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Real / Extras / Character Modelling

character modellingThere is a very lucrative market in character modelling, both in photography and television advertising, as well as lots of opportunities in the movies!

Character models, or extras, are people with an everyday look, who may be in the background of an image of video, apparently going about their everyday business.

This kind of modelling offers great opportunities for people who may not meet the strict physical requirements demanded of ‘traditional’ models, who work on the catwalk or in fashion editorials.

This is because character models are expected to look more like ‘normal’ people. After all, if a director wants to shoot a scene with a crowded street in the background, it’s going to look a bit odd if they’re all six feet tall with cheekbones that could cut glass.

Character models need to be all kinds of ages, sizes and colours and the range of work can be quite wide. Extras on film sets get paid several hundred pounds for a day’s work. Film extras are often required for several days or even weeks at a time, and there may be a lot of waiting around.

You should also be prepared to spend a lot of time getting made up and put into costume if it’s a period of fantasy movie, and they may even ask you to have your hair cut to look suitable – however, you can of course refuse!

If you want to get into character modelling you need to get a few decent pictures taken in some neutral clothing, with a neutral expression and send them off to modelling agencies and film extras companies, along with your statistics and some information about your availability.

You’ll have a very big advantage if you’re located near some major film or photographic studios, so big cities are the best place to be.