24: Live Another Day – the inside story

24: Live Another Day – the inside story

With the news that the production team behind 24: Live Another Day has scooped the Production Guild of Great Britain‘s prestigious award for The Production Guild Member/Team of the Year, we thought it would be a good time to get some inside information on the high-octane drama and take a look at some of the challenges faced by the team. 


Led by producer and British Film Commission chairman Iain Smith OBE, the team includes unit production manager Kathy Nettleship, location manager Casper Mill and production accountant David Jones. It was a challenging project from the start, with the team having to meet the demands of a very fast turnover of writing, filming and broadcasting – filming took place around the clock with transmission in the US taking place while production was still going on.


The scale of the show

We started by finding out a little more about the scale of the show, and asked Iain Smith to explain how it all broke down.

Said Smith: “24:  Live Another Day was shot in six blocks of two episodes from the end of January to mid-June last year.

“There were ten weeks of pre-production scheduled which we started at Pinewood before we moved the whole production into the Gillette building. The schedule was based on the previous series of 24 so we had to shoot each of the 12 one-hour episodes in eight days, making six to seven minutes of cut screen time per day. Most films are lucky if they make two minutes a day.

“Over the entire series we employed close to 500 UK crew. The regular shooting unit was around 120 crew (shooting and production).

“The series episodes would be written as we shot, and would go to air whilst we were still in production. The US airdate for the final episode in the series was almost exactly one month after we wrapped shooting in London.”

The schedule
We wanted to know more about the logistics of delivering such a hefty project, which Smith went on to clarify: “We did have long filming days but also ran highly organised schedules with two units shooting. All the post-production took place in LA and network delivery prior to transmission of each episode was around eight weeks after shooting.

“This meant that we had last minute requests to shoot pick-ups and inserts that had to be turned around very quickly and frequently we had two or three units shooting and on occasions both day and night.

24 Crew Kiefer

Night work
On the subject of working at night, 1st assistant director, Lydia Currie, told us more about how the time pressure impacted on the cast and crew: “Scheduling was complex. To allow enough time for the many stunt sequences, our cast learnt 9-12 pages a day, and we shot t

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