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David State on set in Redcar
Extra, Extra, Read all about it..
David State was chosen to be an extra for the film Atonement.
David State was an extra for Atonement which was filmed in Redcar. This is his diary explaining what it was like to re-live Dunkirk...
After being told about a movie that was being filmed on Redcar beach by a work colleague I thought nothing of it until my grandma told me that they needed extras for the film.
I started researching this and found there was 2 ways of applying one was sending an Email to Dunkirk Extras and the other was sending an application form with a picture.
I did both, Unsure on which one was successful but on September 4th I received a phone call to say that I had got the part, and was required for the Monday and Tuesday and maybe even Wednesday.
I was also told that fitting for the costume and a possible haircut would take place on the following Friday.
Ship Wreck on Redcar Beach
Friday came and off I went to be fitted at the local leisure centre. On entering I saw a mass of green army uniforms and a registration table in the middle. After signing in I was briskly taken to be issued with a short back and side’s hair cut, and had the top of my hair gelled to one side with a side parting.
After my new haircut I started getting my uniform bit my bit starting with the itchiest trousers ever! I also Received my Helmet, Jacket, Boots, Gaiters, T Shirt and to top it off a lovely beige poncho and belt. All packed up into my Bag I was reminded again not to forget my number 368 Red!
I managed to drag myself out of bed at 5:30 to get there for 6am. Once I got there I signed up and then I waited and waited until finally at 9am we get a talk from both the Assistant Director and the Director.
We got changed at 10am, got told to wait in the holding area and were given a pack of cards to amuse ourselves. After lunch our group got sent down to the beach and positioned in our places. We waited from around 2 pm until 6 pm because the tide was coming in and we had to wait for it to go out. Most of us resorted to sleeping.
After filming that scene we all got told 'that’s a wrap' at around 8:30. The rush was then on to get back and get changed so we could go home and collapse.
Again waking up and a ridiculous time we get there and signed in again. When signing in a select few got asked about working the Wednesday. To my delight I was asked.
This time we got told to get changed straight away and then to go get make-up done.
A few other soldiers and I had a few games of cards to pass some time until lunch.
At 3pm we were told to go back on set and I got placed next to the big wheel where one of the stunts from the movie was being filmed. We all got told to act drunk and laugh at this guy hanging from the big wheel.
Soldiers await the commands
The filming today was going to be one of the longest continuous shots in history lasting around 4 ½ mins so everything had to be right. We got finished at 9pm that night.
Got a bit of a lie in today as didn’t have to be in until 1pm, once I got there I got changed for the final time. Once finished we all got escorted over to the main set where I was asked to get my picture taken for the local council’s newspaper.
After this we went back to get rifles as they were needed in this scene. I was then placed in group A, which was set to march straight past the main action scene. We had to wait until 6:45 when they wanted us to standby for shooting on the beach.
Finally after 4 attempts the magic words of ‘Right Lads we got that shot’ came from the Assistant Director. The director then gave us all a Thank you speech before we headed back home.
Overall I really enjoyed my time filming and it will be an experience I will never forget.
See more of David's pictures in his gallery:
last updated: 07/09/07