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Movie extras weigh in on release of 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice'

March 25, 2016
<p>From left to right, BEN AFFLECK as Batman and HENRY CAVILL as Superman in Warner Bros. Pictures' action adventure "BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE," a Warner Bros. Pictures release.</p>

From left to right, BEN AFFLECK as Batman and HENRY CAVILL as Superman in Warner Bros. Pictures' action adventure "BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE," a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Photo by Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture | and Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture The State News

More than a year ago, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at MSU was selected as a setting for "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice." Hundreds of people were able to help in the making of the movie by being an extra in the film. And now the wait is finally finished — the Warner Bros. production was released today, ending the anticipation of a comic fight of the century.

With high profile stars, such as Batman played by Ben Affleck and Superman played by Henry Cavill, local residents were able to get their 10 seconds of fame as extras.

“Being a part of such a big film, you know Batman v Superman, that’s huge for who loved comics growing up,” East Lansing resident Kwesi Enu said. “Being able to tell friends, ‘Hey I am going to be in this movie for like 10 seconds, five seconds,’ that’s cool. ... Not many people can say that about a big film such as this one.”

Enu played a bartender in the film. He said it was a cool experience, however knowing what he does now, he wouldn’t want to be an extra again.

“It’s a grind," Enu said. "I thought being an extra would be simple, just kind of stand there with your prop. Now seeing what it takes to be an extra, it takes a lot. It's very time consuming."

Enu said after extras were selected, they were put into various groups based on what they were going to do.

Then, they were broken down into more subgroups, so director Zack Snyder could choose the optimal group for his vision in the scene.

Because of this process, many extras were not used as often, Enu said. Enu was lucky because his group was called often for different scenes.

“As the day went on, it was interesting to see how sometimes you have to repeat a scene and you could tell that someone would either be frustrated or they would go and ask the director what they were doing wrong,” Enu said. “Seeing how they got the timing of the perfect shot and seeing how it all develops was pretty cool.”

MSU alumnus and extra Nicholas Blaskowski said he is optimistic about being in the film. He said being behind the bar, rather than in a crowd, will hopefully increase his chance of being featured in the film.

"I’m crossing my fingers. Even if it doesn’t work out, I think I would still be pretty happy that I had the experience of being there."

“I’m crossing my fingers,” Blaskowski said. "Even if it doesn’t work out, I think I would still be pretty happy that I had the experience of being there.”

MSU film liaison Kevin Epling knew about the potential for the movie as early as 2013. As the film liaison, Epling helped students obtain extra roles in the film.

Photographer David Rumble originally took pictures of the Broad for Transformers, however, they didn’t select it. After being commissioned for "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," Rumble came back to Broad to scout it further in 2014.

“I think it was one of the toughest secrets that were kept for quite a while,” Epling said. “I put being an extra second to pulling people together to make sure this happened at the campus of Michigan State University.”

Epling also started as a bartender in the film.

Working with major stars, extras were able to interact with celebrities at a human level. Getting to see how they prepare and get in character was something Enu said was surreal. 

“You can definitely see the excitement in their eyes,” Enu said. “As the day goes along, you can see the angst and anxiety on their face, especially when they did well but their counterpart didn’t do well.” 

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