How to be an Extra on Hawai’i 5-0

How to be an Extra on Hawai’i 5-0

hawaii 50 film set 6

If you are new to O’ahu, and looking for some extra cash, or looking for a way to meet new people, I highly recommend to try out as an extra for Hawaii 5-0! It’s a really cool experience where you get to meet all types of people and learn what it is like to be on a film set. If you live on island and into modeling or acting, this is a great opportunity for exposure and networking. Ohana Casting is in charge and they are always needing help all season or looking for new extras. Today was my 3rd time on set, Season 7, and this time around, I was playing a character I play very well, a beach goer! In honor of the fun time I had on set, I thought I would share the hook up on how to get in as an extra, and some advice on how to get some camera time!

1. Getting Started

When I first moved to island, I always heard about people being extras for Hawai’i 5-0, and knew right away that I had to try it out. I am from Orange County, California, so I always casually heard about people being extras in LA, and I always thought about trying it, but never went. Moving here by myself I thought why the heck not, I moved here to try new things, and I thought it would be a cool way to meet people. No one really informed me how to get into it, and I get asked about it all the time, so here is the easy way you get set up:

  1. Go online to register. Have a good photo of yourself ready, they prefer no extremely close selfies, no hats or sunglasses. They want the month and year it was taken as well. If you don’t have any pictures, just have a friend do a little photo shoot with you. They do prefer a head shot, but I would also take some full body shots on the beach, during the day, either morning time or close to sunset. Also wear bright colors, no black or gray, bright spunky colors that will help you stand out really well. This will be very helpful for future jobs on set, since they are always filming beach scenes, so make sure the pictures look your best!
  2. You have to be 18 years or older to register online and a resident in Hawai’i. Any minors, they recommend to check their Facebook page for upcoming casting calls.
  3. Fill out all the information and attach photos, and this will be sent over to Ohana Casting for their review. Check your email daily, they will contact you via email, and the second step is going in for a “close up.”
  4. They will provide the information, but their studios are actually right next to Kapi’olani Community College, across from Diamond Head Hike. If you don’t have a car, you can take the 2 Bus towards Diamond Head, and this bus will drop you off right at the school. $2.50 to ride the bus make sure to have exact change!
  5. When you register, you will get to wait in the faster line. It won’t take that long, you pretty much just have to go in for casting for them to take a photo of your close up. Same thing, wear bright colors, no black or gray.
  6. Now you are in! They called me about a week later, and from what I have noticed, it is pretty easy to get a call back since they are always needing extras.


2. Getting a Call Back

They will call you about a couple days before they need you. If they leave you a voicemail, remember the name, and call back ASAP. Someone will ask if you are available and inform you of what they need you for. If it sounds cool go for it! You do have to be available that full day they need you to work. They might need you all morning through night, and no exact time of when you are done. Things are constantly changing on set, directors are always changing their mind, weather can suck, you have to do retakes ect. So make sure you are available that whole day.








3. Hell yeah now you are an Extra! Steps to Confirm

You could be asked to play all sorts of roles, I was a waitress, second time an insurance agent, and this time around a beach goer. When they call you, they will tell you what they need you to play. Once you confirm, you will get an email the day before you work with your call time, what you need to wear, and rules to follow on set. You can have your phone on you, just be careful of taking pictures or using social media. Just be sly about it! Don’t be obvious, and be respectful to the other actors. From what you can see I obviously took photos! But I wanted to be respectful and not take pictures of the actors. And definitely do not use your phone during filming, if someone catches you, you will be asked to leave. They take that very seriously as well as trying to talk to the actors. So when you get your email, call casting before 4pm to confirm your availability. Once you give your verbal confirmation, call after 9pm to confirm casting call for the following day, because the time can change. Casting will give you all the contact information that you need via email. Also, make sure to bring your passport or social security card along with your driver’s license to set. You only need to have this for your first job to fill out an I-9 form and show proof of identity.

