Five hundred students and their parents lined up at Schenectady High School this morning to serve as extras in the movie “The Place Beyond The Pines.”
For days, cast members have been trying to get students to sign up through their school websites, in hopes of having enough extras Thursday for a day’s worth of filming at the high school. They needed to fill the gym, the cafeteria, and the hallways.
Word spread far beyond the official school sites.
“Everyone was, like, talking. It was all over Facebook,” said Morgan Ruggiro, 15, from Scotia-Glenville.
Jordan Rutherford, 15, from Niskayuna, found out when he emailed the casting director himself, hoping for a job as an extra.
His mother, Joan Rutherford, told him to take any role they offered.
“I think it’s a once-in-a-lifetime,” she said. “I told him that.”
He decided that a day spent sitting in a hot auditorium, interspersed by brief moments of pretending to be a student, was worth the experience.
Others are hoping this isn’t a one-time event.
Tyus Hadcock, 15, of Burnt Hills, is in his school’s drama club and hopes to spend more time in front of a camera. He figured that being an extra would help.
“It’s really good experience,” he said. “There’s huge stars in it. And it’s just cool to be able to say you’re in a movie.”
Everyone was instructed to bring several changes of clothes, a bookbag for hall scenes, and a lunch bag for the cafeteria scene. Many students took those instructions further, researching the coolest fads from 1994 and putting together a wardrobe to fit the movie’s time period.
“We looked at what they wore back then,” said Catherine Lucas of Schenectady, who was a newborn in 1994. “Cut-off shirts, skinny jeans, graphic tees.”
It turns out it’s not hard to find those today. She picked up new clothes at Wal-Mart.
After having waited two hours for her moment in the background, she was still excited. This, she said, will be the "perfect start" to her senior year.
“I just want to get out of my comfort zone and do something different,” she said. “I don’t do exciting stuff.”