View Full Version : If any of you care, here is my report on being a movie extra

04-14-2008, 10:11 PM
Ok, so here is my report on my working as an extra in the Johnny Depp movie Public Enemies which is filming locally.

Fri the 11th, I was to be in a scene at an airport playing a crop duster. Spent from 3PM-midnight waiting for our scene to be shot, finally we go over to where our scene is, spend another 2 hrs waiting for our scene while they shoot a different angle and then at 2AM we here the director say: "THATS A WRAP" !! So the other 10 people in my scene are like WTF? But we take it like a trouper and go back, change into our clothes and go home.

Today the 14th we shot a bank robbery scene. I understand in the movie it will be the 1st bank robbery Dillinger does. My call was at 5:30 in the morning in Oshkosh, meaning I had to get up at 4am! So I drag my butt out of bed, get down there and spend 3 hours waiting. You see, you spend an aweful amount of time waiting on the set. That and doing the same thing 25 times
and then waiting again for them to reset and make their decisions! I spent from 8:30AM-8PM running for my life along with about 50 other extras running when the bad guys open up with the machine guns. (WAY COOL having so many guns going off!) All this work for a scene I think will last 2 minuets on screen. Like I thought, MAYBE you will be able to see me, IF you know where to look and when. LOL

How much did I get paid? About $350 for the two days. Did I see JD? Yep. Today, I actually walked right by him. I was walking down the street kinda zoning out and all of a sudden, there he was right in front of me. It was one of those things where you look up and there he is. Funny thing is, I did not see him til he was right there and it was one of those, is that who I think it is moments. Did not say hi to him or anything. Probably good cause the best way to get fired on a set is to ask for an autograph.
I saw on the news tonight that he was VERY cool walking up to people that were watching the filming and shook hands for about a half hour and even took the time to talk to them too!

So anyhow, I think that is it for my movie carrer. I am not free any of the other dates they needed me, and they are done here on the 20th. Hope you might have gained something from reading about my experience...Watch for the back of my head sometime in 2009! :)

Jim Warfield
04-15-2008, 01:41 AM
"Back of your head?"
Which President are you playing?
When Robert Conrad filmed "Hard Knox" in Mount Carroll, my oldest son got to wear a wool uniform and stand and practice marching in the hot summer sun all day long and you Do get to glimpse the back of his head once!
I wonder if the Mount Carroll Motel ever got the $1,200.oo from that other actor that was in that made for TV movie?
I rented them a lot of plastic (assembled) air plane models for their set decorations (Conrad's office) They had fun busting them all up just for something to do, I wasn't happy.
Maybe the funniest thing was when they kicked Robert Conrad out of the local tavern because he walked in carrying his own case of beer!
"Do you know who I am!"
"Yes, now get out!"
When "The Party Animal" was filmed on the same abandoned campus, now that was fun!

04-15-2008, 09:46 AM
Wow Jim, never thought Mount Carrol was such a Hollywood set. Pretty neat...

damon carson
04-15-2008, 05:25 PM
Very cool report there Dirk. Wow thats really neat you got to see Johnny Depp in person too! Man that would have been very tempting to ask for his autograph and speak with him. He is one of my favorite actors I love about 99% of the movies he has made.

Jim Warfield
04-15-2008, 06:01 PM
Dirk, Remember what downtown Mount Carroll looks like? Many first time visitors here think it looks like a Hollywood movie set, maybe one from a Twilight Zone episode?
We have numerous cast iron Mesker Brothers store fronts from the 1860's (made in St. Louis), the Civil War monument with two cannons and three marble Civil War soldiers on it bigger than life, the 1850 courthouse with it's wrought iron stairs, bandstand and fountain with the cast iron birds of paradise just like the Smithsonian has in it's collection.
Then as you are walking down the street over the old bricks, look up and waiting for you is the city graveyard on the next hill, 6,400 cold , hard stones and a whole lot of dead.
I used to advertise that you could find my house by looking at the cannon(the long barreled one) it points right at my house, of course looking for a black cannon at night is kind of futile.
It is a "Parrot" gun, it must work, we have Never been attacked by Parrots!
(Gregg loved this line!)

04-15-2008, 06:49 PM
Very cool xxdrik and not bad $350.

04-15-2008, 07:54 PM
Actually Jim the two times I was there, I came right to your place and then left after it had gotten dark so I guess I did not notice the downtown. My cast is interested in doing a field trip to your place so we will look at a few dates and get back to you later on......

