If you ever have dreamed of seeing yourself on the big screen, even for just a moment, Bill Marinella may be able to help you make that dream come true.
Marinella is the casting director for "Devotion," the Korean War-era movie that is filming scenes now at the Statesboro-Bulloch County Airport, and he needs a few dozen extras in the coming weeks to fill out scenes on the set.
"It's an opportunity to be in a movie," he said. "Everybody wants to say at least one time in their life they were in a movie."
For the "Devotion" production, Marinella is looking for men specifically, between the ages of 18–40 to be plane mechanics, landing safety officers and sailors for filming on the rebuilt set of the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Leyte that sits on the back runway of the airport.
Anyone interested should go to https://kaast.app/bmc/2021-devotion-sailors-open-call.
You will be prompted to register in the KAAST system.
"You register for free in our casting application. There is no fee to sign up," Marinella said. "You will be asked for your physical characteristics and to upload some photos. Once you are registered, we'll search by height and weight and age. We'll then send you an email with the dates of production to make sure you are available, because you may not be able to get off from work.
"If that information works for you, you submit the application and we review your photos, we review all of your sizes and make sure you are appropriate as a particular extra. It's a fun job and pays $154 per day. You won't pay your mortgage with it, but you'll have fun."
Currently, hundreds of actors, extras and film crew are shooting scenes at the airport for the movie that is based on true life events surrounding the story of Jesse L. Brown and Thomas Hudner.
Brown, born in rural Mississippi, was the first African American to complete the Navy's basic flight training program for pilot qualification and to be designated a naval aviator. Hudner was a white New Englander who decided to become a Navy pilot rather than attend Harvard University.
The two became friends and wingmen in the same fighter squadron.
Filming for "Devotion," which, according to the "Deadline" website, has a $90 million budget, began in Savannah last month and has filmed in the Bloomingdale area, as well.
But, prior to the start of any filming in Statesboro, a massive replica of the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Leyte was constructed on a back runway at the Statesboro-Bulloch County Airport to serve as a backdrop for various action sequences.
"We are looking for between 30 and 50 extras per week to start probably the first week of April," Marinella said. "When you work on a movie, it's never a 9 to 5 job. It's a 12-hour day. You have to go through hair and makeup, costumes, then you have to do a rehearsal, then you have to set up, then you have breakfast, then you start shooting. There's lots of shots from different angles.
"It's a great way to learn how movies are made. There's so much that goes into it, and most people don't know how much work goes into getting a three-second shot."
As a casting director, Marinella's job is to find what are commonly known as extras that are seen in the background of most movies.
"I'm hired by a production company to find people who want an opportunity to be in the movies," he said. "I'm the middle man. I get a script and from that script I get a breakdown that tells me how many people I need in each scene and what they look like so it reflects the actual life depicted in the production."
Marinella has worked as a casting director for the recent productions of "Wonder Woman 1984"; "Respect," the biopic of Aretha Franklin; and "The Underground Railroad," which will premiere on Amazon Prime in May.
An area project Marinella said he soon will be casting for is a "Tyler Perry period piece called 'A Jazzman's Blue' set in 1940. You get to wear your grandfather's clothes is what I tell the young guys."
Scenes will be shot in Hinesville, Pooler, Midway and Savannah.
"Once you sign up on the KAAST link, that will register you for any other projects we have coming up," Marinella said. "You'll start getting our email blast list for all of our productions. You can follow our Facebook pages — Bill Marinella Casting in Savannah or Bill Marinella Casting Inc. If you're interested in being part of a production, you submit your materials and go from there."