BEING AN EXTRA IN THE CANARY ISLANDS

We keep finding news about filmings in the Canary Islands. It’s the second filming golden era in the islands. Usually, this things comes with a lot of extra’s castings ads in the region. Most of us has a friend who has taken part in a film, a film you watched with him hearing his “I show up in this scene”. Then is when starts a Where’s Waldo? hard game as you try to recognize your friend’s crown or you look on the glasses reflections to see if perhaps you can see his face there. Maybe, sometimes you actually said you saw him even not being fully sure.

As it happens, not long ago some ads were published searching for look-a-like mexicans for the upcoming Sylvester Stallone and Mel Gibson’s new filmings in the island.

All this ads have created a virtual “pro” extra group. We’ve talk whit three of them: Néstor, working in 8 films, Pili, in 11 and Rosi with 3 films.

This work is their first contact with the cinema industry world. Pili told us her fist time (in the film Ma ma) was pretty shocking “cause it was the first time I saw the cinema magic and because I saw Penélope Cruz acting”. Néstor remebered also his experience in Bourne “not just about the technical resources but the stunts. When the police fought against the protesters, They thrashed them for real, it was kind of scary”.

However and with all that work, they’ve been “turning professionals”, in the way they are not longer “locals” who needs guidance full time. They already know what to expect: ten to twelve filming hours, full of dead times. Some productions are organized better than other. “In one filming, we stayed since 10 am “locked” in a room (…) and it wasn’t until 6 pm when we started dressing to film the scene in which we all acted (…). It was meant we couldn’t get out not to spoil the filming, but later we saw they were filming in a building pretty far away and we could wait outside”, Rosi told us. Overall, they feel satisfied with the treatment.

Since there is a lot of variety in the productions filming in the island, they’ve got lucky working for different kinds of productions. They sense like the only and biggest difference is just budgetary with the intention to be kind with the workers, both in an Hollywood film or a spanish one, although “in a spanish one the food is better”, Néstor confessed. Despite all the dead times, it’s a good moment to meet people and there’s always time to have some fun, always keeping a proffesional behavior. “In Yucatan filming, we got in the cable car and we started jumping inside it. This wasn’t funny to Luis Tosar who turned white like a ghost”, Néstor laughed.

Actors and directors have good manners with them, but Pili remembered “Luis Tosar pulled me away in Ma ma. I had to hug him, giving my back to the camera. The camera light turned off and he said to me: “we are not filming anymore”

At the end, all this work, which is not going to lift you out of poverty and even it’s not sure you are going to appear in the final cut, makes you up. As Rosi said, “you’ll always hope you are going to be in the film, but the funny part is the time you spend filming or watching the production’s hidden details and meeting new people”.