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Extras are waiting to be used

Extras act as actors in films and TV series . In contrast to the extras , an extra has a slightly more individual role , occasionally some text - in the latter case, however, he is more likely to be referred to as a small actor . There is also the term miniature actor .

Neither extras or small actors nor extras contribute significantly to the course of the plot with their roles and are rather "living props " that represent the background action of a film scene.

Difference between extra and extra

Extras as "photographers" on the red carpet

The difference between extras and extras lies in the interaction with the action. For example, if an actor is supposed to sit down in a café the moment an actor walks in the door, it is called an extra. The other guests of the café, who act without considering the main story, i.e. only sit, talk (in silence) or drink, are called extras.

Today, however, a distinction is no longer made between extras and extras and almost only the term extras is used in film and advertising. The areas of responsibility have converged or often overlap. Flatter hierarchies and more improvisation during filming result in more frequent changes in roles, which means that extras can be used as extras or small actors at short notice. Previously, the performer in advance were binding as an extra, booked extra or bit player and the set then used exactly in this function. Today almost all actors are booked as extras and on the set it is often spontaneous who takes on which task.

Extras are also booked as a cheering audience or photographers on the red carpet , where film recordings are not the focus or there is no filming at all.

At least the previous name “ extra” could soon be a thing of the past. In the collective agreement signed by the collective bargaining parties Ver.di and the Alliance of German Producers - Film and Television eV, (Berlin) on May 29, 2018 (TV FSS 2018), the term “extra” has now been almost consistently replaced by the term “ small actor ”.

Extract from the general collective agreement:

“Small actors are considered filmmakers within the meaning of this collective agreement. Small actors are filmmakers whose acting participation does not significantly support the cinematic action and who do not give it any personal character. The special working conditions for small actors are regulated in the collective agreement for small actors (Section III). "

In the TV there is a separate contract for small actors (Section III), which is divided into three categories, depending on the role of the small actor and u. A. regulates the fee. According to this, in future a distinction should be made between simple small display , upscale small display and the " noble extra series" .

Fee amount

Since the media crisis in 2002, the budgets of most film and television productions and thus also the fees of many media professionals have collapsed. The drastic increase in the number of actors in contrast to the often much lower budget for film productions has meant that the average fees for extras and extras have fallen significantly in recent years and have become more similar.

In the 1990s, for example, extras usually received between 200 and 300 marks per day of shooting, depending on the size of the role, and extras between 100 and 150 marks (50–75 euros).

Although the service union Ver.di has been continuously negotiating collective agreements with television and film workers (TV FSS) for many years, the list of which also includes small actors / extras for various professional groups, flat-rate fees of only 50-60 euros for paid up to 10 hours. These fees had already been deducted from taxes and duties when they were paid out, but they were still far from the negotiated tariffs. But there was never an extras agency that ever seriously dared to enforce the applicable tariff for its extras in productions.

Only since the statutory minimum wage came into force on January 1, 2015 and the gradual increase, extras and extras have now also received a wage of EUR 9.40 / hour, which is at the lower limit. (As of January 2020), which has the consequence that short-term bookings are increasingly being observed in order to reduce the additional burden on the productions somewhat. In the past, the extra was often booked as a flat rate for at least ten hours plus a break, today the inquiries are increasingly limited, depending on the expected time required, starting from two hours.

More and more often, small actors are only booked for half a day of shooting. Even larger film productions are now partly charged with a fee of up to max. € 10 per hour or flat rate max. 100 € for a day of shooting. Contrary to the planning, a day of shooting can also last longer than the usual maximum ten hours, for which there are overtime surcharges. There are also surcharges for night assignments after 10 p.m. or Sunday surcharges. But they are no longer automatic. What surcharges are not or hardly any longer paid today are clothing money (three times everyday clothing is now required when booking), loss fees or additional days of shooting.

Surcharges between 10 and 75 euros are paid for bringing certain of your own clothing such as tuxedo, ball gown, special work clothes or uniforms, props or a vehicle, for a text or play role. Daily fees for game scenes in lingerie or little clothing are around 150 euros. Fees for special roles such as that of a corpse or naked appearances are even higher and are always a matter of negotiation. If a historical epoch is depicted in the film, it is necessary that the hairstyles of the extras have to be adapted accordingly. Depending on the degree of change, men receive between 15 and 30 euros, women between 15 and 50 euros.

The payment of the fees and the individual tax and duty accounting is now mostly done by fee accounting companies such as adag, Teamwork, Mecon, Pauls Büro, etc. Before these existed, the fees were still paid in cash on the set after the end of shooting. For accounting reasons, extras and extras are only booked and billed on a daily basis, even if they are used on consecutive days, for the same production and in the same role.

In the past, extras and extras were allowed to use the catering on the set. Today they sometimes have to bring their own food or separate and simpler extra food is offered. For the extras agencies, in addition to the fee, negotiating meals with the productions is an important part of their work. If only a few extras are present, they are often also allowed to use the crew's catering - but only after the actors and the team.

Travel costs and other expenses will only be reimbursed in individual cases for extras and extras.

In Austria, on the other hand, the situation is different: the fees for extras have been frozen for decades - 30 euros (previously 400 schillings) fixed for a day of shooting up to ten hours. If the shoot takes longer, there is a surcharge of 4 or 5 euros (depending on the agency) for every started hour - but this only applies when the 11th hour is full. The subject of professional extras is therefore superfluous.

Professional extras

Especially in the large media cities of Munich, Cologne, Hamburg and Berlin, more and more full-time extras have developed in recent years. So people who try to make a living primarily as an extra.

Involuntary extras

A special group among the extras consists of the so-called involuntary extras, who are also dubbedmushrooms ” in the technical jargon of the cameramen - they are lucky because they play a role in a film without having worked for it. These are those passers-by who happen to be present while a film is being shot on the street without notice. In most film productions, however, careful attention is paid to ensure that this situation does not occur, as the right to one's own image may be violated, which can result in additional costs (e.g. through lawsuits and legal proceedings).


See also

Individual evidence

  1. a b filmmakers. Retrieved July 30, 2018 .
  2. Our services - adag.tv. Retrieved July 1, 2017 .
  3. Nico Roesenberger: MECON Media Concept Ltd. Retrieved July 1, 2017 .
  4. Paul buero | Paul's office. on-line. Retrieved July 1, 2017 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Extras  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations