The Life of a Background Artist (Extra)

by hokutobill | created - 05 May 2012 | updated - 3 months ago | Public

In the late 80's and Early 90's I was an extra: Back Ground Artist for many films, TV Shows and commercials. It is a world many would like to get in to and as I was going down memory lane, I wanted to remember all of work I did. It is very exciting but also can be very boring at the same time since you are on set may be for only a very short time and until they need you, you may be waiting all day. It is a great job for students, models, out of work actors, and housewives. Now this is not a complete list. It is hard to remember all of them since I did so many. Also some were just pilots that never made it to TV and some names of shows changed names.

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1. The Running Man (1987)

R | 101 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

45 Metascore

In a dystopian America, a falsely convicted policeman gets his shot at freedom when he must forcibly participate in a TV game show where convicts, runners, must battle killers for their freedom.

Director: Paul Michael Glaser | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Conchita Alonso, Yaphet Kotto, Jim Brown

Votes: 141,104 | Gross: $38.12M

It was a trill to be on my first film set with Arnold Schwarzenegger!!

2. Blind Date (1987)

PG-13 | 95 min | Comedy, Romance

49 Metascore

A workaholic needs a date for a dinner with new important clientele, but who his brother sets him up with could lead to disaster.

Director: Blake Edwards | Stars: Kim Basinger, Bruce Willis, John Larroquette, William Daniels

Votes: 20,755 | Gross: $39.32M

Bruce Willis was on the rise after doing Moonlighting and this was a fun film to work on. Kim was very sweet too.

3. No Man's Land (1987)

R | 106 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

52 Metascore

A rookie cop goes undercover and infiltrates a car thief ring.

Director: Peter Werner | Stars: Charlie Sheen, D.B. Sweeney, Lara Harris, Randy Quaid

Votes: 4,240 | Gross: $2.88M

This was one of the best films I ever worked on. I can actually be seen in this one and Charlie Sheen is a class act! The whole cast and crew were just wonderful.

4. Spontaneous Combustion (1990)

R | 97 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A young man finds out that his parents had been used in an atomic-weapons experiment shortly before he was born, and that the results have had some unexpected effects on him.

Director: Tobe Hooper | Stars: Brad Dourif, Cynthia Bain, Jon Cypher, William Prince

Votes: 2,314

5. One Man Force (1989)

R | 92 min | Action, Crime, Drama

In this action packed film, an L.A. cop speeds off to get revenge upon the dirty drug-dealing dogs who killed his partner

Director: Dale Trevillion | Stars: John Matuszak, Ronny Cox, Charles Napier, Sharon Farrell

Votes: 199

I was treated like royalty in this one. Got my first and only trailer!! I was a thug who was running after "Tooz" in the apartment complex. So much fun and what a great person Mr.John Matuszak was. He unfortunately passed away the same year the film was released.

6. Babylon 5 (1993–1998)
Episode: The Gathering (1993)

Unrated | 89 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

The opening of a crucial space station is put in jeopardy when the commanding officer is accused of the attempted murder of a diplomat.

Director: Richard Compton | Stars: Michael O'Hare, Tamlyn Tomita, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan

Votes: 8,792

This actually was the pilot episode for the TV Show. I remember somebody recognizing me asked, it was so far in the future, why would you be wearing glasses(since I do wear glasses). It was a good point!

7. Fathers' Day (1997)

PG-13 | 98 min | Comedy, Romance

43 Metascore

A woman cons two old boyfriends into searching for her runaway son by convincing both that they are the boy's father.

Director: Ivan Reitman | Stars: Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Nastassja Kinski

Votes: 14,744 | Gross: $28.66M

Now meeting Robin Williams was a highlight! He is so cool and treats everyone like you have know each other for years. Also he was so funny and always "on"! Great Person.

8. Sprung (1997)

R | 105 min | Comedy, Romance

Two pairs of best friends - Montel & Clyde and Brandy & Adina meet at the party, where Clyde makes Adina think he is very rich and gets her into bed the same evening. When Adina finds out ... See full summary »

Director: Rusty Cundieff | Stars: Tisha Campbell-Martin, Rusty Cundieff, Paula Jai Parker, Joe Torry

Votes: 1,004 | Gross: $7.55M

9. Queens Logic (1991)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Drama

A group of lifelong friends meet again in Queens for Ray's bachelor party and wedding.

Director: Steve Rash | Stars: Kevin Bacon, Linda Fiorentino, John Malkovich, Joe Mantegna

Votes: 1,463 | Gross: $0.61M

Yes I can even be in Six Degrees of Bacon!

10. Hunter (I) (1984–1991)

TV-PG | 48 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Rick Hunter is a renegade cop who bends the rules and takes justice into his own hands. Partnered with the equally stunning and rebellious Sgt. McCall, the tough-minded duo set out to crack down on L.A.'s slimiest criminals.

Stars: Fred Dryer, Stepfanie Kramer, Charles Hallahan, Perry Cook

Votes: 3,852

Oh this was a great set and fun show. I was on as an extra and then my classic car was also featured and I got to be a stunt driver!! So cool.

