Artists Reveal What is it Like Being in Film Production
by Shara Mae Balce, May 07, 2019 3:40pm
Art by Allen Mirambel
Working as an extra on a film production seems like a life of easy work. You get paid for standing idly by or as a random person sipping coffee in the background. The opportunities to chat with stars off-cam are likely, and hopes are high on getting a shot to stardom. But everything behind an incredible set isn’t all about glamour.
Being an extra or supporting actor is not an automatic gateway to a full-fledged acting career. Nor is it just a walk in the park (or in this case, a set). Just like any other job, it requires a degree of patience and hard work. We asked some of these artists about their life behind the camera:
“I can’t forget the moment when I auditioned for a TV show. 'Di ko inexpect na makukuha ako kasi during the audition I demonstrated an action na akala ko hindi nagustuhan ng casting panels. Without expecting anything, I received a call and passed. I also experienced na masigawan sa set. I guess it was the Assistant Director who shouted when I started walking when it wasn't yet my part (actually, one of the production staff said it was my turn). I was ashamed to defend myself, then.”
- Blain, 25 freelance host and actor
“Maswerte ako kasi never ko na-experience mapagalitan ng direktor. Worst experience ko lang talaga ay iyong mahigit 24 hours waiting para lang sa isang scene. Naranasan ko na ring matulog sa gilid ng kalye kasi walang tent. At kahit hindi ikaw iyong main cast, dapat palagi kang on time sa call time. Minsan dapat mga two or three hours ahead ka kahit matagal pa ang scene mo at kahit extra lang sa umpisa, professional pa rin dapat.”
- Reds, 26, freelance actress and entrepreneur
“Noong nagkaroon ng pagkakataon, sobra akong excited dahil iniisip kong makikita na ako sa TV. Pero halu-halong emosyon na ang naramdaman ko noong isinalang ako: saya, kaba, at lungkot. Lungkot nang makita ko ang totoong pinagdadaanan ng mga talent sa likod ng camera. Sa unang beses ng taping ko, naranasan ko agad matulog sa labas nang walang sapin dahil sa sobrang pagod habang inaantay ang service ngunit lahat ‘yon ay binalewala ko dahil inisip ko lang na malaking oportunidad ang mapasama sa ganito.”
- JC, 25, freelance actor
“It was both a humbling and a learning experience. Humbling in a sense, I had to practice utmost patience for a one-minute exposure. I had to stay up ALL night to finish. Learning, because I saw firsthand how things were executed. Specifically, the Art Department’s tedious job. I loved it when the stars and main cast interacted with us and treated us as equals, one was even cajoling us into eating the food props which have been exposed the whole afternoon. Overall, it was really tiring but I had fun. All for the love of the arts.”
- Anna, 44, consultant
“Sa unang sabak ko as extra, nakaka-excite kasi panibagong field of work. It's a good feeling kasi any other artist nagagawa mong makapag-act in front of a camera together with different directors and artists. Mahirap. May pagkakataon na maghihintay ka talaga hanggang sa maisalang ka. Na-experience ko rin maghintay pero hindi naisalang.
- Shiela, 26, freelance actress
“One good and unique experience is when I did a short film project for a film school in Singapore. It was relatively easy, physically and mentally kumpara sa shoots natin dito kasi we were only doing one to two scenes per day. Well-rehearsed na iyong camera movements bago kami ilagay sa set. Maayos ang callsheets nila at pinapasundo rin kami according to call time, so hindi need maghintay sa set. If matagal man, it's because of setting up and camera rehearsal lang which is reasonable kasi they have big equipment.”
- Mina, 28, freelance actress
“Every time nasa set, 'yung pag-aalaga sa akin now ibang iba compared before. 'Yung kulitan sa set kasama co-artists, hindi na kagaya nung mga panahong nag-uumpisa pa lang ako. Mas komportable na at mas nakakapag-kulitan with directors and staff. Minsan hindi mo maiiwasan kabahan lalo na kapag ang ka-eksena mo mga veteran, pero lagi mong iisipin na kaya mo. Andito ka na e, kaya ka nakuha sa role na ‘to dahil may nakita silang potential sa'yo. Minsan hindi mo maiiwasan ma-insecure. Ang daming what-ifs na tatakbo sa isip mo, pero dapat lakasan mo lang ang loob mo.”
- Donna, 28, freelance actress
It takes passionate and patient individuals to get a head start in the entertainment industry. Someone has to work hard and professionally to thrive in the show business. If you got a film experience or tips to share, drop us an email at insidemanila.ph or comment your thoughts below.