With the release of Paramount Pictures’s first summer comedy of 2017, “Baywatch,” the Savannah Area Film Office released a recent statement that the movie’s production and filming brought in $11.7 million to the greater Savannah area. When the film started shooting on location in both Savannah and Tybee Island in February of 2016, the production called for hundreds of local extras, many of whom were SCAD students.  

Third-year industrial design student and Atlanta, Georgia native Cadie Crow said she got involved as an extra after being recruited as a skilled swimmer to perform the film’s water-based stunts.

“Being involved in the SCAD Swim Team absolutely played a role in my involvement,” Crow said. “The head of stunts came to one of our practices and was looking for two girls who looked like the two main characters to do the stunt work. He was asking around at other college swim teams but since they were filming at Tybee, it worked out that we had a practice.”

Students reflect on "Baywatch" filming experience

Crow performs a stunt for “Baywatch.” Image courtesy of Crow.

Crow said the film’s head of stunts emailed SCAD Swim Team head coach Bill Pilczuk regarding potential stunt swimmers. The head of stunts then scouted assistant coach Kelsey Bobzien and Crow as the main “stunt girls.”

“We then met up with other members of the crew and people in charge and they were describing to us what kind of scenes we would be doing and stunt work and so on,” Crow said. “We also had to agree to no social media and the fact that they were coloring and cutting our hair on their expense.”

After that initial arrangement was settled, Crow and Bobzien were prepped and fitted for wardrobe and assigned call times via call sheet.

“We first showed up to set to get our makeup and hair done,” Crow said. “They always provided breakfast and everyone was pretty friendly. Again, it was about 5 in the morning.”

Crow said she and Bobzien worked at two locations together for roughly two to three weeks, after which Crow worked for another few months with the film’s crew.

“I had to film basic stunt scenes such as swimming, obstacle courses and some other quick shots,” Crow said. “We would film some days a ton of the same shot to make sure they had the right or perfect one. Some days my involvement was not even needed but they had us there on set.”

Students reflect on "Baywatch" filming experience

Crow poses with “Baywatch” star Alexandra Daddario on set in Tybee Island. Crow served as Daddario’s stunt double during filming. Image courtesy of Crow.

The shoot was not without challenges, and Crow said the hardest part of filming for her was having to go outside her comfort zone. 

“I was comfortable doing the physical action stuff, but then they needed me to do some parts acting and rehearsal filming,” Crow said. “And acting I wouldn’t say I’m too comfortable with.”

For Crow, the best part of working on “Baywatch” was being on set and befriending the other extras and members of the stunt unit.

“I loved being on set because a lot of the people were very friendly, so I got to hang out and talk to them most of the time besides when we were working,” Crow said. “I loved the people I got to meet. I made a lot of connections and through that led me on to other films and jobs which I was so thankful for.”

Another SCAD student who served as an extra in the film was Lyric Jenkins, a second-year performing arts major from Reserve, Louisiana.

“I got involved in Baywatch after hearing about a casting call for extras,” Jenkins said. “I applied by sending in a bikini picture and they emailed me a few days later with my call time.”

Much like Crow, Jenkins said the filming process itself was quite lengthy.

“We had to walk back and forth in the background so many times,” Jenkins said. “It was quite tiring. Most of us would fall asleep on set until they needed us again. They would change us in and out of different bikinis that we wore in order to get the right look.”

According to Jenkins, each extra had access to trailers full of different clothes to wear on set.

“We tried them on to see which one they liked best,” Jenkins said “Then we would walk back and forth with different groups, different people and with different things in our hand to make it look smooth. Me being a film major, I loved watching the crew work and seeing how they made different decisions with the film.”

Jenkins said her favorite part of being involved with such a large-scale production was being able to watch the actors work.

“I love acting and I also love watching other people act,” Jenkins said. “To see two of my most favorite actors, it was inspiring and the best feeling ever.”

For Jenkins, the biggest challenge of being on set for long periods of time was the unpredictable weather.

“Since we were filming on the beach while it was 50 degrees outside, I was freezing,” Jenkins said. “Each time they asked me to walk back and forth the wind would kill me. I would try to control my body so that I wouldn’t shiver which was definitely a challenge.”

Both Crow and Jenkins said they are looking forward to viewing the final film.

“It’s always exciting to watch something in the making for so long and to watch it actually be put together and now to see the finishing product will be amazing,” Jenkins said. “Also I will be looking to see if you can see me in the background. Overall it was a heartwarming experience and I would do it all over again.”