How do you guys label your background characters?

Background characters. You gotta have 'em, or else your story seems empty.

So, the question remains… what do you call them in the script? BGCHARACTER1? Do you simply call them by a random name?

After discovering it’s difficult to have them have… you know, random names, I’ve gyrated towards just calling them ‘BGCHAR.’

For example, in my Fantastical story (not yet published). Say we have a female demon, the third one I’ve made. I would call her ‘BGCHARFEMALEDEMON3.’

What about you guys?

in my first story (that I decided to abandon, it was really cliche :sweat_smile:) I used to give them random names too and it just became really messy.

now, I use female/male :woman_shrugging:t4: just because I’m too lazy to type in “BGCHAR”

I usually do letter doubles. Eg. AA, BB, CC, DD.
Unless I have a scene that requires all the outfits to be a certain theme or something. Like for a dance, I’d do DANCE1, DANCE2, DANCE3, etc.

Since I try to give every character in my stories at least one line, I tend to give background characters actual names.

I try to keep it as short as possible so it makes the directing easier.
I don’t need to specify in their names that they’re background characters, since I already give them code names so it’ll look somewhat like this:

For peasants from the Whatever nation: PMW1 (Peasant Man Whatever 1), PWW1 (Peasant Woman Whatever 1)

For peasants from the However nation: PMH1 (Peasant Man However 1), PWH1 (Peasant Woman However 1)

For vampires from the Something clan: VMS1 (Vampire Man Something 1), VWS1 (Vampire Woman Something 1)

Or, I’ll make a single cast of background characters and just mass change their clothes/hair/eyes whenever I need to so that I don’t have to create as many background characters for each setting. In which case, I just label them M1 (Man 1)/W1 (Woman 1).

I didn’t want my background characters to have actual names (on the script) as to not confuse them with my main characters, so I label them with the simplest name and according to the reason why I use them.

For example, if I placed a character there to be part of a background scene for firefighters, I labeled them ‘Firefighter’. If there are more than one firefighter, I would either add genders (M, F etc.), numbers (1,2,3,4,5,6,7, etc.), or task (_______ Running, _______ Commanding, _______ Screaming etc.).

If your background characters do end up talking, even if it’s just a simple “hi!” or “bye…?”, please don’t have ‘BGCHARFEMALEDEMON3’ or whatever script name you chose as the display name. Give them an actual display name, or leave it blank, because it looks strange to the readers when they see that.

In addition, having the same background characters over and over in a script starts to stick out after a while and it isn’t realistic that you’d see the same people everywhere on a daily basis (unless your story setting was someplace with less people, then that’s reasonable.)

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Yes, omg! I see POLICE1 and POLICE2 quite a lot


If they are college bg characters, I name them “COLLEGE1/COLLEGE2/…”, or if they are at a party “PARTYBOY1/PARTYGIRL7”. Their names are always related to their scene :slight_smile:

I do three letters.

F or M (gender)
A -> Z (quick description, like Danser or Spirit)
1 -> 10 (number for multiple people)

EDIT : Then, when I get a character request, I change the looks & the name to match the request.

BGM1, BGM2 etc
BGF1, BGF2 etc
For general background chars. If a BG char is for something specific, then I might name them accordingly (e.g SCHOOLF1, SCHOOLF2 etc and all the characters would be in uniforms so I wouldn’t need to change them).

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Sometimes I actually name them, but for the most part they are BG1, BG2, BG3 and so on.

I usually call them XTRA1, XTRA2. I used to call them EXTRA1, but soon figured out that starting their name with an X puts them at the bottom of the character list so I don’t have to scroll past like, 20 background characters to find my real ones😂


Unless they will talk, don’t bother with names. So, if they will talk in the story, add a name for them.

:open_mouth: Never thought of that. From now on all my BG chars will start with ZZ :joy: ZZM1, ZZM2 etc lol

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What I use depends on the scene. If my character is at a bar I’d put Bar 1, 2, 3, etc.
I also use numbers to know which are male and female 1 - 5 is female 6 - 10 is male Also works for higher number characters.

It is easier for me to remember and way easier to type, but that is just me

i make background characters modeled off of my favorite fictional characters or actors so they’re easy to remember lol

It’s definitely a life saver when you want to preview animations with a certain character. Scrolling down through like, 20 background characters kills.


The non-genius part comes when your hands won’t stop writing EXTRA when it finally comes time to use them in the script though😂

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Most of my Background Characters has real names :smiley: it’s because I can remember them better.

For one time extras I use names

For example: