Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Small Roles & Extras

We just posted the cast list for Predatory Moon.

Some people might wonder why I chose to list the actors alphabetically rather than the more common standard of listing the main characters first. My simple explanation is this:

EVERY character is important.

I know that sounds cliche, but I happen to think that it is true. I wrote the script for Predatory Moon, and every character serves an important role in moving the story forward, even if they only appear in one scene.

I feel the same way about "extras", and you can bet that every single one of the actors in the very small roles in this film will have a character name and proper credit on the end roll of the movie. The Extras add to the scene and create a convincing atmosphere for the film. Without them, poor Ronald would seem like a very unpopular kid with only family attending his funeral and Springville itself would be a ghost town.

In Predatory Moon, many of the extras will be involved in some pretty intense scenes that set the mood for the entire story. They will be acting on camera, not just milling around to fill in space. Some of them are going to get pretty messy with gory makeups. Others will be asked to react to things in a scene that many seasoned actors have a difficult time with. As far as I'm concerned, these people deserve a round of applause too.

I understand that there are many aspiring actors who are only interested in speaking parts, and I suppose that there is something to that. I really don't have a firm grasp on common knowledge when it comes to acting. I have been on some projects where Extras were treated like third-class citizens and I always found that to be rude of the production, particularly on projects with a very small cast to begin with and everyone there was a volunteer.

However, since I'm accustomed to working on crews for film and theatrical projects, I'm familiar with the power of networking among actors and crew people. If I had the desire to be an actor, I'd be taking any role I could get, even as an extra, just for the opportunity to meet other people in the industry and get my name/face around. Many productions (and Predatory Moon was no exception) will start casting from within their working social circles before holding auditions if they know actors who they believe would fit a role.

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