Being a Film Set Extra in Alicante

Published on 9/9/2010 in Buying Process

During March 2010, I saw an advertisement on the website of my local town of Pinoso (Alicante province), asking for 'Extras' (Figurantes) to take part in the making of a film which was to be shot in the area surrounding Pinoso.

I attended the casting day, where I completed an application form, had my photo taken and had a chat with the casting staff. A few weeks later received a call to say that I had been chosen for a specific role.

Orson West makingThe title of the film is 'Orson West'.

It will be the first major film by a Director called, Fran Ruvira, who was born in Pinoso, but now lives and works from Barcelona.

The film is part fact and part fiction.

It is said that in the sixties, Orson Welles travelled to Spain and in particular the area around the Sierra del Carche between Alicante and Murcia looking for a location to shoot a Western. However, the film was never made.

This film is the Director's version of events of a modern day film crew, filming a pretend film crew making a Western.

My role was that of the American Director of Photography.

I had 6 days of filming in remote mountainous locations near to Raspay and Canada Del Trigo. Most of the days, I was on set for 12 hours, I now understand a little of how the feature films are made and that there must be a lot of waiting around for Actors, crew and Extras in between takes and setting up of equipment.

It was very interesting to see how the real Director of Photography set up all of the equipment to shoot particular scenes and moved the camera on numerous occasions to get different angles of one scene. This is the time when the 'Extras' are standing around for a long time waiting for their turn to be filmed.

It is also interesting to see how many people are involved in the making of a relatively low budget film. Obviously, there is the Director and his many assistants. The Director of Photography has about 3 or 4 assistants. The sound crew, the Labourers moving equipment here, there and everywhere. On locations where we were near a public road, crew members were on the road with 'Stop' & 'Go' paddles doing traffic duty.  When there is a 'Take' they have to have absolute silence.

There are the wardrobe and make up girls, outside caterers who deliver food and set up at specific times, it is a very big operation and an experience that I found very exciting and interesting.

The main Actors that were filming in this location were Sonia Almarcha, Frank Feys and Jorge Yaman; I have carried out searches on the internet and discovered that some have been in feature films and some also in various TV programmes in Spain and the USA.

Most information about the actors can be found on: searching their names.

I have been told that the film should be fully completed and ready for release by the end of 2010 (it is currently in post production) and maybe go to DVD in 2011.

The production company have produced a website to promote the film:

Obviously for myself, I am keen to see how many scenes I am in and can't wait to see the finished film.

Because of the vast area and ruggedness of Spain, there are many locations that are used by the film industry, and just by looking at adverts or doing internet searches, there are opportunities for people to be 'Extras' if you fancy doing something different.

Whilst on location, I took a few photo's, which can be seen here:

Written by: David Billington

About the author:

Desiree & David are early retirees who moved to the Alicante province of the Costa Blanca in October 2004.

We like to explore inland villages of Spain and enjoy the countryside that we live in. David enjoys writing articles of places visited and Desiree enjoys painting landscapes and sunsets.

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David Billington said:
Thursday, September 16, 2010 @ 11:43 AM

I was working with the actor Frank Feys, I was allowed to say a few words. He asked me what the conditions were like for filming and I was able to respond with words like, 'fine' and 'ok'.
It was very hot most days, but we had one early start when it was still a bit cool!.

I have noticed a spelling mistake on the title...editor can you remedy that!

Sanchez1 said:
Wednesday, September 15, 2010 @ 2:26 PM

Being a Flim Set Extra in Alicante


Sue said:
Tuesday, September 14, 2010 @ 9:38 AM

Did you have any lines to speak? I was an extra in "Run Fatboy Run", starring Simon Pegg, Dylan Moran and Thandie Newton, which was filmed in London. A group of us from my running club took part in scenes on the Southbank: Simon was supposed to be taking part in the London Marathon. Yes,the days were very long, but luckily they had to stop filming when it got dark! It got very cold hanging around - I suspect that you didn't have that problem here!

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