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.
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.
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!
But here, while on set, I was repeatedly told to walk directly into view of the big guns. Very disorienting … and … too. much. fun! 😀
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!
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.
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.
- 20th Century Fox Studios
- Lee Roth on IMDb
- Claudette Cobert
- Gregory Peck
- Julie Andrews
- Steve McQueen
- Drums Along the Mohawk
- The Gunfighter
- The Sound of Music
- The Towering Inferno
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