Whether you are a filmmaker or not there is just something exciting about the Academy Awards. This is the pinnacle of what Hollywood stands for and who among us can say they have never imagined what it would be like to Be There? Recently I applied to be an extra along the red carpet for the Academy Awards and learned that my application was accepted. When I shared this good news many people asked how I made it happen and whether they could do it too.
Absolutely you can!
If attending the Academy Awards is on your bucket list and you just don't have an award winning film lying around or a friendly neighborhood A-lister in your contact list then the best way to be a part of the excitement is to be an extra to fill seats in the theatre or to fill the sidelines along the red carpet. Here is how you make that happen:
- First of all, here is how it works: The Academy Awards is a show that takes place on a stage at the Kodak Theatre in the heart of Hollywood. It is also a show that is taking place for the television cameras for the audience at home. This means that everyone in the audience at that theatre is also a performer and that the seats in the theatre need to stay filled even when the celebrities need to go to the bathroom or take a break. The show producers accomplish this by hiring seat fillers. And by "hiring" I mean "finding volunteers" because you won't be getting any money. The same goes for the fans alongside the red carpet (This is what I will be doing so the process might be different for actual seat fillers.)
- Becoming an extra is not difficult, but it does take a little work. First you will need to register with a website that does the casting. Seat fillers are usually cast through seatfiller.com or audiencesunlimited.com. Fans along the red carpet can be cast through 1iota.com (this is the one I went through). Registering is free and you can create a profile with demographic information so the event producers can figure out what kind of crowd they are putting together.
- Apply to be an extra for another event. Technically this step is probably optional, but it is good practice so you will know what to expect. No one wants to be the n00b at the Academy Awards. Think of it as a bonus item on your bucket list: seat filler at the Video Game Awards AND seat filler at the Academy Awards.
- Apply to be an extra for the Academy Awards. You aren't automatically in the running just because you registered with the website- you have to put your hat in the ring to be considered for the Academy Awards. If you are applying to be a fan along the red carpet this involves writing a short essay, submitting photos of yourself, and submitting to a criminal background check. They are looking for attractive people who are low maintenance and high enthusiasm.
- Attractive means well dressed and not distracting- you're not going to "pull focus" away from the celebrities. Low maintenance means you'll stand quietly for long periods of time, go where you are told, and not complain or disrupt the production (that includes not trying to chat with the celebrities). High enthusiasm means that even after standing quietly and being herded around like cattle you can still smile, clap, and cheer when the cameras roll.
- Hit the submit button and wait. If you are going through 1iota.com your profile will say that you are "Wait listed".
- If you are being considered they will send you the paperwork for the criminal background check that you will need to fill out and send back. You'll also need to provide a face shot to go on your credentials if they accept you.
- If they select you then you should receive an email saying that your information has been sent to the security people to be turned into aforementioned credentials. This is the time to let them know if you are NOT able to attend for some reason.
- Hooray! Attend the Academy Awards and see some stars!
Since I haven't actually participated in the Academy Awards as an extra (yet) I will have to follow up with what to expect at the actual event in the next update. Stay tuned!