Tuesday, 15 September 2015

MY EXPERIENCE AS AN EXTRA ON TOWIE

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I lived in Essex for just over 2 years and during that time I worked and lived in Brentwood. I'd often see the TOWIE cast around, doing filming or posing for the paparazzi outside Sainsbury's that they called on themselves, so when I was asked to be an extra in the background of my work I said yes just for the experience as I was doing Media Studies at the time in college and wanted to see what an actual filming set was like.

First of all, if you're interested in knowing how to be a TOWIE extra then I don't really know. I don't think they take on many new extras now after something was exposed by a girl about the plot line for the upcoming series; I think they re-use a lot of the extras now. I would suggest looking at an extras website or a Facebook page for casting in Essex as they always need background nightclub extras as they don't film in actual clubs, they'll go when it's shut for the night and use background extras, as they did at my work. I never applied or asked for the experience, I simply did it to help out at my work place; I certainly never expected to get paid! 

There was A LOT of 'free time' when the crew weren't filming. I got out of work at midnight and they'd arrived at about 9:30. They set up more equipment than expected and it goes to show that everything you see on TOWIE is completely set up, there is no 'popping for fish and chips' on this show. I once thought it was a small camera crew following the cast around, but it's actually a hell of a lot of lighting, wires absolutely everywhere, a track for the camera to move across and more. I actually dropped a salt shaker really loudly during filming which was embarrassing, but hey ho, they ended up doing about 7 takes of every single scene anyway! 

Arg and Lydia were both very nice and chatty and I did film a talking scene with them (I took their order behind the till, haha) but that was cut, much to my mum's despair. During takes we chatted about my job and other stuff. Lauren kept to herself (I'm saying she's fairly stuck up in a polite way) but Lewis was lovely and spoke to me and my boss for ages (probably because it was so boring waiting around for the crew to set up a different camera angle!)

Overall it was a pretty cool experience, getting to see how the things were set up and done, but I don't think I'd do it again. The entire process went on from around 9ish to 12:30, which is a really long time for a scene that was on screen for about 5 minutes.....




Have you ever been an extra for a show or film?



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25 comments

  1. Aaaw that sounds fun now, I am more interested to see more you (dropping salt shakers? lol) than the Towie cast. xx

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  2. Wow, lucky you :) I bet you had a whale of a time

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  3. Wow that looks amazing! :) Bet you had a smashing time!

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  4. Sounds fun, I would love to be an extra in a film or TV show.

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  5. I used to be a extra for a few years. The pay is fantastic and if you have nothing else to do you can actually make it a full time job.

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  6. My daughter is obsessed with these sort of shows and believes that it's "real life" I can't wait to show her this post so she can see that they have a whole film and lighting crew following them around.

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  7. Friends of mine have been extras and I am still not sure how they managed it x

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  8. I always wanted to be an extra, thanks for sharing your experience.
    I have no idea why they call it reality TV, as it's not real at all.....hahahahha

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  9. ha i love this! i'll have to keep an eye out for you!

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  10. Glad you had a great time! I guess that would be the same as me featuring on corrie or something because I just can't stand towie - although my best mate reckons she can turn me into a lover not a hater lol xx

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    1. I really can't stand the show either, it's so set up!

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  11. How exciting to be an extra in any TV series, let along TOWIE. Although I'm guessing the time dragged at times.

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  12. I've never actually seen the show before (I think because I always assumed it was so fake), but I find the whole process (and confirmation of it being fake) so interesting. You can tell it's totally staged because in the indoor shots your cleaning tables, but the shots from the outside looking in your not there.

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  13. I always knew that Towie was set up but I did not realize how many camera teams it takes to create Towie and an hour to film a five minute scene is ridiculous!
    http://www.fadedspring.co.uk

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  14. I bet it was a really good experience. It's a shame that it's not an opportunity that other people are going to get, sounds like it was ruined by someone being a bit silly which is a shame

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  15. What an experience. I don't really watch any of these types of shows but it must have been a great thing to be involved in =)

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  16. That sounds like fun! I've never been an extra even though they do alot of filming for period dramas where I live and grew up

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  17. Fun fact for your next dinner party or whenever you need to make small talk haha

    Catstello | www.cattitudeandco.uk

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  18. I knew these programmes weren't really spontaneous but I didn't realise how much time/kit went into filming them. Really interesting!

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  19. Sounds like a really interesting experience - I'm not sure I could deal with all the time doing nothing though. x

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  20. I am glad you shared your experience! It's always good to know 'the other side' opinion. Visit me at www.igaberry.com Have a lovely day, Iga xxx

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  21. How cool is that? I haven't watched it in ages, it was one of my guilty pleasures when I lived in England.

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  22. This is very interesting to get a insight into being an extra on a TV show. I'm not really a fan of TOWIE but it sounds like a lot of fun! I was once an extra at my workplace for a welsh soap which was quite fun to do but like you said it takes about an hour to film just a short few minutes! xx

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  23. Sounds like fun . Must be a great experience for you x

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  24. I dont watch Towie, but I wanted to go as extra before. The wont get me as I have full time job so unfortunately its not for me ;)

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