Hey everybody, my name is Chris and I’ve been working as an extra on the series The Vampire Diaries. I’d like to thank Eli for allowing me to do a guest post to tell you guys a little about being an extra on the show and how I feel about vampires.
Being an extra is perhaps one of the easiest jobs I’ve ever done. And it’s also the most fun. As an extra, your job is to make the screen feel alive. An extra is either seen crossing the shot or standing in the background pantomiming a conversation to make the scene look more realistic. When not on set, we go to holding where we pass the time by chatting amongst ourselves, play games, and hang out until we’re called back on set. For the most part, time is usually spent in holding, and sometimes it’s for hours on end. But there are times when we barely get to see holding because of the amount of time spent on set. Because the time on site tends to be a six hours minimum and can go to fourteen hour shifts, you end up making close friends with the other extras. Sometimes you can get lucky and be called to be a stand-in if you look similar in size to the actor needing a stand-in. Also, you could get pulled to be a featured extra if you have the right look for the scene. I was lucky enough to get to do both.
When it comes to vampire traits, I prefer stories that stick with traditional vampire lore. Where vampires can’t go out in the sun, are weakened by lack of human blood, are unable to enter homes without an invitation, and don’t sparkle. I really like that for the most part The Vampire Diaries follows traditional lore. The vampires in this series are able to go out during the day as long as they have on their family crest ring, which protects them from burning in the sun. Stefan, the main character, is weaker than his brother because he refuses to drink human blood, and they must be invited into a house before entering for the first time. The Vampire Diaries does takes liberties with vampire lore just like any other series, but it doesn’t stray too far from general vampire myths.