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"In the Background" is the thirty-fifth blog post on Network 24. It was posted by Geoff Aull, on May 20, 2010, at 7:47pm CST

The blog was an interview with Jason Gutierrez.


You may notice that there is a diverse group of people moving in and out of the frame in the background. They talk on the phones, they work the computers, they carry messages; sometimes they even do things for Jack. Some call them “extras.” Professionally, we call them “background players.”

We call the guy who manages them on ‘24’ Jason Gutierrez, our Extras Coordinator.

[video transcript]


Jason Gutierrez talks about his role on 24 before giving advice about how to work on the set

  • Jason Gutierrez: One of the most unique things is probably tracking the background. Since everything takes place in one day, its a lot of, who was with certain characters, and when those characters go out on location who left CTU or FBI or whoever it was with whichever season. Where they end up, do they end up with a character, do they stay behind as a character moves on, so its a lot of tracking and continuity and keeping that in mind so when we have future episodes, making sure those people are in the right spots so we don't see them twice in two separate shots.
  • Jason Gutierrez: Oddly enough, sometimes a smaller count is harder than a large count. I've had 150 extras and sometimes that easier to handle than when you have fifteen. I don't know why. I think that when it's fifteen they tend to wander off sometimes; it's many location. When we're on set its much easier. The good news about all that too is that I get to prep: I have a lot of prep time which helps because I can plan, I can get the people I want, I can request them from central casting who sends us all of our background, and I can really get the best people, and when you get the best people it helps because you're not having to work so much when you're on set because they are professional. They know where to be, where not to be. You run into hiccups every time; we've had a few which are kind of funny but on the most part there's nothing that's ever been really challenging. It's just in the preparation.

[video transcript]

  • Jason Gutierrez: The most important thing is just showing up on time, and paying attention to what's going on on set. That to me is more important than anything else. I mean, I can deal with somebody being a few minutes late as long as I know when they're on set that they are paying attention, because a lot of times some of them will remember where they were at a certain part in a scene, so if we pick up that scene or later, they can remember where they were roughly, and that's really important on set.
  • Jason Gutierrez: It's just fun to meet different people and know that what I'm doing matters. Maybe it doesn't matter what people you get, but if it weren't for me coordinating and getting the same extras for matching stuff, it would kind of be mess, so there's a challenge to myself. I like that what I'm doing is important. Do the best job you can and when you see it on TV you realise they had a pretty decent part in helping the show look the way it does.

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