5 On-Set Blunders & How to Avoid Them!

Posted by Indiana - 23 Jan 2024

Extra-work newbie?

Well, in that case welcome to the dazzling world of showbiz, where every day on set is a new adventure waiting to unfold!

New‘, however, can sometimes be a little scary.

Because of this, today we’re recounting a few common on-set blunders that a some of our newer faces may unwittingly make when getting started in the exciting world of TV and movie Extra work…

⌚ Being Late

Let’s start with an obvious one… be on time.

Punctuality is perhaps the most important quality that an Extra can possess. It shows that you’re reliable, that you’re taking your job seriously and – above all – that you respect the production. That’s the Extra trifecta.

…and when we say ‘be on time’, what we really mean is ‘be a little early’.

Being Late | On-Set Blunders

We recommend always setting off with more than enough time and with an alternate route identified just in case.

Basically it’s safest to set-off assuming that public transport will be delayed, parking will be a nightmare, and that the weather is causing havoc.

Being late is an Artiste no-no, and will sadly impact your chances of further work – and we don’t want that.

A prepared Extra is a popular one.

👉🏼 Not Taking Direction

Not following directions can turn a very important scene into a disaster movie faster than you can say “cut.”

Directors have a vision – so when they say “stand here” or “look that way“, it’s for good reason.

Consider direction as your choreography, and always remain attentive to the crew in charge.

Not Taking Direction | On-Set Blunders

Extras that have a hard time taking direction, won’t stop chatting, or have their head in the clouds during important instructions often leave a lasting impression on the production crew for all of the wrong reasons.

…guess what happens then when it’s you up against another Extra for a new role?

You’ll never have another shot at a first impression, so make it a good one.

📏 Recording Wrong Measurements

Directors have enough to worry about without solving the mystery of why your character’s trousers keep falling down.

This may sound like a silly one, but you’d be surprised by how much of a big issue that little measurement inaccuracies can cause.

In actual fact, it’s hyper important that you record and maintain profile measurements that best represent your body – and you should review these as often as you can.

Better safe than sorry, after all.

Incorrect, of careless measurements cause a domino effect on multiple departments when it comes to TV & Film production – from casting, to costume and even direction.

ESPECIALLY if you want to be considered for exciting doubling and stand-in roles.

Costumes are tailored to a very specific size and/or are already made to the dimensions of a principal cast member.

Arriving to set only to realise that your sizes are all wrong is, sadly, just going to get you sent home.

👀 Doing ‘Too Much’

We’re talking over-acting, looking into the camera, excessive movement, melodramatic gestures, unnecessary improv – basically any scene-stealing antics which risk distracting from the main action on screen.

While it might feel like your ticket to stardom, it’s more like a one-way ticket off the set.

Overacting not only distracts from the main storyline but also puts you on the director’s radar for all the wrong reasons.

Directors appreciate subtlety and as much as you may want to stand out, it’s your job to blend in.

Act natural – as if the cameras aren’t even there – then you’re sure to do great.

🤳 Taking Photos on Set

When you signed up as an Extra, you unknowingly took on the role of film protector.

You became a part of that magical ‘behind the scenes’ action, and therefore it’s absolutely your responsibility to make sure it’s kept safe.

Taking photos on set may sound harmless, but it’s regarded as a cardinal sin in the world of TV & Film and can see you getting swiftly escorted off set.

We know. This is serious stuff.

Taking Photos on Set | On-Set Blunders

Many people work very hard to keep production spoilers of any kind under wraps. And that’s before we even get to preserving behind the scenes magic, and prioritising the privacy/safety of the actors involved.

In fact, you’ll often be asked to sign a document which confirms that you won’t disclose any information about your time on set just to step foot through the door in the first place!

We understand that it’s not every day that you get to wear full Elizabethan formalwear, or work beside an actor that you know your mum just loves – but you’ve been hired to do a job, so be professional.

Do your part as film protector and keep that phone tucked away safely in the holding area. For now, just revel in the secrets that you got to experience first hand!

Not done just yet? Catch up on even more UVE content back on the blog now 😉