04-15-2008, 08:03 PM
That is pretty awesome. You'll have to let everyone know when the movie comes out, what scenes to look for you in. I'm curious as to how you came across this gig. My income being mostly freelance, at the moment, I am always on Craig's List and Career Builder and Monster and I always see "Location - Nationwide: Be a movie extra! $250 - $500 per day". I always write them off as spam. How did you hear about this?

And +1 on Depp being one hell of an actor. I can't remember a single character of his that I haven't liked.

Matt Marich
04-15-2008, 08:31 PM
Congrats Dirk! My favorite brush with an actor is timely right now as he just passed away. I was working on a movie and went to the hotel bar for a beer and watch the NBA. As I walked up to the bar I realized there sat Charlton " get your stinking paws off me" Heston. He was pounding back a few scotches and we talked for a bit, and off he went to his room, all in all, a very nice man.


04-15-2008, 09:11 PM
While I really likes Captain Jack Sparrow, I cant really say I am a huge Depp fan. I saw him in Charlie & Cocoalte factory and was not overally impressed. I AM looking forward to seeing him in this movie. It will be interesting to see if he can play a good REALISTIC person instead of the over the top parts.

As far as casting, this was HUGE news around here. Ever since word was announced, the whole area has been Johhny crazy. I spose the crew must think it is cute how in awe everyone is. LOL< in fact, when I was getting fitted, the costume person was saying how someone that had been in before me brought muffins and cookies they had baked. LOL Anyway, the local paper had a story that they were going to hold auditions on this day in March and I showed up. Me and about 5000 others! Having done some local theater and tv and print ads, I might have had a bit of an edge. I also had a little resume thing, and was one of the 1st 200 or so that showed up that day. Auditions were a typical cattle call with a que line and I filled out a card asking height, weight, and other questions. Then you walked in, they took my pic and that was it. Availability and flexibility is very important. If you want to pursue it, I would contact a talent agent close to where you live, explain what you want to do and see what you should do. I don't think I would ever do those "scam" things either. Maybe it would be worth it, but I never did. If you want the name of the company that I got hired for, PM me....

Jim Warfield
04-15-2008, 09:23 PM
Dirk, Does your wife read these posts? I mean you said that you were looking for a few "Dates" to come here!
My wife Jessica was an extra for a TV show filmed in Chicago. They put a harness on her and held her over the edge of a big building! Stunt woman!
I always wanted to be a stunt woman if I grew up? Naw, not really.

Kevin Dells
04-16-2008, 08:03 PM
Ron, you never mentioned you did this,very cool and fun stuff to do!

Iv'e done a few different movie extra parts when i lived in Woodstock, Illinois.

Woodstock (like Mount Carroll) has that turn of the century look to it with the squre in the middle surrounded by early 1900's storefronts and cobblestone streets.

I played an extra in Ground Hog Day , and Planes,Trains and Automobiles when a lived a few streets down.

Your right flexibility is a must! Being the just out of school kid needing money badly i was on set every day as an assistant runner and then fill in for crowd schenes when needed.

I did get to meet Bill Murray, Andy Mc Dowell and Chris Elliot actually took the little guys down the street for a few beers i was included.

My wife worked at the local Italian Resturant so she waited on Bill and Andy many times! She said Bill was a jerk and Andy was a lot nicer than she every imagined a movie star would be.

I did do a walk by with John Candy like you did Johnny during the Planes trains and automobiles flick.

My roomates and i also did a few nights at Wrigley feild for the filming of the Rookie, but we never met anybody during that filming.

Fun stuff highly encourage anybody to try it.

And if you get the chance, watch the set designers when they distress buildings, they were filming a movie in Cortland Ill, just before i moved down south here. Everyday going to and from work i would stop and watch the transformation of an old gas station for the making of this movie last summer. Don't know the movie but it was cool to see the building change as it did.

Jim Warfield
04-29-2008, 01:26 AM
Watching the set decorators for "Hard Knox" when it was being made in Mount Carroll I saw a concrete square poured to hold up a statue, a day or two later a guy took a pallet full of paints and when he got done that new concrete looked like it was 80 years old, just what was needed!

04-29-2008, 02:38 AM
Info on this movie...



Michael Mann (http://www.hauntworld.com/name/nm0000520/)

Release Date:

Plot Outline:

The Feds try to take down notorious American gangsters John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd during a booming crime wave in the 1930s.
Plot Synopsis:



Status Updated:

13 March 2008