, and its because they incorporate everything that people love about Northern Ireland into their campaign in a brilliantly clever manner and more local companies should follow!

They embrace the fact that they are a Northern Irish company and have made a campaign around that using the humour of the area. This style of campaigning and advertising does nothing but good things for their name and I’m sure their brand awareness has soared in Northern Ireland as a result of this. Their beer is probably doing pretty well too.

Aaron O’Reilly is a final year Public Relations Student at Ulster University. He can be contacted on Twitter: @aaronoreilly and on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aaron-o-reilly-ab0708121/