How to Prepare for Your First Day on Set

AUGUST 27, 2018
Being an extra for the first time means choosing your own wardrobe

Being an extra for the first time is exciting, but it can also be a little daunting if you’ve never been on a movie or TV set before. Here are some ways to prepare to make your first time on set a success.

Be clear on your details

After you’re booked on a project, the Casting Director will likely send your details to you in the form of a Details Blog, via our Details page. These details will include all the information you need for set, including your call time, call location, wardrobe instructions, category types, etc. It’s extremely important to read this information thoroughly so you’re prepared when it’s time to head to set.

Know where and when you’re going

Your details will include a Call Time Change Box number, which will be updated with any changes. Call times can, and often do change, so it’s important to write this number down and call it often. We recommend checking the Call Time Change Box before you go to bed, when you wake up in the morning, and before you leave for set. Don’t forget to factor in time for traffic, public transit schedules, and other delays that could make you late.

Productions shoot at a variety of studio lots and locations, so make sure you’re clear on where you’re working. Many studios provide maps online that can help you find the gate, parking structure, and check-in location you’re supposed to report to. Reviewing this information before you leave can help so you’re not delayed getting to set.

Prepare your wardrobe

Being an extra for the first time probably means you haven’t had to put together camera ready wardrobe before. It’s ok, we’re here to help. As with anything, always start with your details. They will include your category type and any wardrobe information from production. Sometimes these notes will be very detailed so you can emulate a specific look and other times there may be more leeway to inject your own personal style.

If you need a little guidance or some inspiration for your looks, read through our wardrobe guides:

Come prepared

Movie and TV sets can seem like a whole other world and knowing what to expect can help your first day go smoothly. When you’re not filming, you’ll be taken to Holding; you can bring snacks and entertainment with you to Holding, just make sure you’re respectful of those around you and you bring your own battery pack for any electronics. Remember, Central Casting is not responsible for anything you bring to set that may be lost or stolen. Be mindful of items you bring with you.

Being prepared means more than just bringing the right stuff. It’s always good to know who you’re working with and who does what on set. Knowing who works with background lets you know whom to look for direction and who you can go to with any questions.


If your minor is booked on a production, they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is not working on the production. The guardian will accompany the minor everywhere they go, from wardrobe, to school, to holding. Even during filming, the guardian will be on set, somewhere behind the scenes, but always within eyesight of the child. In addition to the points listed above, there are ways for you to help your minor be successful. Check out our guide on What to Do When Your Minor Books a Job.

Now that you’re ready for your first day on set, find out how to get back to set by standing out to Casting Directors and knowing what submitting mistakes to avoid.

How are you going to prepare for your first day on set?

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By Meghan Dubitsky

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