Making Movies

Making Movies

Recently, I was cast as an extra in a major blockbuster Hollywood movie production. The film will be released on June 26, 2015. We were on the backlot at 20th Century Fox Studios in Century City, California.

20th Century Fox Studios
20th Century Fox Studios

We worked on the historic Stage 8 where several notable films were made including; “Drums Along the Mohawk” (1939) with Claudette Cobert, “The Gunfighter” (1950) with Gregory Peck, “The Sound of Music” (1965) with Julie Andrews, and “The Towering Inferno” (1974) with Steve McQueen.

Stage 8 at 20th Century Fox Studios
Stage 8 at 20th Century Fox Studios

It’s very strange to me, this making movies thing. As a professional photographer, I am always very aware of camera angles … and staying the heck out of them!

Lee Roth at 20th Century Fox Studios
Lee Roth at 20th Century Fox Studios

But here, while on set, I was repeatedly told to walk directly into view of the big guns. Very disorienting … and … too. much. fun! 😀

20th Century Fox Studios
20th Century Fox Studios

The days were long, 9:30am until around 10pm each night. Each day of filming, there were 300 to 350 extras in my group, the background. There were another 150 extras in full makeup and costume. The Fox makeup artists were in full swing with their own floor in the holding area dedicated to makeup and wardrobe.

Next, consider actually being on set, with cameramen, sound crews, lighting, grips and gaffers, makeup artists, security, producers, directors, and everyone’s assistant, you end up with somewhere around 600 to 700 people all working together on this creative endeavor. Each one of us had specific instructions of what to do, where to move to, and where to look. When they yell, “Action” is when you see everything in motion, all choreographed. It’s pretty impressive!

This is what it looks like when leaving the Fox lot after just about everyone else!

20th Century Fox Studios
20th Century Fox Studios

We signed confidentiality agreements, so I can’t say much about the movie, what scene I was in, or what stars may have been present. So, although I have been an extra in movies  before, I was always mixed into a huge crowd with little hope of actually seeing me on the screen.

This movie, however, was way different. I was on camera in six to eight different shots. Yet in two of them in particular, I was immediately next to the action, literally within inches. So, unless I end up on the cutting room floor, you should be able to say, “Hey, I know that guy!” when you see it in theaters next summer. 🙂

Click the thumbnails below
to view full-size photos
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Updated November 7: We were told on set that it was OK to say what movie we worked on. And now that it’s in IMDb, the Internet Movie Database, that would seem to make it official. So, please stop by my IMDb profile and drop a Like on it if you’re so inclined. You may also visit the movie’s page.

Additional Resources:

Photos and Text are © Lee Roth / Roth Stock Digital Media – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
For Licensing Information, Please Contact Roth Stock Digital Media

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