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The Rookie: Behind the Scenes

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On the website for The Rookie, there are always videos showing how the spin-off series is made.

Coffee Run and Mistaken Identity Edit

Part 1: The Beginning Edit


Jeremy Ray Valdez on set at CTU

The video shows the cast rehearsing for the show for the first time: scripts are read, scenes are practised, and behind the scenes shots are filmed showing the camera crew filming the action. Jeremy Ray Valdez tries on several different outfits to decide which is the best, and director Rodney Charters says that he needs to be able to move around freely. Also shown fitting clothes are the actos behind Angie Lawson, Maude, Jamal bin Muhammed and one of the Russian terrorists from Mistaken Identity.

The film then shows the first day of shooting at the Merchant Security Bank set on December 9th 2006, at 7:00am. Several members of the crew, including Director Rodney Charters plan out the route that the bank robbers will take. It also shows the bank robbers prior to almost running down Maude, who is saved by Jason. Stunt co-ordinator Jeff Cadiente tells the bank robbers what to do whilst in the bank.

Part 2: The 24 Connection Edit


Filming at the Merchant Security Bank

This video focuses on the crew who work behind the scenes of The Rookie. Featured are David Lang and Kevin Townsend, executive producers, who explain that many of the same people work on 24 as do on the Rookie, from the directors to the stund co-ordinators to the cameraman. It then focuses on Rodney Charters, who is the Director of Cinemotography on 24, but Director on The Rookie. Scott Powell, editor, explains that the camera operators make the Rookie look like part of 24. Rodney Charters returns and says that they wanted to give Jason something physical for the bank robbery scene to "define him as a man of action". Stunt co-ordinator Jeff Cadiente explains that he had to teach Jeremy Ray Valdez how to do a shoulder role and how to safely slide across the floor for scenes in the bank robbery.

Talking about using the CTU set, Charters explained that it was strange to use the familiar set with different actors, especially when Angie Lawson was working at Chloe O'Brian's station, but they soon got used to it. He said that Olivier Benamou does the graphics for the CTU computers, and that he did an amazing job. The video ends with Scott Powell explaining that he edited the series in a way very similar to 24 to keep up the energy of the show.

Part 3: Tricks of the Trade Edit


Filming car simulations on a soundstage

This video begins with Rodney Charters talking about Jeremy Ray Valdez, the actor who plays Jason Blaine. He explains that Jeremy was good choice because he had been on 24 during Day 5 working on the submarine which Vladimir Bierko commandeers, and that he did a good job. Also, he says that Jeremy was skilled at holding a weapon, a vital part of the show. Stunt co-ordinator Jeff Cadiente explains that he had to teach Jeremy how to do a shoulder role and how to safely slide across the floor for scenes in the bank robbery, and that he picked up on the action sequences very well. Jeff Henry, who played a bank robber, says that they used real weapons on the set. Charters says that the number of rounds shot is checked precisely and the safety of the weapon is also under much surveillance.

The crew then go on to talk about filming car sequences, and that for some the camera operators are hung on a rig from the side of the vehicle, but often the Poor Man's Process technique is used, where a car is placed in front of a screen where a filmed background is projected. Charters then talks about using a helicopter to film cars moving, which creates a style similar to that of 24. He says that he is pleased to be able to use such expensive "toys".

Part 4: The Grand Finale Edit


The explosion from several angles

The final video begins with exploring the desert location used in Mistaken Identity. Rodney Charters explains that, after scouting for half a day, they found the perfect location to explode the terrorist's van. Exec producer Kevin Townsend explains that they decided that Jason Blaine would cleverly decide to blow the oxygen tanks to take out the terrorists. Special effects supervisor Stan Blackwell explains the mechanics of exploding the van, whilst stunt co-ordinator Jeff Cadiente talks about the positioning of the actors during the scene.

