Getting in front of the camera
Here's your chance

Michele LeTourneau
Northern News Services

NNSL (Aug 06/99) - Forget star-gazing! This is your chance to get your face on national television!

Alberta Filmworks' latest North of 60 television movie, based on the popular television series, is coming to town and they need you.

Trial by Fire: A North of 60 Mystery will be casting 65 to 70 locals as extras in this latest production.

"They'll be doing three days of shoots in Yellowknife," says Yellowknifer Ben Nind, who has taken on the job of casting local extras.

"Aug. 31, Sept. 1 and Sept. 2, we're looking at using 83 extras during those three days,. Some of those people will be doubled up. So we are looking for approximately 65 to 70 people."

They're looking for men and women, children ages six and up.

"Just to give you some of the roles," begins Nind.

"Businessmen, cabbies, co-pilot, a dad, a maintenance guy, scummy bar patrons. We're looking for members of the legislative assembly. We are also looking for RCMP officers and we're looking for a whole raft of school kids, a couple of fishermen. Those are the kind of roles we're going to be filling."

The film company is looking for a general mix of people reflective of the North. Auditions per se won't be necessary.

"We're going to gather everybody up -- hopefully everybody comes -- for a screening on Thursday August the 12th. Next week. Seven o'clock till nine at the Yellowknife Public Library, Library Meeting Room B."

A polaroid photo will be taken of those interested, a form will have to be filled out with particulars: name, address and social insurance number.

"Because each person will be paid. Usually for an extra, it's six bucks an hour, but I said I don't think so. So, anyway, eight bucks an hour for extras," says extras' advocate Nind.

"So I fought hard for you guys," Nind laughs.

The hope is that by next week there will be a rough schedule of when specific extras will be needed.

"Most people won't be needed all of those days."

For those of you who have never acted for film, take note that experience is not necessary. But also take note that shooting can be a very arduous affair time-wise. It's a lot of hurry-up-and-wait -- but that's when you can gawk at the stars. The mainstays of the series -- Tina Keeper, Tom Jackson, Peter Kelly Gaudrault and Tracey Cook -- will all be there.

"I'm on instruction to say that once you know generally where you'll be, book that entire day off," adds Nind.

For those of you who don't feel up to the experience, but are still interested in the process, I've decided to try my hand at this extra business, then write about it. So you won't miss a thing.