Finding casting agencies in Montreal that recruit movie extras isn't exactly rocket science. A few searches on Google and 20 minutes of time should be enough to get anyone started. But even that simple step can be daunting to a newbie who knows squat about the business. So I asked Noelle Hannibal, a Hollywood veteran who relocated to Montreal, which local casting agencies she'd recommend as a starting point for someone serious about nabbing movie extra work in town. The three agencies listed below were top of mind, all cross-referenced as legit and professional. I also added in resource #1, a great starting point for anyone serious about the biz.
I also sat down with the seasoned actress and stage performer to find out what background performer hopefuls should expect on set, what impact movie extra work can have on an acting career and what potential scams and red flags should be heeded. Read the interview.
ACTRA is the acronym for the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists. It's the labour union in charge of English language performers in Canada so you can be sure that if a production is shooting in Montreal, ACTRA is in the loop. Check their What's Shooting web page
for an instant bird's eye view of who is shooting, who is responsible for casting and when it all goes down. If you're ever confused by what an extra casting agency is requiring from you or are worried that something shifty is afoot, don't be shy to contact ACTRA and ask for a second opinion.
One of Montreal's best known casting agencies, Elite Casting has been around since 1983 and casts principal roles as well as extras.
“Figuration Julie Breton inc., established in Montreal in 1999, specializes in the casting of extras for Canadian and international films and television series being produced in Quebec.” Figuration Julie Breton requires a $15 registration fee.
By the way, "figurant" is the French word for background performer.
Kenyon Wells Casting doesn't specialize in movie extra casting per se, focusing more on principal roles for independent as well as big budget productions, but its team certainly has the pulse on filming opportunities in Montreal and might be able to steer a background performer in the right direction.