Great responsibility: Senior Jacob Jones gains experience on set of Spiderman: Homecoming


Kat Shambaugh

NC senior Jacob Jones recounts his time as an extra on the set of the upcoming movie Spiderman: Homecoming. Jones participates in drama at NC, leading to his passion for acting.

Kat Shambaugh, Copy editor, Photo editor

While NC students spent their summers relaxing by the pool or attending camps, senior Jacob Jones used his free time to further his career and experience as an actor by working as an extra on the upcoming Marvel film Spiderman: Homecoming.

The movie, set to release on July 7, 2017, began filming in Georgia in early July 2016. Jones responded to a casting call released by the production, and earned a spot as an extra in two scenes.

“A lot of beginning acting is knowing the right people, and being in the right places at the right time,” Jones said. “Certain people who were cast as extras didn’t get into the actual movie but were just placed around to make it look like an actual scene. I just happened to be lucky enough to get into the group where the primary action was going on with the romantic interest and the main character.”

Jones spent two days shooting the film, culminating in almost 24 hours of work experience.

“A usual day was at least twelve hours of actual work,” Jones said. “We would arrive on set, take care of costuming, paperwork, makeup and hair, and then we got into the actual area for shooting. We would lunch at around one p.m., and then we’d go back and shoot more for the rest of the day.”

The long days led to a fatigue that permeated the shoot.

“There was a point where we were shooting the same scene over and over again and it would be fine if it was sitting down, but it required us to actually move. So we were in heavy clothing, it was hot, and we were all sweating it out,” Jones said.

Still, the excitement of working on a movie took over and Jones forged bonds with other members on set.

“There were a lot of people on set with a real passion for acting and theater and getting to know those people was the best part. It’s great to see that acting is not just a regional thing. It was also really fun seeing celebrities just being people,” Jones said.

At NC, Jones participates in the drama club and NC Standing Ovation, which puts on three shows every year. Since his freshman year, he acted in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Lost Boy, and received the lead role of Pugsley in last spring’s The Addams Family. Still, acting on screen required a different approach.

“The thing about acting in a movie is you don’t need to see everyone clearly,” Jones said. “When you act on the stage, you have to constantly react because everyone knows and can see what you’re doing; in a movie, it’s just two people talking and only focused on them. There’s a lot of editing and movie magic that goes into making a movie as opposed to all of the characterization that goes into stage acting.”

Jones plans to pursue both theater and film acting in the future.

“I would love to do both theater and movies in the future; I don’t feel as if you have to go completely into one and not be involved in the other. I’d like to start with theater acting just because it’s what I’m comfortable with but I am also not against the idea of moving into movies and television,” Jones said.

With the added experience of working on a movie set, though, Jones’ perspective on the film business expanded.

“This was my first real step into the actual professional business of moviemaking, even just as an extra,” Jones said. “I just kind of realized at a point that so much goes into making a movie and so much is still available for people to go out and do. It was always kind of like the assumption that ‘okay I would just find whatever role comes along and do that’ but there’s so many steps to take and a lot more to do as opposed to just being a good actor.”

Work experience in acting may not be easy to come by, but Jones fully appreciates the opportunities given to him.

“I got the experience of knowing what it’s like to start out in that area and to learn that while you’re not a huge part of the movie, you can be important in terms of certain scenes,” Jones said. “It was more like a fun experience just being a part of something that you know is going to be really big.”