This short instructable chronicles how my friend stumbled into Spiderman 3, and how you can be in the background of a movie near you.
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It's obviously easier to get into a film if you live in a place where a lot of movies are shot (like L.A.). But in my friend's case, he took a college class that required travel to Manhattan. Perfect.
You can find the shooting schedule of various movies through online "insiders" websites or by looking at the fliers that movie crews leave around the city. Also, city film comissions have schedules of any filming that occurs. Or, have your friends stumble across the set and tip you off (my method).
On a nice Manhattan Sunday in the summer, my friend wore a wool suit to church, and a mutual friend told him where the set was.
He took the subway to the Spiderman 3 movie set.
Step 1: Show Up at the Set
Show up at the set and take distant pictures of Toby Macguire in a spandex costume (the actors in your movie may vary).
Keep walking past the set, trying not to look interested (to gauge the level of security). Crowd scenes are your friend here, and this was a crowd scene.
Notice the fashion models boredly browsing the catering table, but don't take their pictures or talk to them, in case they get mad.
Borrow the port-a-john.
Then slowly walk back towards the set and nonchalantly take pictures of the surrounding buildings, the trees, anything but the set itself (to avoid looking suspicious, but still getting closer so you can see the set).
Step 2: When the Cops Show Up . . .
When a cop shows up looking at you suspiciously, get really nervous. Wait until someone else nearby asks him a question about the movie.
Find out he's not a real cop! >_
Get your picture taken with him.
Continue talking with him until a crew member comes over and orders you onto the set. Here's where your clothing pays off. Apparently they shoot winter scenes in the summer and summer scenes in the winter.
In my friend's case a crew member yelled, "B-A-C-K-G-R-O-U-N-D! Background! This means you! If you want to be in the shot, follow me." So he did.
If you're dressed like other extras, standing in the shade talking to other extras, I guess they assume you're an extra!
Step 3: Keep Your Camera Hidden
Take somewhat closer photos of the director and others. Realize if you were really good at spitting you could land a gob on one of their faces, but that would be super rude.
When they put you in the back and hand you a sign to hold, hold it up with pride! Or your arms!
Remember, your left wrist just might be visible in the final shot. Keep it straight and powerful-looking.
Smile your fool head off that for some strange reason of divine providence, you're gonna be in Spiderman 3 (or whatever movie you stumble into).
Step 4: Stare at Toby Mcguire
When you get really close to Toby Macguire (because they tell you to stand near him) stare at him like you're at the movies. Get starstruck.
When he glowers back, (because extras aren't supposed to look at the stars--it distracts them from acting) pretend you don't notice you're staring at him (maybe he'll look away).
Step 5: Just Walk Away
When a pretty crew member (or a not so pretty one) is ordered by Toby (or others) to politely ask you to leave the set, smile at the irony and say, "I don't mind at all! You have a great night!" And just walk away. Hey, they ordered you onto the set, they ordered you off the set. No hard feelings.
Step 6: Spot Your Wrist in the Trailer!
Wait a couple months and watch the movie trailer. Look carefully for your wrist (remember, because you're six foot four you're in the very back).
Then wait six months (so as not to spoil anything for the studio) and have your friend post your pictures on the internet.
And that's the comedy of errors that got my friend's wrist into Spiderman 3! So look out for his wrist! And if you follow this instructable, I'll look for yours in a movie coming out soon. :)