The Walking Dead season 3 is officially in production! To mark this exciting occasion the show’s Executive Producer, Robert Kirkman, has revealed more about the brand new season.
After two seasons, you must feel like an old pro on set. What aspects of production still surprise you?
One thing that’s surprising me is how much I’ve fallen in love with Georgia. The town Senoia where we’re filming is absolutely beautiful…The big change this season is we’ve got this amazing prison that we’re filming in. It’s absolutely stunning, and I never get used to being on set.
What went into constructing the prison?
They’ve taken a lot of what you see in the comic book series and brought it to life in ways that I didn’t think possible. This is going to be one of the most impressive looking things that’s ever been put together for a show.
The room in the prison with all the guns and the SWAT gear in the comic is really cool. Is that going to come up on the show?
We’re a big fan of the SWAT gear here at The Walking Dead writer’s room… maybe that’s an indication that we’ll be seeing that stuff in the show. It’s important to us to maintain the tone of the show. Thus far [the characters] have been out on the road, desperate and living in the heat, and we don’t want it to be that they’re relaxing in this safe place now.
With the evil Governor in the picture, does that mean the humans are the bigger threat this season?
The plan was always to evolve naturally into a place where the zombies essentially become a manageable threat. You know the rules. You know how to deal with them. To a certain extent they become something to not really be scared of unless you mess up. Humans, however, do not follow any rules and will always do something that surprises you and are capable of doing things far worse than trying to eat you…We’re definitely going to be seeing a lot of horrible things.
What can you tell us about David Morrissey’s portrayal of the Governor? Have you seen him in costume yet?
I’m actually waiting desperately to see him dressed up in Governor mode and walking the streets of Woodbury. I think he’s going to be absolutely great playing against Andrew Lincoln.
Michonne was introduced in the Season 2 Finale. How are Danai Gurira’s sword skills shaping up?
There’s been quite a bit of sword training going on and [Danai] is doing an amazing job. She’s going to be do all of the hard character stuff and drama that The Walking Dead is known for, but she has tremendous physical capability and the sword training that I’ve seen is absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to see her hack up some zombies.
Can you tell us anything about the sword she’s using?
She’s using a sword that we specially designed for the show…The origins of the sword will be revealed on the show.
This season has got so many exciting story lines…
When you think about The Walking Dead comic series, you think about oh, the stuff they with did the Governor, the stuff they did with the prison and Woodbury and Michonne. And that’s really a lot of the stuff that people remember the story for and that’s stuff we haven’t even gotten to in the TV show yet. So as much as people love the show, and as high as the ratings are, and as cool as the show is, I feel like we haven’t even gotten to the good stuff yet. This season is absolutely going to blow people away.
You’re developing another of your comics, Thief of Thieves, with AMC. What can you tell us about that project?
Thief of Thieves is a great heist story about a man named Conrad Paulson who leads a double life as a master thief known internationally as Redman…I am working with Chic Eglee, who is a fantastic writer who worked on the first season of The Walking Dead, and right now we are in the pilot development stage, so he’s going to be working hard on the pilot script and once that’s written we’ll go from there. But it’s really exciting to be working with AMC again.
This season will be 16 episodes instead of 13. Are you looking forward to the longest production time yet?
The actors and the crew and a lot of the producers would not be thrilled to hear me saying this, but I love doing 16 episodes a year. I think the more the better, and I think it’s a lot of fun. We are going to get to tell bigger stories, and tell more stories, and get into the characters a lot more. So the more the merrier.
Stay tuned for more details on The Walking Dead season 3.
Here’s the second installment of AMC’s report from the set of The Walking Dead season 2.
As the zombies gather on set and Greg Nicotero instructs one of his makeup artists to collect several gallons of dark zombie blood — and a few gallons more of the thinner blood to pool up on the ground — Andrew Lincoln receives instructions on handling a new piece of animal control equipment. “This is the craziest thing I’ve ever done,” he tells Denise Huth, The Walking Dead’s producer. “On this show, that’s saying something,” she replies.
Jon Bernthal, meanwhile, is with The Walking Dead’s props master, John Sanders, an expert in firearms. He’s loaded a semi-automatic handgun with quarter-round blanks that will cause the gun’s slide to pull and eject a shell, but produce little actual firepower.
“There’re seven rounds in here,” Sanders tells Bernthal, instructing him to fire six aiming at his torso and the final directly at his forehead.
“You sure?” Bernthal asks hesitantly.
“Do it,” Sanders assures, bracing.
The gun pops six times rapidly, then Bernthal hesitates once more before squeezing the trigger with the gun at Sanders’s face. Pop.
“I hated doing that,” he says afterward.
I ask Bernthal if he thinks he’ll experience the same hesitation when the cameras are rolling. “Oh I’m gonna do it,” he tells me. “When the camera’s on, the camera’s on. You lose all sense of fear, morality, everything.”