4. Getting Prepared for your Role!

This time around I was a beach goer, and the swimwear options were swimsuits, bikinis, no Brazilians or thongs. This was very hard for me to find since I only own skimpy bathing suits! But the new Chase One Piece I got at Tavik Swimwear was perfect! And everyone on set absolutely loved my suit, especially wardrobe! The colors looked good on me, orange and blue, and it is still sexy and slim on the butt, as well as the cleavage. Wardrobe just gave me some sticky tape to help keep everything in place, in the cleavage area, and to help the bottom look less cheeky. That is why I recommend to bring a bag of clothes for whatever role you are going to play, so you have options for wardrobe to choose from. They will most likely have something for you on their end just in case, but definitely bring options. Any clothes or suits you bring, make sure no brands or logos on any clothing. Tattoos you might have to cover up with clothing or make up.

Chase One Piece @TavikSwimwear
Chase One Piece @TavikSwimwear

That is why as a beach goer, I prepared like I was going to the beach myself, bring a hat, beach bag (fill it with clothing, cover ups, and bathing suit options), sandals, SUNSCREEN A MUST, water, snacks, (they will provide food and water on set also), sunglasses, but you can’t wear them during filming. Also make sure to have your hair and make up ready, even if you do not wear makeup ladies, you have to put on makeup for work. I don’t like to wear that much makeup either, but I do put on face makeup and some eye makeup. You want to try to look your best being on camera trust me! Any props they need on the set, they will ask you to bring something you might have, like a surf board, cooler ect. If you have something, great because you get extra money! Make sure if you borrow anything from wardrobe or props, you return at the end of the shoot.

hawaii 50 gf5. Now Have Fun, Make Some Friends, and Get Seen on Camera!

Today I got to film at the Hilton Hawaiian Village which is literally down the street from my studio, so it was perfect! I did have to get up at 5am ugh since my call time was at 6am, but I got to see a beautiful sunrise on the lagoon. I always make time for a good sunset, but rarely get a chance for a good sunrise. I am a morning person, but waking up when it is still dark outside is not easy for me! So the sunrise was definitely worth the early wake up and then beautiful day on set.

hawaii 50 sunrise
Sunrise at the Hilton Hawaiian Village

And on set, you will be in a big group of people, so if you want camera time you got make an effort for it! They need people in the background, and they also need people casually walking around the actors. So, whenever casting asks for volunteers, RAISE YOUR HAND, make sure to stand out of the crowd somehow, MAKE YOUR PRESENCE KNOWN. Anyone that knows me, knows I am very good at that! Like today, when I was in a big crowd of people, I made sure to stand right in front of casting, slightly away from the group, and I got asked right away to walk around the actors playing volleyball and lay near them on the beach. Both times I was right in front of the camera. Each time I have this approach to stand out of a crowd, I always get camera time. You don’t need to be obnoxious about it! Just make somewhat of an effort. The first time I was an extra, I was even on the episode’s trailer! Had to walk right in front of the camera! So, making an effort definitely pays off.  If you are going to act shy, there is a possibility you might not get any camera time, or stuck in a crowd. But whatever you feel comfortable with, it is still a rad experience all around!

Hawai' 5-0 Episode Trailer
Hawai’ 5-0 Episode Trailer

Everyone on set is super friendly and really helpful, even if they have more experience than you. I always have fun on set! And you are constantly surrounded by people, so be open and introduce yourself to your fellow extras, and even the crew! It makes it that much more fun when you get asked for another job since you know people. I always see someone I know when I go back, and its good networking to get to know the crew. Because you might be in funny situations where you have to act like your dating a fellow extra, or pretend to talk to each other, but not actually speak to each other, because only the actors with speaking roles can talk. It just makes the whole situation more comfortable. If you have no experience, no worries, it is super easy to pick up, so don’t be intimidated! You will get instructions on what to do and not to do. That is why I recommend to have fun with it, and make conversations with people to help the time go by as well, since there is a lot of waiting around. Bring a good book also! Once the scene is a WRAP you are all done! You get paid $10 an hour normally, but more if you are doing anything active, like surfing, or bringing props ect. And you will get paid within that week or two weeks max. So make sure you have a current mailing address and have fun!

On Set Terms:

Rolling: Film is rolling, get ready

Background: Start your role, whatever your instructions are

Action: Start Acting!

Cut: Filming stopped

Wrap: Scene is finished






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Jen Bunce

Traveling Alone Often ➳Finding the Keys to Happiness ➳Chasing Enlightenment Around the World

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