Squats for 45minutes and awful food: What filming Squid Game The Challenge was really like
They didn’t film challenges every day, and did get some downtime
Since Squid Game: The Challenge dropped on Netflix, we’ve all been hooked, and desperate to know what filming the reality version of the drama was actually like.
Right now, there’s the threat of a lawsuit hanging over Netflix, with players saying they were unhappy with the filming conditions they faced. As well as this, loads of the cast members have been spilling all about what it was like to make the show – including some behind the scenes secrets, and their daily routine.
Here’s an insight into what filming for Squid Game: The Challenge was really like for the players involved.
Apparently the cast members had to hold their positions during Red Light, Green Light for up to 45minutes
Someone from the show, who took part in Red Light, Green Light, has said the players were made to hold their still positions when the doll turned around for up to 45minutes, not the seconds it appears to the viewers. Replying to a comment on Instagram, Kayvon Moradi said players “held each position for 40-45 minutes” whilst filming was taking place.
No wonder that girl couldn’t hold her squat any longer and had to duck out!
Filming for Red Light, Green Light went on for eight hours
Melissa, who was player 236 on Squid Game: The Challenge, said in a TikTok that filming for Red Light, Green Light went on for eight hours. “I wish it only went on for five minutes,” she captioned a video, explaining the game to her followers.
She also said it was “freezing” where they filmed the game, which made it even harder for players to concentrate and hold their positions. “Red Light, Green Light did not take five minutes like it looks like in the show,” Melissa said. “I think that the last round of people to make it through ended up playing for almost eight hours.”
Cast members were collected at 3am to start filming and it sometimes didn’t finish until 1am
Adding to the long filming schedule, Dani Templet, who was player 134 on the show, told Business Insider she was collected at 3am from a hotel to start filming for Red Light, Green Light. Before it started, the cast were given costumes, which included the signature green jumpsuit from the original show.
She said filming for the challenge took hours, and they didn’t finish until 1am the next day. “The game itself was by no means a walk in the park,” Dani said. “It was very chilly that day, and for some reason, another contestant and I thought it would be better to start from the back of the crowd.”
The entirety of Squid Game: The Challenge was filmed over 16 days in London, and contestants could not leave the set unless they were eliminated.
Parts of the show were filmed in a studio, others in a former aircraft hangar
Filming began in January 2023, and was primarily at Wharf Studios in Barking, London. Some filming also took place at Cardington Studios in Bedford, a former aircraft hangar.
Cardington Hangars were once home to the largest aircraft ever made in the UK, but now provide a set for some of the biggest films and TV shows. This is where the iconic Red Light, Green Light game for Squid Game: The Challenge was filmed.
At Wharf Studios in Barking is where the contestants spent most of their time, with Netflix recreating the original show’s iconic bunkbeds here. 20 tons of steelwork went into building the bunkbed structures.
The food was awful and players had no concept of time
Speaking to Business Insider, player 134 also said the food on the show was awful. Us viewers saw the first meal get opened up, and it looked like some sort of rice and egg combo.
“The dorms were where we ate our meals, as you see on the show, but mealtimes were a challenge,” she said. “I was raised in Louisiana, where we put seasoning in everything, and one of the meals they gave us tasted like cold pasta with ketchup on it.”
Toni Ireland, a producer of the show, added: “It wasn’t a free-for-all. Each of the meals were nutritionally balanced and the calories were right and everything like that, and each of the meals were slightly different, but it wasn’t a luxury hotel, so the meals were just what they needed.”
The cast have also said they had no concept of time, as there were no clocks in the dorm, so really only knew what time of day they believed it was by their routine.
They didn’t film challenges every day, and woke up around 8am
I don’t know about you, but one of the burning questions I’ve had as a viewer of Squid Game: The Challenge, is if the players were filming every day, or if they had any days off. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the producers confirmed they weren’t filming every day.
“Each day was slightly different because we didn’t shoot a game every single day, and then some days they have tests and things like that, so it just sort of depended on that,” Toni Ireland explained. “They woke up around eight o’clock each day, exactly as you see on the show. The lights come on, the music plays, they get in line to brush their teeth, the guards came and delivered them their food.
“They weren’t really sleep-deprived. They got a good night’s sleep and they slept pretty well in the bunk beds.” The other producers confirmed they did sleep on set, and as more and more players got eliminated the games would take less time to film – so the cast would have more downtime.
Players have plans to sue Netflix, over ‘inhumane filming conditions’
Since the show has aired, it’s been revealed two of the cast members are planning to sue Netflix, for “inhumane filming conditions” during Red Light, Green Light. Players have claimed they sustained “serious injuries” such as “hypothermia and nerve damage.”
One contestant described the conditions as “absolutely inhumane and nothing to do with the game.” Details of the lawsuit added: “There were people arriving thinking they were going to be millionaires but they left in tears.”
Daniel Slade of accident specialists Express Solicitors is supervising cases where claims have been made against Netflix’s production company Studio Lambert. He said: “We have sent letters of claim on behalf of contestants injured in this show.
“Contestants thought they were taking part in something fun and those injured did not expect to suffer as they did. Now they have been left with injuries after spending time being stuck in painful stress positions in cold temperatures.
“One client describes seeing someone faint, and then people shouting for medics. We have a case where someone complains of hypothermia. One had his hands turn purple from the cold. Such injuries can have very serious long-termimplications.
“One of our clients complains of being given ill-fitting clothing despite the cold conditions. From what we’ve been told they pushed the boundaries of safety in the name of entertainment. Production companies need to ensure thatstandards on their shows don’t leave people at risk of harm.”
A spokesperson for Squid Game: The Challenge said: “We care deeply about the health of our cast and crew, and the quality of this show. Any suggestion that the competition is rigged or claims of serious harm to players are simply untrue.
“We’ve taken all the appropriate safety precautions, including after care for contestants – and an independent adjudicator is overseeing each game to ensure it’s fair to everyone.”
Squid Game: The Challenge is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.