Interview with SCOTT BOGGINS – the Executive Producer of CHAIN OF COMMAND. He discusses the visit to Iraq, filming on the front-lines and working with Chris Evans.
Chain of Command is a new National Geographic series (starts on Tuesday 30 January). Narrated by Chris Evans, it takes a detailed view into the war against violent extremism.
Scott says this an unprecedented show. “We have done something with a scope that has never been tried before. There has been an incredible amount of reporting that has been done on Iraq, but nothing like Chain of Command.”
“It is a collection of soldiers stories, we go into a lot of depth with these very relatable characters. We spent a lot of time with them. Some of the soldiers are at the highest levels of the US military, and others are the boots on the ground. You will get to understand their commitment, sacrifice and the passion they have.”
The show visits numerous areas throughout filming, and he previously said that it was inspirational – but why? “We knew we wanted to understand the process of the Pentagon, of combatant commands and on the ground from a tactical point of view.”
“We had to understand who the best people were to provide depth of story in those areas. So you’ll see the point of view from both the Pentagon and from coalition partners – like in Mosul in the first episode, and from the US troops of the front lines.”
“Our goal was to understand this story through the eyes of those most involved. We were in the room when husband and wife marines from Taskforce Southwest had to say goodbye to their young kids – the day they had to leave home for their months-long deployment.”
Boggins and the crew visited many nerve-testing locations. “Everyday was fluid and extremely challenging. It was an unpredictable shoot, we had to be cautious whilst trying to do our jobs.”
“There were drones you could buy off the shelf that were customised to drop ordnance – so that was a constant threat. Snipers were another. We were attacked on the front lines. Our crew was embedded with both US and Iraqi military forces in places like Mosul, where ISIS are being pushed back.”
“We first started in Mosul at the end of 2016, and filming went throughout 2017. We have told the story through the eyes of those involved at all levels, to try and understand what makes them tick. You get a much deeper depth of story.”
Meanwhile he says Chris Evans was a great fit to narrate. “We were looking for the right voice, who can tell a story. We were incredibly fortunate that he was available because he’s filming a ton of stuff for Marvel and he is in high demand. His schedule is pretty tight.”
“Chris had collaborated with the US military before, so he was very familiar with working with servicemen and women. You hope that whoever you bring onto a project like this will take ownership – and you could tell he was very invested.”
Telly Binge spoke to Scott Boggins in January 2018. To find out more about Scott, visit his Official Website.