Earn Money With Verified Genuine MOVIE EXTRA JOBS
(In America In 2019)

By Michael Wong | December 19, 2018.

Earn Money With Verified Genuine Movie Extra Jobs

Have you ever thought it would be fun to be an movie extra, but didn't know how to go about it?

If you have, then read on... I'll show you how to earn up to $170+ per day with movie extra jobs, as well as extra jobs for TV shows, music videos, and commercials.

What Are Movie Extra Jobs?

A movie extra job is where you perform in a movie, in a nonspeaking role, usually in the background. You can also earn money as an Extra in television shows, music videos, and commercials.

Extras are sometimes known as Background, Atmosphere, or Non-Principal performers.

A movie extra may be directed to do something special by the Director, such as given dialogue.

A movie extra given dialogue will:

  • earn a higher rate of pay
  • be allowed to join the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) union

5 Famous Movie Extras

Here are five famous movie actors who worked in movie extra jobs before they got their big break:

  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Brad Pitt
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Ben Affleck
  • Matt Damon

Who knows where your movie extra work might take you! :-)

No Training Or Experience Required

You do not need to have any special training or experience to become a movie extra.

However, you will find more work opportunities and receive a higher pay rate if you have certain skills or abilities, such as:

  • tennis
  • golf
  • choreographed social dancing (including square dancing)
  • swimming
  • skating
  • riding animals
  • driving livestock
  • non-professional singing (in groups of 16 or less)
  • mouthing to playback in groups of 16 or less
  • professional or organized athletic sports (including officiating and running)
  • driving which requires a special skill and a special license (such as truck driving but not cab driving)
  • motorcycle driving
  • practical card dealing

Non-Union Versus Union Extra

There are two types of Extras:

  • Non-Union Extra
  • Union Extra

A Non-Union Extra is an Extra who is not a member of a union.

A Union Extra is an Extra who is generally a member of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) union.

SAG-AFTRA is the largest actors union, representing over 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcasters, journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals worldwide.

SAG-AFTRA was formed in 2012, following the merger of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA).

A Union Extra receives higher pay rates than a Non-Union Extra, and other benefits, such as credits toward retirement and healthcare.

SAG-AFTRA requires every movie and television show to hire a minimum number of SAG-AFTRA Union Extras.

To keep costs down, a production will typically hire the minimum number of Union Extras required to satisfy the agreement with the SAG-AFTRA union. For the remaining Extras needed for the production, they will hire Non-Union Extras.

How Much Do Movie Extras Get Paid?

SAG-AFTRA extras are paid $170+ per day. Non-union extras earn much less.

Factors that can affect a movie extra's pay rate:

  • A Non-Union Extra can expect to be paid roughly one-third to half of what a Union Extra receives.
  • Category of performance, length of program, and in some cases, program format.

Here are the official SAG-AFTRA movie extra pay rates for July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2019). Pay rates increase every 12 months.

The pay rates are a general guide only. Pay rates vary for low budget movies, commercials, and other types of productions. For full details of SAG-AFTRA Extra pay rates, check out the SAG-AFTRA Background Actors Contracts Digest (

  • Basic daily rate (first 8 hours of work - you are paid for the whole day even if you are not required to work the full 8 hours):
    • Background actor: $170
    • Special ability background actor: $180
    • Stand-in/photo double: $199
    • Cherographed swimmer/skater:
      • Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Hawaii and Las Vegas Zones: $392
      • New York: $439
  • Overtime:
    • 9th and 10th hours: 1.5 x daily rate in units of 1/10 hour (6 minute) units.
    • Beyond 10th hour: 2 x daily rate in units of 1/10 hour (6 minute) units.
  • 16 hour rule violation: 1 day of pay for each hour (or fraction thereof) beyond 16 hours (including meal periods, travel time, and time to return wardrobe or property).
  • 6th and 7th consecutive days, and holidays:
    • 6th consecutive day: 1.5 x daily rate (except on an overnight location).
    • 7th consecutive day: 2 x daily rate (except on an overnight location).
    • Work on holidays (New Year's Day, Presidents Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Day): 2 x daily rate.
    • Studio employment: 1 day's pay at straight time if employed before and the day after any holidays.
  • Meal penalty payments when Extras are not given their mandatory meal breaks in accordance of state and Union laws:
    • 1st ½ hour of delay: $7.50
    • 2nd ½ hour of delay: $10
    • Each successive ½ hour of delay: $12.50
  • Pay bumps (on top of basic daily rate):
    • Wet, snow and smoke work: $14 per day.
    • Body make-up or oil applied to 50% of your body, hair goods affixed with spirit gum, natural full-grown beard as a condition of employment: $19 per day.
  • Wardrobe allowance:
    • First outfit: no fee
    • Second outfit: $9
    • Each additional outfit: $6.25
    • Formal wear: $18
    • Police uniform: $36
  • Personal props:
    • Pets and personal accessories allowances per day:
      • Pets: $23
      • Golf clubs (set with bag): $12
      • Tennis racquet (no additional pay of paid for tennis outfit): $5.50
      • Luggage (per piece): $5.50
      • Camera: $5.50
      • Skis and poles: $12
    • Vehicle allowances per day:
      • Auto: $37.50
      • Trailer: $19
      • Bicycle: $12
      • Moped: $15
      • Motorcycle: $37.50
      • Police motorcycle: $50
      • Skates/skateboard: $5.50
  • Mileage: $0.30 per mile between the studio and the zone location.
  • Cancelled call:
    • Full day of pay for cancellation of an initial work call (must have definite booking with a date, location and an call time).
    • Half check if cancellation is due to illness of principal cast, fire, flood, or other similar catastrophe or national emergency.
    • No pay if cancelled before 6 p.m. of the workday previous to the work date.
  • Night premium (New York):
    • 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.: +10%
    • 1 a.m. to 6 a.m.: +20%

