top of page
  • Writer's pictureSylvie Stoneova

Are extras underpaid?

Extras are essential for casting agencies as they complete the authenticity of any production projects, therefore it is necessary to provide them with equal and favorable working conditions including monetary rewards.

The working conditions of background actors or extras have always been a popular topic to discuss in the casting world, one of the most tapped topics is their salaries and pay. What is the motivation of people to work as an extra and is money the decisive factor?


  • As for the motivation of background actors for starting this work, only 10% of the panel were involved in shooting because of the extra income itself. Most of them were curious about the film industry and wanted to have an enjoyable experience. Yet, the majority (more than 70%) decide to take the job based on the fee/payment. The implications of these results are clear: As a casting agency, if you want to attract more extras to your project, give them better pay.

  • Another interesting finding pointed out that half of the questioned extras do not want to start the project unless they are paid for a costume rehearsal.

  • When it comes to changing their look for the shooting, then for an extra charge! 70% of extras will change their visage only for an additional fee.

  • Over 40% of extras think that extras are underpaid in general. Working as an extra isn’t considered to be a stable job and if doing it for monetary reasons, people tend to have it rather as a source of an extra income. If background actors feel like they are undervalued and underpaid, this could indicate possible unequal general working conditions for extras on set.


In order to understand the working environment of background actors and shortcomings they are facing on set, Castinghood, in cooperation with the ROLETIK app, has conducted a survey among extras and stand-ins mainly from Czechia and Slovakia. The questionnaire has collected over 220 responses from people of all age ranges and regions and unveiled valuable results for casting management.

Has this survey helped you? Let us know in the comments!

bottom of page