11. Moonlighting (1985–1989)

TV-PG | 60 min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery

The quirky cases of a former model and a smart aleck detective who manage a private detective agency.

Stars: Cybill Shepherd, Bruce Willis, Allyce Beasley, Curtis Armstrong

Votes: 18,117

Yes I got on this show many times! Cybil nice and Bruce is a... well lets just say he is nice "on screen".

12. Cagney & Lacey (1981–1988)

TV-PG | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Two female police detectives cooperate with each other both in their professions and in their personal lives.

Stars: Tyne Daly, Sharon Gless, Al Waxman, Martin Kove

Votes: 3,365

I guess I was on in the last season of this show. They put me in a jail cell!! Ha,ha.

14. Murder One (1995–1997)

TV-14 | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Theodore Hoffman is a prominent defense attorney in a prestigious Los Angeles law firm. After successfully defending the wealthy but suspicious Richard Cross in a lurid murder trial, he is ... See full summary »

Stars: Mary McCormack, Michael Hayden, J.C. MacKenzie, Barbara Bosson

Votes: 1,995

15. Sonny Spoon (1988– )

60 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

A slick, street-smart private eye and top disguise artist solves various crimes with a little help from his friends and also takes care of his dad, a bar owner.

Stars: Mario Van Peebles, Terry Donahoe, Bob Wieland, Melvin Van Peebles

Votes: 83

16. ER (1994–2009)

TV-14 | 44 min | Drama, Romance

The lives, loves and losses of the doctors and nurses of Chicago's County General Hospital.

Stars: Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Julianna Margulies, Eriq La Salle

Votes: 50,415

Okay, now this was a great day. I was just a regular patient but then they needed to retake a scene and the principle actor was already wrapped(finished) for the day so they asked me to stand in!! So I got to work with George Clooney!! I know you ladies are envious! Also, I got to work with Kristen Dunst(after Interview with a Vampire and before Spiderman fame). This was Season 3 ending episode!

17. Colors (1988)

R | 120 min | Action, Crime, Drama

66 Metascore

An experienced cop and his rookie partner patrol the streets of East Los Angeles while trying to keep the gang violence under control.

Director: Dennis Hopper | Stars: Sean Penn, Robert Duvall, Maria Conchita Alonso, Randy Brooks

Votes: 24,138 | Gross: $46.62M

Gang Wars between Bloods and Crips. I was a Crip in the film. The scene was at the Pier in Santa Monica.

18. Melrose Place (1992–1999)

TV-14 | 60 min | Drama, Romance

Classic serial drama around a group of friends living in Melrose Place, California.

Stars: Heather Locklear, Andrew Shue, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Thomas Calabro

Votes: 11,024

19. NYPD Blue (1993–2005)

TV-14 | 45 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Detectives from NYPD's 15th Precinct investigate homicides within their precinct.

Stars: Dennis Franz, Jimmy Smits, Gordon Clapp, James McDaniel

Votes: 11,751

20. The Sandlot (1993)

PG | 101 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

55 Metascore

In the summer of 1962, a new kid in town is taken under the wing of a young baseball prodigy and his rowdy team, resulting in many adventures.

Director: David Mickey Evans | Stars: Tom Guiry, Mike Vitar, Art LaFleur, Patrick Renna

Votes: 78,856 | Gross: $32.42M

Yeah seeing and playing in Dodger Stadium with no crowd and cool.

21. In the Line of Fire (1993)

R | 128 min | Action, Crime, Drama

74 Metascore

Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan (Clint Eastwood) couldn't save Kennedy, but he's determined not to let a clever assassin take out this president.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen | Stars: Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, Rene Russo, Dylan McDermott

Votes: 92,293 | Gross: $102.31M

The first movie to use a "360 degree" angle camera shot. It has been copied many times since.

22. Party of Five (1994–2000)

TV-PG | 60 min | Drama, Family

5 siblings raise each other following their parents' untimely deaths.

Stars: Matthew Fox, Scott Wolf, Neve Campbell, Lacey Chabert

Votes: 9,357

I loved JLH!!

23. Thirtysomething (1987–1991)

TV-14 | 60 min | Drama, Romance

Seven thirtysomethings living in Philadelphia struggle with everyday adult angst.

Stars: Timothy Busfield, Polly Draper, Mel Harris, Peter Horton

Votes: 2,191

I was on this show a couple of times. They even used my car once.

24. Werewolf (1987–1988)

30 min | Horror, Thriller

Young Eric has been bitten by a werewolf. However, he's not particularly thrilled by this turn of affairs and wishes to escape his curse. To do so, he must find and kill the founder of his ... See full summary »

Stars: John J. York, Lance LeGault, Chuck Connors, Brian Thompson

Votes: 783

This was a fun shoot. Way out in Cal State Northridge.

25. Split Decisions (1988)

R | 95 min | Action, Drama, Sport

When a boxer is killed because he wouldn't take a dive, his brother tries to find a way to avenge him even if only symbolically.

Director: David Drury | Stars: Gene Hackman, Craig Sheffer, Jeff Fahey, John McLiam

Votes: 847 | Gross: $0.70M

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