Led by CEO and company founder Wayne Berko, Uni-versal Extras have over a decade’s worth of experience casting some of the world’s biggest productions. With a dedicated and experienced staff of over 20 professionals, we continue to push boundaries and improve service quality in the Extras casting sector.
Uni-versal Extras offer a personal service: regardless of the size of your production, you will be assigned a dedicated point-of-contact to manage your needs and ensure that everything runs smoothly from beginning to end.
Behind the scenes our teams work closely to deliver the first-class service that clients of Uni-versal Extras have come to expect and rely on. At the heart of what we do, our Casting Team works tirelessly to find local Supporting Artistes with the looks and skills required. With a huge database of Artistes to choose from, covering the whole of the UK and Ireland, we are also proud to hold one of the industry’s leading drop-out rates. This can be attributed to our casting process – perfected over a number of years – combined with the hard work of our staff.
Our professional Accounts Team is focussed on ensuring that productions are correctly invoiced and that artistes are paid promptly. On the other hand, the dedicated Chitless Team supports Uni-versal Extras’ new paperless service which is designed to save you time and money by digitising paperwork and invoicing. This also has an important environmental impact. Other departments include Artist Support, Operations and Marketing.
Whilst completing his undergraduate studies in 2004, company founder Wayne Berko spotted a market opportunity when working as a part-time film Extra. He realised that productions shooting in multiple locations across the UK would benefit from having one single agency that they could rely on to deliver all their casting needs.
Founded in 2005, Uni-versal Extras set out to become the first ever UK Extras agency to provide a reliable nationwide service. Using a cutting-edge website to register new members and initially focussing on students, Wayne was able to tap into a diverse demographic in all major UK cities. Offering people well-paid, part-time and local work in interesting roles proved to be an instant success.
Our first ever job was to supply German speakers for a National Geographic documentary about the Hindenburg disaster. As they say, “the rest is history!” After landing on our feet, it soon became apparent that for Uni-versal Extras to offer a more rounded service, we needed to harness not only the looks of our extras but also their skills. In 2007, we opened our books to professional sectors such as the emergency services, armed forces and glamour industry.
With a growing reputation through word of mouth, Uni-versal Extras soon had a unique database and was capable of supplying Extras and Supporting Artistes of all ages and backgrounds with diverse skills.
To be closer to our clients, we relocated our head office to the prestigious Pinewood Film Studios in 2009. Uni-versal Extras has since worked on a wide range of award-winning productions including feature films, TV shows and commercials.