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Watch My Work as an Extra

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    Riley Chow
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    #1204171381

    As I allude to here and there, I am an extra for film and television shoots around Vancouver.  I started this at the same time that I started writing for Gold Derby eight years and finally compiled a supercut out of some of my appearances.  This is all of my work that aired in 2020: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QPbr_IJs7o

    0:00​ — Riverdale season 4 (CW)
    0:12​ — Altered Carbon season 2 (Netflix)
    0:30​ — Christmas in Evergreen movie 4 (Hallmark)
    0:50​ — Snowpiercer season 1 (TNT)
    1:01​ — Gabby Duran & the Unsittables season 1 (Disney)
    1:41​ — The Main Event movie (Netflix)
    2:07​Charmed season 2 (CW)
    2:35​ — Batwoman season 1 (CW)
    2:55​ — Legends of Tomorrow season 5 (CW)
    4:21​Chilling Adventures of Sabrina part 4 (Netflix)
    6:17​ — The Order season 2 (Netflix)
    7:58​ — Virgin River season 2 (Netflix)

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    Eden
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    #1204171421

    That’s impressive! I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t seen any of those programs. One question, though. Which actor on set gave the best impression?

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    marcus_emn
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    #1204171553

    I remember watching that Legends of Tomorrow finale and thinking “Wait I know this blonde guy from somewhere” lol. This is truly amazing, congrats Riley!

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    Riley Chow
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    #1204173067

    I haven’t seen any of those programs.

    Vancouver has about forty things shooting at any time, but I find that we do not get the good stuff.  After eight years, I have appeared in only one Emmy-winning show (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist) and only two other Golden Globe nominees (The Good Doctor and The Edge of Seventeen).  We have most of the CW shows and Hallmark movies.  I have been in several Nickelodeon movies. It is frustrating when we get acclaimed moves like Deadpool and Wonder or shows that I actually enjoy like Bates Motel and Bly Manor and I do not get booked on them.

    Which actor on set gave the best impression?

    I found Ben Stiller quite nice on the the third Night at the Museum and I enjoyed watching his collaboration with the director, which I credit to him being a director himself.  I was most impressed watching Alexander Skarsgård on The Stand, which just aired.  He recited long monologues without a hitch.  He just always knew his lines and delivered them perfectly.  It is simply how things should be, but that is not the case of course.  My favourite director as an extra would be Giancarlo Esposito because he was personable and talked to us himself instead of just delegating everything related to us to his assistant directors.  (He directed a movie here a few years ago.)

    Like Skarsgård, the director who impressed me the most with his professionalism was Barry Sonnenfeld on Schmigadoon!, which is a musical series that will be out this summer on Apple.  What impressed me was that we always broke early for lunch on that show.  This sounds like nothing, but it is unheard of.  On every other production, we either break on time or late; the latter wastes thousands of dollars each day because they have to pay the crew penalties.  There is no reason for it, but I see it all the time.  Instead of trying to squeeze something in before the break and failing and spending money that you are not supposed to have, you could just, well, not do that.

    Another director that stood out is Richard J. Lewis, who is a producing director on Westworld and previously held that position on Person of Interest and CSI and also directed Barney’s Version.  But I need to set up why he stood out.  We talk a lot about single-camera versus multi-camera in this forum and in the discourse about television, but the truth is that most things are shot with multiple cameras running simultaneously—not all the time, but a lot of the time.  I have come to see that “single-camera” is a misnomer that refers more to the style.

    Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is an exception.  I worked on most episodes this season and they actually do shoot with a single handheld camera most of the time.  (With that handheld aesthetic, they cannot really shoot with multiple cameras because the cameraman would be in the shot of the other cameras.)  Then Lewis comes in as a guest director toward the end of the season and there are suddenly cranes and dolly tracks everywhere and there are always three cameras running at once.  It was like I was suddenly working on some big-budget blockbuster.  And then it was back to the in-house director for the finale and things were back to normal.  Lewis’s work has not aired yet, but I am curious to see how different it looks and moves (if at all).

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    Melvinezq
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    #1204173078

    I assume that you don’t have a SAG card. Will you “upgrade” to have a speaking role somewhere in the future or will this be just a part-time job for you?

    Riley, the way you commit yourself in every project delights my day. Btw, is Skylar Astin that good-looking (like he seems like in every picture)?

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    Riley Chow
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    #1204173080

    Astin looks like that. I only ever see him under makeup though. No SAG card. I would need a different agent to go after speaking parts and I would have to do a bunch of things before that, but ugh, I have been doing this part-time for eight years, so I really should. Thanks for indulging me.

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