Top Tips for Working in the Film & TV Industries

Posted by William - 24 Feb 2017
Working as a film and TV extra is the best

We would like to take a moment to clarify some key rules about working as an extra that could prevent you from facing a range of consequences including legal action. Everyone should be aware that non-disclosure in the film industry is almost as strict as being a CIA agent – you must treat it as such.

Non-Disclosure is Paramount

When you arrive on a set you will almost definitely have to sign a non-disclosure agreement. These documents are designed to safeguard productions; they want to keep their secrets safe! You should always read anything you put your name to because it is important to know what you can and cannot do. Break the rules and you risk being removed from the set, removed from our books, or you could even face legal action from the production.

Never Discuss a Production Publicly

Working as an extra is super exciting – it’s why we all love it! But no matter how excited you are you must never post or talk about a production publicly. That rule applies to before, during and after a shoot takes place.

We’ve had recent scenarios where people have taken to social media channels like Facebook and Twitter to express their excitement at being confirmed on a job, only to then be canceled and blacklisted after the production’s legal team gets in touch with us. It really isn’t worth the risk! Things get even more serious when you talk about details from a shoot day – as a general rule, please be sensible and do not post any information publicly about productions.

What if I’ve not signed an agreement with them yet?

Please don’t think that you’re safe to talk about productions if you are yet to sign a non-disclosure agreement with them (i.e. before the work day). When Uni-versal Extras are assigned to a production, we also have to sign non-disclosure agreements and you in turn have agreed to our terms and conditions, which state –

We may terminate your registration and any agreement that we have with you immediately at any time: making public or publishing (including, without limitation, by posting matter on internet message boards or social networking websites) or causing to be made public or published, any information accessible to you via our website (including, without limitation, the Jobs Board) or relating to an assignment (including, without limitation, information given verbally) unless you have prior written consent from us to do so.

This means that whilst you may have not signed a non-disclosure with the productions directly, you are still bound by our terms and conditions and face removal from our books if any of the information that we give you is intentionally or unintentionally leaked.

What if I have a question about a pending shoot date?

Please, whatever you do, DO NOT post these types of questions to our Facebook page or tweet us, etc. If you have a question about work that you are currently penciled or booked for, please call our office line within office hours or call our 24-hour line outside of office hours.

Taking Photos on Set is Prohibited

Pretty much everyone has a mobile phone these days. We know that the majority of you will take yours to set with you. Cameras on phones are getting ridiculously good and it would certainly seem that having such power at the fingertips can be too tempting for some.

Please remember that you are not authorised to take photos on set or at any point between signing in and signing out on the day. If you follow this rule, it will make everything so much easier for you – again, it is really not worth the risk.


If the unthinkable happens and someone does take a photo, they would have to be very naive to share it right? Well unfortunately it does happen from time-to-time, and in doing so that person risks being sued by the production company. This includes photos of you in costume, etc. Unfortunately such actions are indefensible so we will not be able to help you if you make these mistakes and are caught.

To Sum Up

We hate to have to get so serious about these things, but it is important because we really don’t want you to get yourself into trouble. In the media age that we live in, people communicate without thinking sometimes, but the safest thing is to keep all production information to yourself and to definitely not take any photos! Thank you for heeding this advice and we look forward to some fun and carefree days on set ahead.