Last time, Film School Friday taught loyal readers how to make an awesome sequel. Hopefully, the makers of the ‘critically lauded’ movie Zombeavers will have read the article and will be implementing my advice at every step while they begin work on the inevitable sequel. I’m pretty sure zombie beavers are going to be huge this year, so I’ll just wait by my front door, staring longingly at my letterbox for the cheque which will be on it’s way in no time at all…
Once I receive my cheque, I’m sure I’ll no longer have to work full-time, so goodbye teaching and hello to a life of endless chicken binging and netflix marathons… Living the dream right? Obviously yes, but even that could get boring eventually, so I may work part-time occasionally, just to distract myself from the copious amounts of chicken lining my stomach.
So what part-time job requires zero talent and effort, but still sounds pretty awesome if you’re a movie fan? I’ve got it! Get ready to practice your smize, wave those arms around and generally be an attention seeking asshole as you read on for today’s lesson.
Lesson #28 – How To Become A Scene Stealing Extra
The life of an extra can be a beautiful thing. Finally, you’re up there on the big screen, but you don’t have to memorize reams of dialogue and the paparazzi are too busy with the ‘talent’ to bother you. Saying that though, you won’t get anywhere if you just fade into the background like you’re supposed to. The key to infamy is to slyly steal a scene from the lead, so you become a viral internet star and here’s how you do it.
What do you do if you want be forever remembered in a film, but have zero dialogue and only a few short seconds to take your moment to shine? One boy in Back To The Future III thought it would be a good idea to point at his groin in what many consider one of the creepiest moments ever committed to celluloid. The official explanation is that the kid was actually signalling that his bladder was full and so needed to go to the toilet, but we know better than that… SCENE-STEALER!
Think that’s impressive? At the end of the 1980’s movie Teen Wolf, when Michael J Fox is kissing his girlfriends on the bleachers, eagle-eyed movie lovers have spotted someone standing near the loving couple who appears to be flashing their junk for no apparent reason. Many assumed the flasher was a man at the time, because, you know, men are gross, but actually, a wide-screen version of the film revealed that this attention seeking extra is in fact a woman. While no naked flesh is on display, it seems strange that no one told this woman that her trousers were zipped ALL the way down and it’s even stranger that she herself didn’t even notice, unless of course she’s a deliberate SCENE-STEALER! Or maybe she just has a really bad case of muffin top. Either way, that girl got her moment of fame, so good on her I say!
Ham It Up
The lead actors and actresses of any film will always try their hardest to deliver convincing and heartfelt scenes, unless of course said film is part of the Twilight franchise, so how can us extras compete with that? Just do the exact opposite. By hamming up our tiny moments and occasional throw away line, we will forever be immortalized on film. Just ask the infamous stormtrooper who banged his head on the door in Star Wars: A New Hope. You can’t tell me that was an accident… SCENE-STEALER! And what about this guy in Jaws? God knows how Spielberg let this one slide, but good on you random civilian!
Finally, if you really want to be remembered as a scene stealing extra, there’s nothing movie lovers hate more than spoilers, so once you know the general direction of your scene, feel free to give away as much of the plot as you can physically get away with! In Star Trek: Generations, right after the heroes defeat the Klingons, one extra does a little fist pump in the air seconds before Data does his own victory move. Once audiences notice you ruin something like that, that’s all they’ll ever see from that moment on. You’re forever etched in their memory, immortalized like a god. A GOD I TELL YOU! MUHAHAHAHA…
Anyway, if you work really hard to spoil a scene for the movie loving fans, you may even one day be as awesome as this kid from North by Northwest. No, not the one at the back. The one with the giant red circle around his head. So what did this extra do that was so impressive? Well, if you look closely, you may notice that the boy has put his fingers in his ears, but oh look! The gun hasn’t even been fired yet! Little bastard. They say never work with children, but I think that’s fine as long as they’re not hellbent on become SCENE STEALERS! You’ve got to give props to the little terror though. Either, he was so sneaky that Hitchcock didn’t notice him while in the editing suite or maybe the famous director was so impressed that he chose to keep the boy in there as a homage to all the awesome scene stealing extras everywhere. Good work little kid. We salute you!
So there you have it guys. Bored of working as a doctor or something lame like that? Become a scene stealing extra. You’ll probably have a lot of time on your hands though, so make sure you come back in two weeks for the next edition of Film School Friday. It’s a date!