Monday, May 11, 2009

Work as a movie extra: a good idea for an IT person?


Today, ABC “Good Morning America” suggested another kind of interim work for anyone – including I.T. professionals. That is, as an extra in a film.

To get this kind of work, you usually have to go through as casting agency, for which this site gives some typical suggestions.

Extras are sought in television and motion picture productions in many cities, especially New York, Washington, Baltimore, Richmond, Charlotte, Seattle, Minneapolis, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and of course Los Angeles. Typically there are many opportunities in Vancouver and Toronto also.

I suppose that Hollywood never really has shown I.T. “how it really is”. Of all actors, Justin Long comes the closest to fitting the stereotype of the geek, as he appears in an ad pitching Apple. But I don’t think that the “culture” of the older mainframe world has ever been portrayed. I’ve never heard the term “S0C7” in the movies, or even “JCL error”. It’s pretty easy to imagine how being on-call with a pager or cell phone can generate some dramatic situations for the movies.

I worked as an "extra" as a member of a baseball crowd at the Metrodome in Minneapolis for a scene in "Major League 3" in 1997 (Morgan Creek Pictures). We were compensated with dinner.

For another post, I'll have to find out how movie productions build their systems departments (for animation, 2D, 3D, etc).

Picture: President Obama's "Georgia" train car, Union Station, Washington DC

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