The Easy Way To Be Pencilled

Posted by Amy - 12 Mar 2019
We've been listening to your feedback and we're changing the way we put you forward for work! In this post

You asked. We listened.

So Uni-versal Extras are changing – bringing in a faster, easier way to Pencil.

As part of our ongoing quest to improve our Extra and Production experience, we are introducing Pencilling via Text Message.

Due to Extra’s busy lives, and limited access to phones while on set, we are rolling out a new way of putting you forward for work. By sending you more information, up front, in a single text, we hope you’ll be able to review and respond to us more quickly.

By having your confirmation (or not), we’ll be able to respond to Production’s needs that much more quickly too – increasing the likelihood that Uni-versal Extras will be successful in placing you.

What to know more? Here’s how it works in detail.

Extras Casting Process: Pencil via Text Message

Currently, our Casting Process starts with an Availability Text.  Once you have texted back with your availability, name and reference, a member of the Booking Team will call you to discuss further and get you Pencilled for the role.

– Simple roles – we’ve sent you a text.

– More complex roles we call you to discuss further.

So, What Does This Change Mean For You?

With the new system, you will still receive an Availability Text but it will contain all the key information you will need to be able to determine if you are available and interested.

Instead of waiting to speak to a member of our Booking Team, we can pencil you for work on your positive response.  As long as you text back in the time frame on the text you receive, you will be pencilled.  Simple as that.

It’s quick – and we believe that we’ll be able to confirm results to you faster too.

The Text Message

This is what the new Message will look like:


Yes, it’s quite long but as you can see it includes all the information you need – the Production name, type of Production and the Role you would be playing.

This is followed by the logistical information such as the Dates, Locations, estimated Call Time and Transport options if relevant.

Your message will still display the Reference word our Booking Team has allocated to the role and the reminder that if you Text Back you will be pencilled for the role.

Lastly, your message will be signed off with the name of the Booking Team working on the role i.e. ‘Team Magic’ and the direct contact number of that team for any issues that may arise.

ill be signed off with the name of the Booking Team working on the role i.e. ‘Team Magic’ and a contact number for any issues that may arise.

What Happens Next?

Once you text back, you will have been Pencilled – PLEASE put it in your diary! Your details will be sent to Production for consideration. Simple!

In the body of the text message, you will see a date for results, all you have to do is hold the dates and wait! If you do encounter an issue that will affect your availability for filming during this time, please call us as soon as you can on 0345 009 0344 and speak to the Booking Team from your Text.

Productions Decision

If you have been unsuccessful, you will receive a text message to let you know, just like you do now.

If you are successful for the role, a member of our Booking Team will give you a call just to confirm all the details with you, so don’t worry you will still get to talk to us! The dates will be confirmed in your online diary but remember to put it in your personal calendar or diary too.

You will then receive all the details you need to attend filming the night before (Mon-Thurs by 7pm and 6pm on Fri) via a Call Details Text. If you have not received this message by these times, call us and our Booking Team can let you know what’s happening.

That’s it – Faster Availability Checks, Faster Pencilling, Faster Booking!

FAQ’s – Boring but Important


Will I still have to talk to the Booking Team to be Pencilled?

This depends, the method for pencilling you for roles will depend on Productions requirements. For example, if we need additional information from you such as a certain type of photo or information relating to your skills, training or experience, you will receive a  shorter text, like the one you may be used to, and this will be followed by a call.

If in doubt, read the text message carefully – it will say the word “Pencilled”.

Sometimes, our Booking Team may call you directly if the role is short notice or you have a specific look and they are worried you may not see the text in time.

If I am Pencilled via text, Can I let you know I’m no longer available by text?

Unfortunately, not. The system will only recognise the Name and Reference format to mark you as available for the role and our Booking Team may not see your text until it’s too late.

Just pick up the phone and give us a quick call, there will always be someone you can talk to on our emergency mobile number or by calling 0345 009 0344 and selecting the relevant Booking Team.

I’m not sure if my details are up to date, should I text back now and check my details later?

No, with this new process our Booking Team will be sending your details over to the Production very quickly after receiving your response. If in doubt, simply log in and check your details first. If you need to update anything, do this before texting back.

I replied to an Availability Text, but never received a message to say I was not required?

Depending on the original text you responded to you may or may not be pencilled. Check the message, does it contain the word “Pencilled”? If so, call the number in the message and quote the Reference, our Booking Team can have a look into why you have not received any further communication. If in doubt, always call, never assume you are not needed.

I got a long Availability Text but I have a question before I can reply?

Call us, you will see a number and a Team Name at the bottom of the message, quote your quote and our Booking Team will answer any questions you have. Do not ignore it and just text back, as once you have replied to the message you will be pencilled and will need to hold the dates for this role. It’s best to be clear on the details before agreeing to anything!

Production’s Decision

Why didn’t I get the job?

Productions don’t tell us why they book one person and not another. If we are putting you forward, it is because we believe that you are a good candidate for the role, but we cannot control their decision.

What is sent to production?

We send them the information about you that is required for the role, which will almost always be your photos and body measurements in the form of a Look Book. This is the main reason why having good quality photos (that follow our criteria) is so important, as it can be the difference between you securing a role or not.

It’s worth noting that the process can vary slightly from time-to-time, for example, you may be called directly first rather than receive an Availability Text.

Do you have a question about this Process that we did not cover? If so, please leave a Comment below (available only to fully activated members) and we will get back to you!