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Movies extras canceled at last minute for filming onboard Allure of the Seas

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Sun Sentinel
By Arlene Satchell
11/15/10


More than four dozen South Floridians have planned for nearly a month to work this week as movie extras aboard Allure of the Seas.

Not only was their "Jack & Jill" appearance cut, but the last-minute notice is what really has some of them steamed.

Sharon Simon, 61, of Delray Beach, got a phone call about 3:40 p.m. Sunday from the casting company, saying that her services for Monday to Thursday were no longer needed.

She had taken time off work and spent about $300 on preparations for the job, so Simon was miffed that the production company hadn't offered compensation or an apology, given the late notice.

She said others in her group had spent extra on flights to Fort Lauderdale, day care and other dependent-care services to prepare for the movie job.

"I'm sick and tired of people who take advantage of people," Simon said. "I know they [the production company] could have done better."

Wilton Manors resident Gregory Harris, 51, another film extra, received similar news and thought an apology and some kind of compensation would have been appropriate.

Harris said he spent about $100 on preparations, but said he knew of another extra who spent more than $600 on formal wear.

Extras were to be paid $100 for 10 hours, plus overtime and double time, and were expected to work 12 to 14 hour days, according to confirmation documents they received.

In Harris' confirmation document, the casting company stipulated that extras needed to bring multiple sets of active, pool, smart casual and formal wear for the movie scenes reflecting a New Year's cruise in the Mediterranean.

Kristan Berona, casting director at Sande Alessi Casting, the Los Angeles-based firm that recruited the extras, said Monday that the production would be bringing the group of 50 aboard Thursday for a different scene, and that compensation was still being discussed.

Berona said the film's producers were under no obligation to pay compensation as "this kind of thing happens all the time," but had decided to do something.

Others familiar with the industry agree.

"As a general rule, scenes get cut out all the time … it's not uncommon at all," said Noelle Stevenson, director of the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward Film Commission.

Filming on "Jack & Jill," which stars Adam Sandler, Al Pacino and Katie Holmes, will continue on the Allure through Nov. 23 with extras in other scenes. The movie is due in theaters November 2011.

"We've a ship full of extras … 90 percent from Fort Lauderdale," Berona said.

The company held castings calls in Fort Lauderdale last month for hundreds of upscale-looking males and females of all ages and ethnicities, including children.

Sande Alessi has done casting work for movies and shows such as "Pirates of the Caribbean," "The Social Network" and "Glee," among others.

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