Family Fun: Taking A Visit To Film Sets On Vacation: Fun Or Not Worth The Trouble?
There’s a great site, onlocationvacations.com, that releases information about film locations and whether the production companies need film extras. Now, there’s a large group of people that love travelling to film sets, even if it means a two-second glimpse of their favorite actor or getting a chance to be an extra in a movie.
As someone who works in a production company in Hollywood and also someone who used to travel to film sets, both for fun and for work as an extra, I’m here to list out the pros and cons of such an endeavor.
First of all, you have to keep in mind that every experience is different. My one and only extra job was on the set of The Social Network, and we got to set at 5 PM, and were working until 7 AM the next morning. Was it worth it to hang out with Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield, and get to see David Fincher in action for 12 hours? Yes, but it’s not something I would do again for the amount of money that’s paid.
Generally speaking, extra jobs range from 8 hours to 10 hours, but even then, is it worth it to travel to a certain place to witness film shooting? Well, it really depends on what movie it is. It is worth it if you’re huge fan of the actors involved or the film. For example, I know several fans often used to travel to Twilight or Hunger Games filming locations to get a chance to witness the filming or for a chance to be an extra.
Usually, the site gives you great tips on what stars to expect, and what time they’re expected – but also, film sets are very erratic and there are often last minute changes of plans. If you’re travelling to another place, make sure you have accommodation for several days. You don’t want to go cross country to see your favorite star, and only keep aside one day for that, do you? What if you don’t get to see them, or you didn’t get a chance to take photographs or autographs?
One more thing, if you’re an extra, taking pictures or asking for autographs is frowned upon. So if that’s your only goal, you’d be better off waiting near the set for the actors to complete filming and come spend some time. Obviously, in this case, some will and some won’t, but it’s better than being an extra and not getting any proof of that at all.
But with the right attitude and the right preparation, visiting a film set is a lot of fun. I get to do it professionally now, and it’s exhausting, but it’s a huge adrenaline rush the first few times.