In preparation for the actual explosion, Blackwell explains that for two seconds of film time, there could be fifty or sixty hours of preparation. Charters goes on to say that it was satisfying to have five cameras filming the scene at the same time because they could only get the shot once. The video then shows the explosion from three separate angles. Charters explains that one camera was very close to the explosion in a protective steel case buried in the sand right next to the vehicle. The video finishes with Blackwell and his team setting out the fire, and looking at the destroyed vehicle after the explosion.

Extraction Edit

Part 1: The Return of Jason Blaine Edit


The return of Jason Blaine

The film begins with Jeremy Ray Valdez talking about how much of a success The Rookie has been so far. He then goes on to talk about how Jason Blaine has grown over the last year, whilst showing clips of him in action during Extraction. Director Rodney Charters talks about how Jason is still the junior partner, but this time he is proving himself more openly.

Charters then moves on to talk about how this year The Rookie is more close to 24's themes, with Esteban Salazar as the villain. Jonathan P. Nichols, the actor behind Esteban, talks about how his character is the only remaining Salazar brother and has now taken over the dynasty. The film also features Chad Johnson who plays Agent Ocho, an FBI worker. Johnson is the spokesperson for Degree Men, the sponsor of The Rookie, and it is explained that Ocho was written specifically for Johnson. At the end, Valdez says that "the stakes are higher, the action is greater, and the locations are amazing... it's a great experience."

Part 2: The Crew Edit


Filming a scene for Extraction

Kevin Townsend talks about how a lot of it is interrelated with 24. Executive producer David Lang mentions that most of the same crew work on The Rookie as well as 24, such as director Rodney Charters and stunt co-ordinator Jeff Cadiente, who is shown directing a scene in which a car plows through two people (see image).

The location of Mexico City is discussed next, and it is mentioned about how for Extraction, the creators wanted a more "cinematic" feel rather than focusing on Los Angeles. Rodney Charters comments that a greater product has been created because of the location, claming that it is a "wonderful palette to work with".

Kevin Townsend says that local actors were found when scouts were sent to find a suitable location to set the show. Eric Beck (Alton Maxwell) comments on the hordes of people that stand and watch as filming takes place. Jonathan P. Nichols, the actor behind Esteban Salazar, says that they are "surrounded in history", explaining that the city is marvellous. Charters concludes the film by saying how much fun the actors have in such a location.

Part 3: Gadgets "Over Engineered" Edit


Valdez with the "earwig"

Kevin Townsend explains how much research is involved whilst writing a script, meaning that technology plays a huge part in something like 24. Rodney Charters talks about how the Rookie has lots of gadgets in the field. Jeremy Ray Valdez talks about the differences in communications between different series of the Rookie: in Coffee Run he could only contact Angie Lawson on his cell phone, but in Extraction he can contact Kate Wyman with an "earwig", a small electric device that can be fitted right into the ear without it being seen, or being a burden.

Townsend talks about how, for the Rookie, they combined technology they know exists today, and technology eveyone presumes will exist in the future to make the gadgets. Charters mentions how Valdez's character gets to use a lot of the technology in an open environment, which is satisfying for the crew to be able to make this world for him.

Part 4: Absolute Protection Edit


Valdez and Nichols on set.

Rodney Charters talks about the skill stunt co-ordinator Jeff Cadiente brings to the Rookie. He is shown teaching actors specific moves for scenes of Extraction. David Lang talks about how, being in Mexico City, the show has been taken to the next level this year. Katrina Law (Kate Wyman) talks about her initial fears of using a gun, and how Cadiente showed her how to use it properly and safely. Jonathan P. Nichols (Esteban Salazar) explains that Cadiente told him how it would feel during his shooting scene, and what his reaction should be like. The film shows Salazar's shooting scene in slow motion, and how it was created.

Charters explains that usually they try to create a situation where it looks like an enormous explosion has gone off, when in fact it was much less. Cadiente talks about the hardest stunt in the sequence to achieve; the car crashing through the door. Charters says that Cadiente provided the stunt actors with much easier conditions by explaining everything thoroughly with them.

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