As the cameras roll on Torah Live's newest production, "Live to Give," more and more people are called on to the set, as crew members, cast and extras.
Of course, we're all familiar with Cecil B. DeMille's movies with "a cast of thousands" and the dozens and even hundreds of extras needed in action films. What would a hero's welcome be without hundreds of people to greet him? Or an airport terminal without dozens of tourists milling around? Or a restaurant without diners, even if we don't hear their conversations or know what they ordered for dessert?
Later on in our Torah Live production of "Live to Give," we're planning two giant scenes (and maybe you will join us as an extra), but even smaller scenes use extras.
You may not notice that there are background actors on the screen, because their presence seems so natural, but you would surely feel that something is a bit dull or even strange without them. Extras provide realism and interest to the picture you see. They are like colors enhancing the background of a painting. A talented painter not only draws the main image. He adds the colors and elements that give the canvas more depth.
Most extras do not have lines or close-ups. Their presence doesn't affect the plot, but we need them to make a movie more authentic and interesting. Think of a garden with no flowers or trees or bushes. Is that a garden? That would be a pretty dull place.
Recently in our "Live to Give" Beis Midrash, we used extras to learn together while our main actors acted out their scene. The extras asked me, "Were we really needed? It didn't seem that we were on camera at all."
Well, here are some of the photos from that scene. You judge!
Thank you, extras. You help bring our scenes to life.