The film companies that came to this city looking for "postcard Washington," says David Simon, director of the mayor's Office of Motion Picture and Television Development, have discovered that "there are people who live here, that there's a lot of variety.

"Generally, people outside the area are not familiar with the circles. There are only a few cities in the world that have circles like D.C. -- one of them being Paris." Every traffic circle, says Simon, was included in the filming of "The Man With One Red Shoe."

Since 1912, when "Filial Love" became the first movie to include Washington, more than 200 movies have used the city in scenes, he says. Last year, movies in Washington generated 3,577 temporary jobs, including positions for extras, caterers, drivers and technicians.

Among resources for Washington actors interested in film work, including work as an extra:

* Open University class: "Want to Be an Extra . . . or a Model?" $15, 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 12 at Connecticut and Calvert Streets NW. (202) 966-9606.

* Actors' Center, 420 7th St. NW, Suite 603, Washington, D.C. 20004. (202) 638-3777. Nonprofit organization that alerts members through newsletters and telephone hotline of acting opportunities in theaters and films. Sponsors monthly workshops and scene presentations, where actors can present scenes to local directors and receive critiques. Membership, $30/year.

* Washington-Baltimore Local, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists/Screen Actors Guild, Suite 210, 35 Wisconsin Circle, Chevy Chase, Md. 20815. (202) 657-2560. Actors' conservatory and newsletter keep actors informed of happenings in the trade. Receives list of upcoming films from the D.C. Office of Motion Picture and Television Development.

* In Motion, film and video production magazine published bimonthly, 421 Fourth St., Annapolis, Md. 21403. (301) 269-0605. Reporter and actress Melissa Collins discusses general trends in the acting community and gives practical information in her column "Shop Talk."