The Day in a Bollywood Movie Set as an Extra

Mumbai to me was just like any other big cities I traveled in this South Asian country, until one day in Colaba district I met someone who asked me to be an extra in a movie.

What happened was not exactly a special occurrence. Casting agents often roam the streets of Mumbai looking for foreigners to work as extras in Bollywood films. So skip to the next evening, me and a bunch of other guys were in a bus heading to the shooting location, a function hall in a five star hotel turned into a movie set.

A Backup Dancing Team Member

We’re shooting for “ABCD 2” and hip hop dancing competition was the main theme of the movie. There I was given a white jumper with the Italian flag logo on it and some directions about what to do and what not. My role was some sort of a dancing team member and as an extra basically I just have to be somewhere in the background and act normal according to the scene we were in. And by act normal, to make a circle with other guys in the same team and do some light exercise and stretching as is we’re waiting for our turn to perform our dance, to cheer and applaud when the main actors perform, something like that.

Bollywood Movie Set
A corner in the movie set

It was a very long night and I only got an extra $10 in my pocket but to be involved firsthand in the process of making a movie from behind the scene, the experience was truly rewarding. And being in the same movie set with Shraddha Kapoor felt almost surreal as just a couple of month ago I watched her in Haider.

I felt lucky that I got to talk with some aspiring local Indian actors and got some inside look of the industry which is an integral part of modern Indian culture. Also I experienced it myself that making a real movie is a very slow process that involved so many takes and so many people. There were even some guys who’s job was just to hold on cables and follow the cameraman & lightman on the set. Everyone’s so focused and all seemed know what they’re doing.

Bollywood Movie Set
Do I look Italian? Haha

Well I did it. Would you do it if you had the chance to do it?

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