Ann Wittenberg of New Life Casting

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When did you become involved with casting?
I began working as BG on “Drop Dead Diva” in 1998. I started working for Bill Marinella Casting in Nov. 1998. I formed my company, New Life Casting in Dec. 1999. My first job was working for Craig Miller casting an industrial.

What was it like working with Marvel for “Ant-Man“?
I have never worked with a more professional group of people than those at Marvel. Marvel is absolutely a well oiled machine.

What is the most amount of extras you have had on set at one time?
Not that many, maybe 300.

What makes a good extra vs. a bad one?
A good extra arrives prepared with great wardrobe that is neat and clean, arrives 15 minutes earlier than call time, listens well, is not star struck and doesn’t complain.

What advice would you give those extras out there that are looking to transition into becoming stand ins?
Everyone says that anybody can be a stand in. This is not true. At least, not on the bigger productions. They want experienced Stand-ins. My company once taught a stand in class and we were laughed at but most of those people have gone on to stand-in for some of the major stars. My advice to someone who wants to stand in is to do your research. There may be classes out there. There may be a video on Youtube.

Ann with “Ant-Man” stand ins (Mac Maguire, Monique Morales, Jared Leland & Ryan Littmann)

What does a typical day in extras casting look like?
A typical day is to arrive at the office early, we try to book out a couple of weeks in advance. Try to hire people who want to work and are dependable. The no-shows never get a second chance with us. A typical day is sending out emails, making phone calls and doing it all over again.

What has been your favorite set(or story from set)?
It’s hard to say what my favorite set has been. They’re all so uniquely different. I believe the most rewarding aspect of my job/company has been to see so many people move up the ladder from BG to Stand-In to Actor. Also, watching the crew do the same thing. I had a young man intern with us a number of years ago. He is now working as a 2nd AD on a very popular TV show.

You worked with the legendary Gary Marshall on “Mother’s Day“. Seemed like a real funny, humble man.
He was one of the kindest men I’ve ever met. I met him once and then again at the first production meeting and I had on my baseball cap. He called across the room to me, “Ann, you can’t hide.” He was kind, charming and brilliant. I feel very privileged to have been able to work with him.

What is next for you?
New Life Casting has been taking it easy in 2017 taking on small projects. Personally, I’ve moved to a farm and have horses and dogs and it’s just a little slice of heaven. Far from the hustle bustle of booking extras. You never know about 2018, though.

New Life Casting Facebook
Ann’s IMDB

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