How To Join The SAG-AFTRA Union

You may become eligible for SAG-AFTRA membership under one of the following two conditions:

  • Proof of SAG or AFTRA employment: If you qualify through work as an Extra, you must have completed three days of work under a SAG-AFTRA (or AFTRA or SAG) collective bargaining agreement.
  • Employment under an affiliated performers' union: You may join SAG-AFTRA, if you are a paid-up member of an affiliated performers' union (ACTRA, AEA, AGMA or AGVA) for a period of one year, and have worked and been paid for at least once as a principal performer in that union's jurisdiction.

For more information on how to become eligible for SAG-AFTRA membership, visit the SAG-AFTRA website (

SAG-AFTRA Membership Fees

The SAG-AFTRA membership joining fees are a bit steep, so you probably wouldn't join unless you plan on becoming a full time Extra.

Anyway, here are the fees in case you were wondering:

  • Initiation fee: $3,000 (may be lower in some states) - SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union offer initiation loans of up to 24 months and the only requirement is that you open an account or belong to SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union.
  • Annual base fee: $214.32 (1.575% of covered earnings up to $500,000) - first semiannual work dues are payable at the time of joining.
  • Work dues: 1.575% of all individual earnings under SAG or AFTRA contracts up to $500,000.

For more information on SAG-AFTRA membership and fees, visit the SAG-AFTRA website (

Movie Extra Requirements

Here are the basic requirements if you are considering applying for movie Extra jobs.

  • Phone, voicemail and email: be accessible because getting less than 24 hours notice is not unusual.
  • Headshots: get 8 by 10, postcard size headshots taken by a professional photographer.
  • Resume: not needed for general Extra work.
  • If you are an experienced Stand-In, a resume listing your experience would be to your advantage:
    • Include your name, phone number/s, hair color, eye color, height, weight, age range, acting experience, acting training, education, and special skills/abilities.
    • Staple the resume to the back of your headshot or have it printed on the back of your headshot.
  • The more outfits you have access to, the more work you are likely to get, such as a tuxedo/formal gown, business suits, different styles of casual wear, 60's, 70's and 80's outfits, doctor/nurse's uniform, etc.
  • Form I-9 documentation:
    • Federal law requires all employers to complete and retain Form I-9 for everyone they hire.
    • Always take acceptable documentation for completing your I-9 form to jobs and casting calls.
    • Visit the US Citizenship and Immigration Services I-9 Acceptable Documents section for more information (

Movie Extra Conduct

All movie extras must conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times.

  • Carry your SAG-AFTRA card or receipt of payment from the Membership Department (if you are a SAG-AFTRA member).
  • Arrive on the set on time, with required wardrobe and/or props.
  • Be camera ready.
  • Complete your contract or voucher, making sure all information is legible and appears on all copies. Keep your own records of hours worked, meal breaks, etc. Note all wardrobe and props supplied at the request of the Producer.
  • Be courteous and attentive at all times.
  • Do not ask to leave early and do not leave early.
  • Never leave the set without getting permission from an Assistant Director or Production Assistant.
  • Notify Casting Director of potential conflicts caused by other bookings immediately.
  • Do not bring friends or family onto the set. This is a job and you are being hired to work.
  • Do not ask the Director or Principal Actors for autographs or selfies. It is unprofessional and reflects badly on you.
  • Smoke only in designated areas as a matter of courtesy.

How To Get Movie Extra Jobs

Here are five ways to find movie extra jobs:

  1. Register with casting companies and casting directors.
  2. Look out for casting calls on a casting company's and casting director's website.
  3. Like/follow casting company and casting director Facebook pages and on Twitter.
  4. Sign up to casting company and casting director email lists.
  5. Look out for casting calls on Extra job boards and platforms, such as Extras Access and Backstage.

