The actors were never given the script in its entirety so none of them knew of their character's fates, sometimes not until the day they were actually filming their scenes. This meant that the actors were - more often than not - stressed, nervous and apprehensive on the day of filming, ideal qualities for the film itself.
The building where the film was shot is the Cedimatexsa building, Rambla de Catalunya, 34 at the Eixample district in Barcelona. It was assaulted by a group of youngsters in 2007, after the film became a hit.
The directors originally toyed with the idea of having the TV camera crew shadow some policemen. They decided to go with firemen instead as they tend to be more popular and accepted by the general public, especially following 9/11.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
While filming the scene where the young fireman falls from the stairs, not a single actor knew that was going to happen, so the reactions of the characters were the real reactions of the actors themselves.
Unfortunately, several of the zombie's detailed make-up can not be closely seen, due to the shaky camera moves. One example is Jorge-Yamam Serrano, who had one ear replaced by a prosthetic after his character got bitten.
Up until the release of the sequel [Rec] 2 (2009), Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza were unaware of the decorative sculpture on the top of the building depicting a woman being grabbed by a monstrous creature by her foot, which is strongly similar to the final scene of this film.