On-set photo from Mad Max: Fury Road filming
There are concerns regarding the financial exploitation of children who were employed as extras in the production of Mad Max: Fury Road
, which is currently filming in Namibia.
Approximately 50 boys between the ages of 16 and 18 were chosen to play extras in the film. Those chosen were from three different Namibian high schools, and each of the school’s principals as well as the parents of the children were requested to sign an employment contract that would expire in November.
According to the extras, the recruitment scouts promised them that they would be paid between N$100 ($11) and N$500 ($58) a day. One of the boy’s parents claims that the scouts also promised that the filming would take place mostly during the May school holidays, so as not to clash with the boys exam period. However, this arrangement reportedly changed, which led to concerns that the student's schoolwork will suffer as a result of the busy filming schedule.
Those involved have also spoken out about the difficult hours they worked, often beginning the day at 6am.
'There would be no breakfast. We were just hustled into a changing room and jumped into action. We would have to stand bare-chested on moving cars. It would be freezing,' one boy revealed
All extras received their payment, which turned out to be $380 ($44) after tax was deducted, which led some parents to wonder why they were taxed on a small amount.
'The film people said the students would be able to claim it back. Maybe they just want to be careful, but on the other hand they are also taking for granted the fact that these students have to be at school and that their precious time is being used,' the mother of one of the boys said.
The principals of the schools from which the boys were chosen have said that they did not want the boys to partake in the filming, but had left the ultimate decision up to their parents.
'It is understandable that the students enjoy the work, but it comes at a dear price, and we cannot allow their schoolwork to suffer,' one principal said.
Another added: 'Parents are responsible for their children, and although I did not like the idea, I left the decision to the parents. What I did emphasise though was that if the children missed tests and exams, they would be penalised for it.'
All the principals agree that exam results will show just how much the boys were affected by the filming.
'School comes first. This international film company probably thought Namibia is a poor third-world country that does not know better, but they are wrong. I don't think there is a problem with the movie or the recruiting, but it should be organised better and the students should be better rewarded for their time,' one parent said.
Students who were employed as extras in the filming have admitted
that the work was 'fun, but not worth it.'Mad Max: Fury Road
is an upcoming Australian action film directed by George Miller. This will be the fourth instalment of the Mad Max
franchise, and stars Tom Hardy as Mad Max and Charlize Theron as Furiosa.
The film is expected to be released sometime next year.