Actors and extras work and audition’s situation for commercials and movies in Europe

Articles in English

What kind of impression do you have when you hear the word “actor” or “extra”?

Many people might have the image of “the entertainment industry,” or “not up to my abilities.
However in Prague where we live, it is common for ordinary people who have not studied acting to audition for commercials and movies and appear in them as extras. Moreover, it is possible to earn enough money to afford some of your daily life even as an extra. Today, I inform you about such extra jobs in Prague, including my own experience.

The Czech Film and Video Industry

Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is called the “center” or “navel” of Europe because it is geographically located in the center of Europe, and because of its diverse ethnic population, large foreign population, and low cost of living, there are many commercial and film jobs available. The Czech film industry is also well known, as the suburbs of Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, are home to Europe’s largest film studio, Barrandov Studios, known as the Hollywood of Mid-Eastern Europe.

Acting Job Description

To work as an extra, you must first register with an acting talent agency.The information to be registered includes: date of birth, address, phone number, e-mail address, height, weight, eye color, hair color, shoe and clothing size, neck circumference, and chest.If you Google “Casting, Prague,” you will find many talent agencies.Some agencies charge money to register, so be sure to register with an agency that does not charge money.Once you register, the talent agency will contact you immediately by email to complete your registration.
There are about 20 to 30 talent agencies in Prague, so we recommend that you register with many of them.We recommend that you register with all of good ones, because not many of them will offer you auditions for roles that suit your appearance. So, for the best chance of getting as many offers as possible, register with as many agents as you can.

Second, there are two main types of extra jobs.
The first is for extras who have an audition, and although it takes some time to get the job, the pay is high, and you can expect to receive 200-500 euro per day. You can also expect to receive 20-40 euro per day for a costume fitting the day before the audition.The second type of work is extra work that does not require an audition. Here, you will be contacted by an acting talent agency, and all you have to do is say yes and you can join. It is easy to get the job, and the pay is about 80 euro per day, and the filming can go on for two or three days a week.

And as for the details of each job, extras with auditions usually have two auditions before they get the job. The first round takes place either online or onsite, and there are quite a few of them. You will be notified that you have successfully passed the second round, but you will not be notified that you have been rejected. The local country director will also be involved in the second round of auditions. The second screening is held a few days before the shoot, so it will be a few days before the shoot.
If your face is in the commercial for more than one second, it is called a “buyout” and you will be paid between 1,500 and 4,000 euro depending on the client. Furthermore, if the commercial is used again in the following year, called an “exclusive,” a routine occurs where you receive the same compensation as the previous year.
The author also experienced an “exclusive” in a past commercial, and it lasted for 6 routines. 
One example, during this filming of this commercial, I spent all of his time lying on a bed placed in a large studio with my Filipino wife, under a large amount of lighting.

ZzzQuil commercial in which was experienced an exclusive

NIKE commercial 

Hewlett-Packard commercial 

This job gives you the chance to be yourself in a commercial, and for aspiring actors, appearing in a commercial may be an opportunity to establish your work in a foreign country and open doors for you as an actor.
As an extra without an audition, you may be an extra in a movie scene with a large number of people, so you have to go to the front to be seen on the screen. There are people who want to be actors in these scenes, and they go to the front to be seen on the screen. When I participated as an extra in an O2 commercial for the England rugby World Cup team in Japan, I was asked by the film crew if I was Japanese. When I replied that I was, I was turned from an extra to a craftsman making weapons, and my remuneration was suddenly increased. So it is also important to move in a conspicuous way.Also, when it comes to filming, some movies have a shooting period of about one month. The author also participated as an extra in a movie called MINAMATA, which was filmed for about a month. As for remuneration, in most cases, taxes are withheld at the source. It is often the case that payment is delayed for about six months, and there are many jobs where remuneration goes unpaid.

Second, how much money can you make as an extra? I took all offers and auditions on a trial basis and averaged over 7,500 per year for more than two years.
On the extras shoots, you may even meet celebrities. I was able to meet actor Hiroyuki Sanada for a movie called MINAMATA and former Brazilian soccer player Ronaldinho for a Heineken commercial shoot.

There are opportunities even if you live in out of the Europe

This information is for those who don’t live in Czech but would like to work as extras abroad. Basically, it is preferable to live in Czech, because extra jobs favor those who are ready to go as soon as they are contacted by an agent, but currently, because of the Covid disaster, the first audition is online, and you can introduce yourself in English for about 30 seconds You can audition while you are in Japan, sending a video of yourself in English of about 30 seconds. The first audition is an online audition, where you send a 30 second video introducing yourself in English. If you pass the audition, purchase a flight ticket and travel to Prague. While you are there, be sure to enjoy Prague,too.

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