Monday, March 21, 2011

Clooney's "Ides of March" films in Bloomfield Hills: Day in the life of an extra

Extras holding ... not for VIPs ;-)
I was accepted to be an extra for George Clooney's new film "The Ides of March" last Tuesday, but it was for a day-long shoot in Ann Arbor and was unpaid. I applied again for this week's shoot in Bloomfield Hills and found out over the weekend I was accepted, as was my dad, and so we decided to go (it helped that today's positions were paid).

Here is a day in the life of an extra on a major motion picture:


  • 5:30am: I wake up ... a lot earlier than I usually would.
  • 7:05am: I'm sitting in the lobby of the Radisson Kingsley hotel in Bloomfield Hills, in Extras Holding. They have free breakfast for us, including bacon, bagels, muffins, and potatoes ... yum.
  • 9am: We board the shuttle bus that will take us to Christ Church, Cranbrook, where today's scenes are being filmed.
  • 9:25am: We walk into the church and one of the first things I see is George Clooney, behind the camera! He is the director of "Ides of March," and he is starring in it as well.
  • 10:30am: Gregory Itzin arrives. He is playing the father of the girl whose funeral we are attending at the church.
  • 11:30am: They set up for another scene - this one with flowers. We wonder if any other stars are going to appear in the church scene. (*cough RYAN GOSLING cough*)
  • 12:30pm: Ryan Gosling and Phillip Seymour Hoffman appear; they need to get shots of them sitting in the church.
  • 1:15pm: They say we are returning to the hotel for lunch. I wonder if we will have to return to the church or not afterwards.
  • 1:45pm: Yup - back to the church, to shoot us entering and exiting. The first two busses leave and we are going to be on the third, but they send us back to Extras Holding to wait for a while.
  • 2:30pm: I'm sitting in the back of a pew, but some of the other extras are waiting to exit the church so they can be filmed.
  • 3:00pm: A scene is being shot between Ryan Gosling and Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and they want the extras to be walking towards the parking lot during it, like they are exiting the funeral.
  • 4:20pm: We are WRAPPED for the day!
  • 4:40pm: On the shuttle bus back to the hotel. We've worked from about 7am-5pm, but most of that time was us sitting around and waiting for shooting to start.
  • 5:10pm: We turn in our payment vouchers to the extras staff and finally get to leave for the day.

I don't think I would want to be an extra again, but it was definitely fun to see all the Hollywood stars and be a part of the film, which IMDB says will be in theaters on October 7, 2011. I guess I will have to wait until then to see if I made it into the movie!
Christ Church Cranbrook, where we filmed
Front view of Christ Church, in Bloomfield Hills

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