Extras’ fury after hundreds dropped from Everybody’s Talking About Jamie film
Hundreds of extras working on Everybody’s Talking About Jamie - the film about a teenage Sheffield drag queen - have been dropped for a key scene in favour of unpaid members of the public just days before it was due to be shot.
A whistleblower who spoke to the Star on condition of anonymity said around 600 extras had been booked for the street party scene at the end of the movie - the filming for which is due to take place on August 23.
However, just days after they had been assured they were still needed for the scene, extras’ agency Piece of Cake said they were no longer required and the roles would be filled by up to 6,000 unpaid people invited to a ‘party’ by the production company.
The whistleblower said many of the extras had already turned down other work on other film and TV projects, leaving them out of pocket through no fault of their own.
They said: “We are in such a vulnerable position. We can’t speak out because we know we will never work again.
“We can groan on the extras websites but some of us rely on this for a full time job. When you are ‘pencilled in’ for a production that means you can’t take any other paid work.”
The whistleblower said extras in the film and TV industry were already struggling to make ends meet, with many of the daily rates not reaching national minimum wage once deductions like commission had been taken out.
Alexandra Pickford from Piece of Cake said: “As an agency we take instruction and direction from the production company.
“However in our experience it is not unusual for a film to either decrease or increase filming numbers. We have known scenes to be cut and new scenes to be added last minute. We can only be reactive and responsive to our clients’ requirements.
“Being an actor or a supporting artiste can be a rollercoaster of highs and lows. However we would always prefer to have all our talented and wonderful artistes constantly working every day, if we could.”
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is a film version of a musical of the same name which premiered at the Crucible Theatre in 2017.
Filming has been taking place around Sheffield this summer, with the street party scene due to be shot on Deerlands Avenue in Parson Cross next Friday.