Film Set Extra.
By David Billington
During March 2010, I saw an advertisement on the website of my local town of Pinoso, asking for ‘Extras’ (Figurantes) to take part in the making of a film which was to be shot in the area surrounding Pinoso.
I attended the casting day, where I completed an application form, had my photo taken and had a chat with the casting staff. A few weeks later received a call to say that I had been chosen for a specific role.
The title of the film is ‘Orson West’.
It will be the first major film by a Director called, Fran Ruvira, who was born in Pinoso, but now lives and works from Barcelona.
The film is part fact and part fiction.
It is said that in the sixties, Orson Welles travelled to Spain and in particular the area around the Sierra del Carche between Alicante and Murcia looking for a location to shoot a Western. However, the film was never made.
This film is the Director’s version of events of a modern day film crew, filming a pretend film crew making a Western.
My role was that of the American Director of Photography.
I had 6 days of filming in remote mountainous locations near to Raspay and Canada Del Trigo. Most of the days, I was on set for 12 hours, I now understand a little of how the feature films are made and that there must be a lot of waiting around for Actors, crew and Extras in between takes and setting up of equipment.
It was very interesting to see how the real Director of Photography set up all of the equipment to shoot particular scenes and moved the camera on numerous occasions to get different angles of one scene. This is the time when the ‘Extras’ are standing around for a long time waiting for their turn to be filmed.
It is also interesting to see how many people are involved in the making of a relatively low budget film. Obviously, there is the Director and his many assistants. The Director of Photography has about 3 or 4 assistants. The sound crew, the Labourers moving equipment here, there and everywhere. On locations where we were near a public road, crew members were on the road with ‘Stop’ & ‘Go’ paddles doing traffic duty. When there is a ‘Take’ they have to have absolute silence.
There are the wardrobe and make up girls, outside caterers who deliver food and set up at specific times, it is a very big operation and an experience that I found very exciting and interesting.
The main Actors that were filming in this location were Sonia Almarcha, Frank Feys and Jorge Yaman; I have carried out searches on the internet and discovered that some have been in feature films and some also in various TV programmes in Spain and the USA.
Most information about the actors can be found on: www.imdb.com and search the names.
I have been told that the film should be fully completed and ready for release by the end of 2010 (it is currently in post production) and maybe go to DVD in 2011.
The production company have produced a website to promote the film: www.orsonwest.com
Obviously for myself, I am keen to see how many scenes I am in and can’t wait to see the finished film.
Because of the vast area and ruggedness of Spain, there are many locations that are used by the film industry, and just by looking at adverts or doing internet searches, there are opportunities for people to be ‘Extras’ if you fancy doing something different.
Whilst on location, I took a few photo’s, which can be seen here:-