Jack is back: '24' exhibit at Paley Center for Media
When Kiefer Sutherland and the crew of Fox's "24" traveled to South Africa earlier this year to shoot the two-hour opener to Season 7, they brought cameras and a hobbyist's enthusiasm for capturing anything that wandered into view.
The results -- literally thousands of digital photos -- have been culled into an exhibition that will open Monday at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. Featuring about 48 medium- to large-scale prints, the show contains many behind-the-scenes shots of Sutherland working on "24: Redemption" which airs Nov. 23.
But the photographers said they are proudest of their non-"24" images -- the intimate portraits of the population and wildlife while on location around Cape Town. (In "Redemption," South Africa stands in for a fictional foreign country in the throes of a violent military coup.)
"We shot there for six weeks in the winter, which was not a good idea," said Jon Cassar, executive producer and "Redemption" director. "It was a hard winter -- cold, rainy and windy. And you'll see it in the pictures."
"24" producer Michael Klick ventured into the townships surrounding Cape Town with the goal of photographing local children.
"The townships all seem the same at first glance -- overcrowded, dirty and poor," Klick said. "But as you're there, you discern details and different levels of existence."
During location scouting in the neighborhood of Sir Lowry's Village, the producer photographed four children walking down a rain-slicked street with a stop sign painted in front of them on the pavement. "It captures the flavor of the place but also begs the question: What's the future for these kids?" he said.
At one point, Sutherland organized a trip to a wildlife preserve north of Cape Town. (Along for the ride were Cassar, Klick, director of photography Rodney Charters and others.) Their visit yielded images of elephants, giraffes and other animals. Another set of photographs focuses on local people working as extras on the set. In one, "rebel soldiers" use colorful children's umbrellas to protect themselves from a sudden rainstorm.
Perhaps mindful of the "24" fan base, the show also contains photos of the show's trademark pyrotechnics.
One image shows an explosion that propels Sutherland's character, Jack Bauer, through the air. The photo was selected out of 35 images taken by people during the filming of the scene.
In that sequence, enemies fire a rocket-propelled grenade at the counter-terrorism agent, who manages to leap to safety -- and Sutherland performed his own stunt. A patch of dirt can be seen in the photo, where he is about to land; it was softened (with the help of a pad buried under the ground) to lessen the impact.
-- David Ng