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Strictly Background

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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(Aug 05, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

For decades, film and television audiences have watched their favorite stars with little thought or concern for the people standing behind them. All of that is about to change as Strictly Background explores the charm and determination of some of Hollywoo

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Terry Bolo, Geoffrey Gould, Cecilia Hartfeld, Louis McCarten, Jay Michaels
  • Directors: Jason Connell
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Connell Creations
  • DVD Release Date: August 5, 2008
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001BMN4LI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #200,854 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Strictly Background" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"Strictly Background" takes us inside the life of a movie extra by following around ten background actors as they engage in their daily hustle to get onto a movie/television set and furthermore get as close to the camera as they can for that shot of grabbing a little slice of fame. It's a living.

The first half of the film is pretty light and funny as we get acquainted with the ten actors. Through interviews they tell stories and paint a fairly upbeat picture of background acting life. We also get to see them work their stuff out on the field as they hustle up that next gig. One major interesting thing this doc does is that it will show clips of films that these people have been in, knocking out all of the color in the picture, except for the background actor, so you can spot them. Sometimes they're front and center right next to the leading actor and sometimes they're way off in the back, but the filmmaker has done an amazing job at making sure that they're not missed no matter how fleeting the screen time. That did a lot to make me appreciate these people more. Seeing where some of them wind up on screen, you can start to understand why they go through the hastle they do for such little pay.

But while this first half stands as shining encouragement for people considering extra work to get out there and do it, most of the remaining half focuses on the downside. We witness rejection and hear about long gaps in employment. The mood is brought down significantly as the reality of bills and rent and self-doubt throw a monkey wrench into the works. At the beginning of the film we're told that most people who start extra work don't stick with it for very long. Now we start to see why. It takes a lot of work to be an extra and it also takes a lot of determination and patience.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Interesting in its own right, the DVD is more about the lives of several people whose lives are all about being movie extras. I would have preferred more details on the nuts and bolts and behind the scenes details of being a background player, but still liked this DVD, nonetheless.
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Format: DVD
This is a documentary, revolving around 12 individuals, about all the countless actors/actresses that are used in the film industry who do not have a speaking part, but are crucial for crowd scenes. You can sympathize with their tenacity and their elation whenever they do make it into a film; unfortunately, the fact of the matter is that they are a dime a dozen, so they seldom work steadily, unless they are in their teens/early twenties. It is an eye-opener for anyone thinking about joining the acting profession: good luck to you, the odds are stacked against you.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Since watching this movie I've found myself watching the extras in films more often. That's because this movie does such a great job of introducing and familiarizing you with movie extras. You meet several extras and get a peek into their lives. You get to watch clips that they've appeared in where they are highlighted on screen. It's pretty interesting stuff. Extremely well put together so big kudos to new up and coming director/editor Brian Storkel, who did a great job putting this film together. A must see.
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