Extra

Great short film following Socorro, a 60-year-old man who, after losing his business in the 2008 financial collapse, became an extra.

What’s great about Extra, is seeing the seer joy and passion Socorro has for film. His dedication and enthusiasm is set alongside an explicit call for more recognition and appreciation for the work of extras. Extras have sometimes been pejoratively referred to as “props that eat”. Socorro rejects this, extras are simply actors without lines. They give performances just the same as everyone else. Their contribution helps to flesh out the world of the film, and give atmosphere and tone.

Perhaps like many extras, Socorro wants to develop his career as an actor eventually, but for right now, he feels like he is learning a wealth of skill from having to play parts to their fullest without speaking lines. As someone without a formal acting education, he feels he is learning his trade on the job, in his body, expression and gestures.

Socorro also joins other extras in campaigning for a basic minimum wage, something I was surprised they didn’t have. Then again, why should I ever be surprised at constant backdoor routes of exploitation? He also attends the Mutes, an award show recognising the work of extras. He is proud of what he brings to the table.

This film is so much fun, watching a guy finally follow his dream, and to see him express such passion for cinema. Loved it.