Due to some productions not yet announced or released, I can't write about all my experiences in respect of confidentiality agreements.
Feature Film (War Machine)
For this film I had an 8AM call time! Thankfully I knew someone in the city who allowed me to crash the night before so I didn't have to drive for 2 hours when I could be spending precious time asleep. My costume was casual and a LOT of prep time was spent in a chair while someone turned my thick hair perfectly wavy before everyone was ushered onto mini buses to get to location. So in this I play a tourist in a Paris bar - I won't disclose what happens in the scene. But I got to spend a lot of time pretending to sip fake alcohol while Brad Pitt swished around doing his thing. At one point between takes, two kids came in walking past everyone looking very shy. This seemed to confuse some of the extras until Brad greeted them with a grin and a hug. They were obviously his kids. I enjoyed this shoot, and this was the first time I experienced members of the public crowded on London streets questioning cast, crew & extras regarding rumours of a celebrity being nearby. I'm pretty sure one of the other extras started a new rumour that the 'celebrity' was only Katie Hopkins doing a tampon commercial in a bid to disperse the crowd.
ITV Television Drama (Arthur & George)
Chatham Historic Dockyard, Kent
Arriving early I immediately got whisked away to the wardrobe trailer to be given my costume and sent away to get changed with another lady to help. Being a period drama I was assigned a tight corset, long thick skirt and a shirt with a woollen shawl and some small heels. Next stop was the hair & make-up trailer where I was seated next to a very chatty bloke as someone tugged and pulled at my hair putting it into curlers. As the man next to me stood up I realised it was Martin Clunes, star of the drama. The day itself was utterly freezing and there was a lot of waiting around in the cold as we were moved around various locations. I was greatful for my oversized long coat which I clutched at for every moment we weren't filming. But still a lot of us could only keep warm by the small fires down an alley on set and they reflected this in the food provided - the hottest Chilli Con Carne ever! Drinking a lot of hot tea on set also helped to keep us warm and the day was very enjoyable. Even the horses used within the scene seemed to enjoy it.
Television Commercial (Jaguar ft. David Beckham)
Goodwood Motor Circuit, West Sussex
Filmed at Goodwood Motor Circuit (local to me) and in the presence of David Beckham, this became my favourite job to date! However, having to wake up at 4am was a killer. We were provided with costumes and the toilets were full of extras taking it in turns to use the one mirror to arrange their hats and put on some lippy! Being on the balcony as pictured, we had a great view of all the old Jaguar cars racing round and being filmed. The highlight was when they got the helicopter flying low at eye level and doing crazy dips and fast panning in perfect timing with a matte black car prepped with video equipments speeding along the track at speed that was surely uncomfortable for the crew of 5 squeezed inside. Beckham was very friendly waving at everyone and smiling as we cheered (on cue, not just crazy fanning around).
ITV Television Drama (Chasing Shadows)
This was an experience I never thought I would get - spending the day in the uniform of the Metropolitan Police! Well equipped with handcuffs, fluorescent jackets and official hat I was very happy. The set was in a real hospital that included a little shop and it's own emergency entrance. As it was Sunday, this part of the hospital wasn't in use though you could see other parts of it were open for business. Our trailer bases were out in the staff car park and as the day was sunny and quite warm, three of us acting police officers lazed out in the sunshine when we weren't wanted for long periods of time for filming. We had waiting areas within the hospital where we could get ushered on set at any moment which was basically just a narrow corridor with all the extras sitting against cold radiators desperate to escape the heat in our heavy uniforms. A few of us found a deserted wing at the end of the corridor which was a lot cooler to wait in but unfortunately, the crew forgot that we had been waiting here and all cast & crew headed off to lunch without us. We realised after 30 minutes of silence and rushed off to get some food.
ITV Television Commercial (Optegra)
24-25 June 2013
Maidstone Studios, Kent
I spent two days working with a great team of people from Focal Point Television to help create the advert starring television presenter Ruth Langsford. My role was as a production runner alongside another girl called Lucy making sure the cast and crew were well fed and happy! The director also made sure that me and Lucy had the opportunity to be in the red carpet scene as one of the paparazzi. The experience was great and as it was so far from home, I had to stay at a hotel at the M20 service station. It was a good job I planned to leave a day early as my car wouldn't start when I was about to leave West sussex! As a result of taking on this job, I now have a massive contact within ITV and some in the production company which may be of great assistance in the future.
Feature Film (Brash Young Turks)
15 June 2013
Premier Marinas, Southampton
I had a role in 'Brash Young Turks' as a High Class Waitress for a party scene on a yacht. (How amazing!) Originally I had applied to be one of the party people but was offered this role instead. All extras were treated well with plenty of refreshments and we got to meet some of the main actors of the film on set. There were make-up artists on hand to make sure our tans looked good, and we had been asked to bring own costumes. Before I left for the shoot, I had my usual car trouble which resulted in having to borrow someone else's making me about twenty minutes late. Luckily everyone else were still getting ready and setting up when I eventually arrived! Hint: Make sure you research any information on the production you're getting involved in. I watched the teaser trailer to give me an idea on the style of the film and how professional the cast & crew are.
Music Video (Plan B - Love Goes Down)
1 November 2009
Maidstone Studios, Kent
From Facebook, I heard about a casting call for the music video and applied. That next day I was invited up to London for my audition and was successfully chosen. Three days after my audition, I left early travelling by train to Maidstone where we were picked up in a mini-bus and taken to the studios. My costume was provided and I had my hair & make-up done by professional stylists. A lot of the day was just waiting around and we'd already had lunch before all the actors were taken on set and given instructions. We had to repeat many takes and listen to the same song over and over, but despite that it was all very exciting. Between the bits of filming, we'd munch at the refreshments table. I only remember the Jaffa cakes. The extras networked and I got to know many people there that day! This was my first experience of seeing industry professionals at work. Being an extra allows you to step back and see how the crew deal with situations and set up shots. I highly recommend film students to see what being in front of the camera is like.