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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Vampire Diaries: An Extra's View

So since I live in Atlanta, the primary location of the shootings for Vampire Diaries, I happen to know someone who works as an extra! I asked if he would give us a little insight to being an extra on the show and what it's like and he happily obliged! Thank you Chris! -Eli


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.


  1. How very cool. Thanks for posting Chris! Ooh I love film shoots - I shoot a lot of commercials being in marketing, and those are just exciting. I couldn't imagine being on one with actors/actresses and the such. The closest I get is I think they film that's so raven or something at the high school across the street from my house, so I get to peer at all the goings on. I think I want to be an extra when I grow up!

    Thanks for hosting Eli!


  2. Dayum, Eli. You've got connections, lol! ;)

    I've always wondered what it was like to be an extra; I didn't know that they had such long shifts though! I always imagined that after they finished shooting a scene, they'd just go home o.O this is a really cool perspective, so thanks! :D

  3. Hi Eli :)
    Thank you for having Chris post here today & thank you very much Chris for sharing. It sounds like a pretty awesome job. Have you seen the UK series EXTRAS by Ricky Gervais?
    All the best,

  4. Nice! You know they're filming a Katherine Heigl film in Atlanta right now, too? A friend of mine gets to be an extra in that. :) Fun post.

  5. That was cool and totally unexpected! Your really doing Vampire Week right, Eli!
    I didn't know they had to stick around that long, either.
    BTW, you have an award waiting at my blog!

  6. Major jealousy coming your way! ;)

  7. Thats really cool! Thanks for the insight, it was awesome. I love vampire diaries, its a really good show so far, not to mention Im a music junkie and the music that theyve chosen for the episodes are beyond stellar. If I dont already have a song they featured on an episode Im rushing to my computer to get it because they are THAT good. The only other show with a comparable soundtrack is gossip girl.... This was an awesome post, very unexpected.

  8. Sooooo cool. I love that show.:)
    Plus I've always been curious as to what being an extra really means, so this was very cool.
    Thanks for it:)

  9. Thanks for the guest post, Chris! It must be very cool to work as an extra (but do you get paid even for the time spent holding, I wonder? I guess so).

    The Vampire Diaries sounds like a very cool show. I wonder if and when it will be aired in Italy? Certainly not sooner than next autumn, I guess.

  10. This post really helped! I'm booked as an extra for this week for Vampire Diaries, and I'm EXCITED (needless to say)!! =D

    At least I got an idea of what to expect :)



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