Christian Grotewold Part of NYC

Student By Day. Movie Star By Night.

Wagner College is full of opportunities, and I most certainly took major advantage of one in particular: movie castings. Wagner is a very popular place to shoot movies; perhaps the biggest one has been "School of Rock." Being an arts-heavy college, Wagner offers great chances to all students for the movies filmed on campus, and offers castings every now and then for off-campus movies.


My first experience was last year with a movie shoot on campus for "HairBrained," starring Brendan Fraser and Alex Wolff. Brendan was not there for the day of the shoot, but I did get to meet Alex. The scene was shot in the library, and participating students were extras in the film. Basically what they asked us to do is just what we normally do at a library: study. It got to a point where I actually wanted my face in front of the camera, so I looked for an opportunity, and it came. I sat down at one of the chess tables at the library and pretended to play with one of my friends, then the camera passed right in front of my face.

A more recent experience was during these past few weeks. A casting was held by one of my friends here at Wagner for a movie called "Lily and Kat," starring Hannah Murray from Skins UK. The first time I got called for a scene, I was told the shoot would be held on a rooftop in Brooklyn. The journey there was long but worth it. We were six extras in this scene, which made it possible for every one of us to get some screen time in front of the camera. We were supposed to mimic conversations while at a private party. By the end of the shoot we were all exhausted and cold—being out in the cold for eight hours straight is painful, but in the end we were happy with the experience.

Lily and Kat

I was called back to the movie shoot several times after that, but I was unable to attend due to classes. I did go to the final day of filming though, and it was the longest of them all. The shoot took place in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. We were told to be there at noon, but did not start shooting until nine at night. This time around the extras were supposed to marvel at the art in the gallery and mimic conversations once again. This was really one of the most exhausting things I have ever done, but I must say I would definitely do it again.

Being part of a film, for me, is just amazing. This is why I love Wagner—there is a different opportunity every day, and I try to take full advantage of every single one. Look out for me in the movie theaters!