Top 5 Verified Genuine Movie Extra Job Sites

Here are my top five extras casting companies and extra casting calls websites to find movie extra jobs. Visit each website for more information:

Top 3 Extras Casting Companies

Central Casting screenshot

1. Central Casting (Georgia, Los Angeles, Louisiana, New York) (

  • Find verified genuine movie extra jobs by registering with Central Casting's free database.
  • Central Casting was established in 1925 and is reputedly the industry's largest background actor casting company, with over 1,600 credits on movies and TV shows.
  • Celebrity alumni:
    • Brad Pitt
    • Eva Longoria
    • Will Ferrell
  • Casting credits include:
    • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
    • Mad Men
    • Thor: The Dark World
  • Central Casting has offices in Georgia, Los Angeles, Louisiana and New York:
    • Georgia: 235 Peachtree St NE #217, Atlanta, GA 30303
    • Los Angeles: 220 S Flower St., Burbank, CA 91502
    • Louisiana: 1450 Poydras St #1420, New Orleans, LA 70112
    • New York: 5 Penn Plaza (10th Floor), New York, NY 10001
  • How it works:
    1. Prepare I-9 form documentation required for registration.
    2. Take your required documentation to a registration session at Central Casting's Los Angeles office, at 220 S Flower St., Burbank, CA 91502
    3. Complete paperwork, an orientation, and have your photo (headshot and full body shot) taken for their database. Registration takes three to four hours.
    4. Like or follow the Central Casting Facebook and Central Casting Facebook Kids page for the latest casting calls.
    5. Wait for text messages from Casting Directors.
  • Central Casting is a division of Entertainment Partners, the largest provider of entertainment industry services and solutions in the US.
  • Like or follow the Central Casting Facebook pages and/or follow Central Casting on Twitter for the latest casting calls:
  • Employees: 51+ (est. 1925) (
  • IMDB casting credits: 1,600+ (
  • Countries: USA
  • Free to join: Yes
Sylvia Fay Casting screenshot

2. Sylvia Fay Casting (New York) (

  • Find verified genuine movie extra jobs by registering with Sylvia Fay Casting, a casting company established in 1972 and has done background casting for over 200 film and television projects.
  • Casting credits include:
    • Captain America: The First Avenger
    • Law & Order
    • Spider-Man 3
  • IMDB casting credits: 200+ (
  • Countries: USA
  • Free to join: Yes
Grant Wilfley Casting screenshot

3. Grant Wilfley Casting (New York City) (

  • Find verified genuine movie extra jobs by registering with Grant Wilfley Casting, which specializes in casting extras for film, television, and commercial projects in the New York area.
  • Casting credits include:
    • Gossip Girl
    • Spider-Man
    • The Dark Knight Rises
  • Grant Wilfley Casting post casting notices on its website, Facebook, Twitter, Casting Networks, Breakdown Services, Backstage, and sometimes Craigslist.
  • You can register with Grant Wilfley Casting by attending one of their open calls, which is advertised on its website and hotline.
  • Like or follow the Grant Wilfley Casting Facebook pages and/or follow Grant Wilfley Casting on Twitter for the latest casting calls:
  • Employees: 51+ (est. 1992) (
  • IMDB casting credits: 170+ (

Top 2 Extras Casting Call Sites

Backstage screenshot

4. Backstage (

  • Find verified genuine movie extra jobs on Backstage, which offers hundreds (450+ Extra jobs on 200+ productions at the time of writing) of Extra auditions and open casting calls in film, television, theater and musicals, commercials, voiceover, and web series across the United States.
  • Backstage membership is required to create a professional profile and apply for jobs:
    • first 6 months free
    • $19.95 per month
    • $99.95 per 6 months
    • $149.95 per year
  • 100,000+ members.
  • Employees: 51+ (est. 1960) (
Extras Access screenshot

5. Extras Access (Los Angeles, New York) (

  • Find verified genuine movie extra jobs by signing up to Extras Access to get access to Extra casting information, and submit your pictures for Extra jobs in Los Angeles and New York.
  • Subscriptions:
    • Free Membership:
      • Fee: $0
      • 2 free photo uploads
      • $2 per submission
    • Los Angeles Membership:
      • Fee: $50 per year
      • 4 free photo uploads
      • Unlimited free submissions
    • New York Membership:
      • Fee: $50 per year
      • 4 free photo uploads
      • Unlimited free submissions
    • Los Angeles / New York Membership:
      • Fee: $75 per year
      • 4 free photo uploads
      • Unlimited free submissions
  • Extras Access is part of Breakdown Services, Ltd.
  • Employees: 51+ (est. 1971) (

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