inFilm

What Every Extra Should Know

BC Film Commission industry profile of the position of extra can be found here.

from the Vancouver Island Better Business Bureau www.bbbvanisland.org
TIPS: MODELLING & TALENT - Extras
Extras

Use caution when solicited to become an extra:
  • if you are approached in a public place and signed up to be contacted later by 'phone
  • if franchising recruiters living in rural or smaller centres and representing themselves as agents and collect fees or make appointments for people at head office
  • if advertising open auditions or go-sees which turn out to be sales pitches for the agency - usually in the classified pages of the paper under "employment"
  • if career days and job fairs are set up to attract students
  • if advertising a star search operation and collecting fees for screen tests, photographs, etc. They may or may not return to take the photos as promised.
  • if they are developing phone lists and calling people to inform them that their name has been selected for a national talent data bank and that acting jobs are waiting for them if they sign with the agency.
  • if an agency has no legitimate contracts or activity within the industry - all economic activity is focused on selling goods and services - class photos etc. by people claiming to be representatives, but in fact lack the ability to represent
  • companies which do represent some actors or models, usually in extra work, product demonstrations or other associated areas but whose primary economic activity is focused on selling goods and services to large numbers of people who will rarely if ever work as actors or models
You can call Inquiry BC at 387 6121 or 1 800 663 7867 and ask for the BC Film Commission. They will be able to advise you if a company is licensed or has the credentials to be the representative of a movie or television series being produced in this area.

As a matter of policy the Better Business Bureau does not endorse or recommend any product, service or company.

TIPS: MODELLING & TALENT - TALENT AGENCIES - Extras
You could also check with the Union of BC Performing Artists 604-689-0727

In British Columbia, talent agencies must be licensed under the Employment Standards Act. You may contact Employment Standards at Ph 250 952 4738 or 1 800 663 3316.

Before you sign up with a talent agency use this general guideline --- be wary of agencies that:
  • ask for money up front
  • use pressure tactics, discounts or promises of instant work and money
  • require you to take classes or workshops from them or a specified school
  • require you to use an in-house or specified photographer --- photographs are a vital tool for promoting an actor. It is your right to choose your own photographer.
  • ask you to sign a contract without giving you time to think about your decision or without suggesting you check it with a lawyer or industry professional
An agency is not an acting school. You should never be required to take in-house classes of any kind nor be required to enroll in a specific class or school. Actors generally receive training through university or college courses or workshops taught by qualified professionals. Reputable agents very rarely agree to represent actors who do not have prior training and experience. Be wary of any agency that is prepared to represent you if you have no training or experience at all.
You can call Inquiry BC at 387 6121 or 1 800 663 7867 and ask for the BC Film Commission. They will be able to advise you if a company is licensed or has the credentials to be the representative of a movie or television series being produced in this area.

Note: Consumers may wish to contact the Actors and Modelling Information Service in Toronto. This is a non-profit association staffed by volunteers from the industry that are dedicated to the education and protection of those members of the general public who are interested in training and careers in the fashion and/or entertainment industries. Ph. 416 977 3832.
As a matter of policy the Better Business Bureau does not endorse or recommend any product, service or company.

TIPS: MODELLING & TALENT - MODELLING SCHOOLS
Before committing yourself and money find out more about the company.
Is the school a registered bonded trade school? Call Private Post Secondary Education Commission at 1 800 661 7441 to confirm registration.
  • if training is offered to adults they must be registered
  • if training is for children registration is not required
  • if photos only are taken, registration with Private Post Secondary Education Commission is not required
Where is the company located? Do they have a business licence in your area? How long have they been in business?
What qualifications does the trainer have?
How many clients do they have and how would your work be promoted?
Ask for the company's refund and guarantee policy in writing.
Check with other modelling schools to compare services offered.
It is up to you as a consumer to decide if the courses or photos will meet with your expectations.

You can call Inquiry BC at 387 6121 or 1 800 663 7867 and ask for the BC Film Commission. They will be able to advise you if a company is licensed or has the credentials to be the representative of a movie or television series being produced in this area.

Note: Consumers may wish to contact the Actors and Modelling Information Service in Toronto. This is a non-profit association staffed by volunteers from the industry that are dedicated to the education and protection of those members of the general public who are interested in training and careers in the fashion and/or entertainment industries. Ph 416 977 3832.

As a matter of policy the Better Business Bureau does not endorse or recommend any product, service or company.
 
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