Extras Only: An Interview with Lance Mitchell of Flannel Background

Flannel Background is a talent agency representing a deep roster of extras and background actors for Northwest-based productions.

The agency was formed last year when Triple L Talent, owned by Anne Lillian Mitchell, was restructured and separated into two entities: Mitchell Artist Management (MAM), which focuses on principal actors, and Flannel Background, which focuses on extras.

Lance Mitchell

Lance Mitchell

“An extras agency focuses on extras’ needs, assuring that production does not have to shoulder that responsibility,” explains Lance Mitchell, owner of Flannel Background, when asked about the importance of an extras-only agency. “Not only do we supply the ‘everyday’ real person, we prepare them to enter the work environment on set.”

He continues, “Whereas principal actors come on set with knowledge, training and procedure, we educate those who are breaking into the business or looking for their 15 minutes of fame. My first experience on set, I had no idea what to expect. An agent is there to walk you through the process, from what to expect to support on set to assuring those payments come in a timely manner. I’m just an ordinary guy who stepped on set one day. I ‘get’ what information an extra needs to be successful. We assist with not only bookings, but familiarizing our talent with film terminology, set etiquette, and the tools they need to be successful.”

Flannel Background operates on both sides of Washington state, building a roster in the Seattle and Spokane areas in order to “best service our clients’ needs,” says Mitchell. “We assure a reliable, confident, and prepared extra. We are a resource for those asking ‘Where to start?’ or ‘What’s it like to be on set?’”

The company recently provided extras to both seasons of the Spokane-based Syfy series Z Nation, ensuring that each scene teemed with terrifying zombies. Other recent projects include industrial and commercial bookings for WSU, AT&T, Rubbermaid, Best Buy and several others. “We have one extra who’s become our go-to gal for any industrials that include eyedrops,” says Mitchell.

And Flannel Background is always looking to add to its roster, aiming to have the widest range of talent possible.

“When it comes to extras, we need everything and anything,” he says. “You never know what production might ask for. We cover a variety of skills, body types, age ranges, and ethnicities. We cast a wide net in what we look for to anticipate productions’ needs.”

Since becoming the owner of Flannel Background, Mitchell has relished all of the experiences that come with building a new agency. What has he enjoyed most?

“The hunt!” he says. “There is a thrill in the tight timelines and finding the impossible. The enthusiasm when we call to book talent is contagious. There is no better feeling than fulfilling a dream.” MI

If you are looking for background actors, visit www.flannelbackground.com. Interested in becoming an extra? Visit the website and complete the instructions under the “JOIN” tab.

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