The first assistant director, Polly Matson, interrupts us: They’re ready to roll. “Alright everybody,” she shouts to the crowd of actors and crew. “We’re going to be shooting with full rounds, raise your hands if you want earplugs.” Sanders gives a brief safety lecture, the cameras roll and MacLaren yells action.
It’s lunchtime and I sit in an overcrowded, mercifully air-conditioned trailer known as the lunchbox. Beside me, Jon Bernthal is eating a stack of steaks like pancakes — he’s recently embraced a diet mandating an overabundance of protein and little else — but I’m here to talk to MacLaren.
I ask her about the footage I’ve just seen filmed — about half of what’s required to put together the final scene. It’s complicated and repetitive, a dance of some 15 actors and even more extras, playing out the same 20 seconds over and over again. “I plan everything out like a military operation,” she tells me, admitting that this is the one scene in the episode that’s been making her nervous. “I don’t think you’re gonna get everything you need if you don’t approach it that way, but you also have to accept you’re not gonna get all the shots you want.”
Indeed, the morning’s footage is enough to tell the story that episode writer Scott Gimple has envisioned. But MacLaren would have preferred to do more “squibbing” with the extras. “We made the decision that it’s time to move on,” she laments. “Hopefully we’ll be able to go back and get some more pieces later today.”
It’s the end of the day. The sun is setting behind a large elm tree, underneath which Jeffrey DeMunn sits with his signature rifle propped beside him. He’s actually had little to do today, his character Dale only approaches his battle-worn, fellow survivors at the end of the scene. So he’s made the tree his home; here he leans back with a paperback novel and surveys the action. Back home in upstate New York, his wife is living in her own apocalypse, having lost power in the wake of Hurricane Irene. “The old man finally sprung for a generator,” he tells me, referring to himself in the third person.
Nearby, crew members are erecting large spotlights to augment the sun’s final rays and give MacLaren one more chance to capture the footage she passed on before lunch. Andrew Lincoln rests on a cooler as he waits for the lights, peeling an orange.
Jon Bernthal approaches. “Richard,” he addresses Lincoln. “Shamus,” Lincoln replies, handing Bernthal half the orange. They’re both hoarse — evidently, no one won the bet — and exhausted. They sit, chewing side-by-side on the cooler and watching the sun dip over the horizon.
“Alright everybody,” first A.D. Matson screams again. “We’re gonna be shooting with full rounds again. Raise your hands if you want ear plugs.”
Bernthal and Lincoln rise. Lincoln shoves the rest of the orange in his mouth and steps in front of the cameras, where he waits to hear MacLaren yell, “Action!”
Ever wondered what it’s like on the set of The Walking Dead? Well now you can find out!
AMC have just released a detailed report from the set of season 2. Check it out below.
On a misty morning 40 miles outside of Atlanta, actor Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes on The Walking Dead, stands beneath a tent on set. Behind him lies a Victorian farmhouse that will constitute a major setting within the show’s second season, but today the action will be taking place in a valley below, where the show’s production designer Greg Melton has built a menacing structure of splintered wood and rusted metal that looks like it’s been sitting in that spot for 100 years. (In fact, the barn was constructed for the series out of brand-new material.)
Lincoln and the rest of the cast are psyching themselves up for what’s to come: A major action scene that will be the culmination of Season 2’s first main story arc. Standing in a distant field, Jon Bernthal, who plays Rick’s partner Shane, listens to his iPod, bouncing back and forth on his feet and jabbing his fists in the air, Rocky-style.
Lincoln too is listening to his iPod — a “Rick Grimes Mix” filled with country artists like Waylan Jennings to whom, he imagines, his character would enjoy listening. He speaks with a Southern drawl even when the cameras aren’t rolling, and his voice is hoarse from yesterday’s rehearsals, in which both he and Jon Bernthal had to scream at each other again and again. “I told Jon if we haven’t lost our voices by the end of the day, we haven’t done our jobs,” he tells me. “So we’re having a contest.”
Lincoln looks different from the Rick Grimes we met in Season 1. He’s eschewed his sheriff’s uniform for a dark green button-up and black jeans (although the utility belt with his now-infamous “Python” revolver remains safely secured around his waist.) His hair is also longer, as is his beard. When I mention the disheveled, bearded Rick from later issues of Robert Kirkman’s comic, he nods knowingly. “Growin’ my beard, growin’ my hair,” he says, “depending on how much time passes between seasons, it’ll get even longer.” He hands me his gun, and I’m surprised at how heavy it is. “That’s why Rick always grimaces when he fires it,” he jokes.
I walk over to Laurie Holden, who plays Andrea in the show and is being misted with water to simulate sweat. Come the afternoon, when temperatures on the farm will reach 102 degrees, such measures will no longer be necessary. But for now the make-up break gives me an opportunity to ask her about what lies ahead today for Andrea.
“I’m excited. It’s time for Andrea to get it together and stop crying over Amy,” she tells me, referencing her character’s sister — killed in Season 1. I ask her about a particularly gory walker confrontation she filmed earlier for Season 2, and for a moment she’s baffled. “That feels like a totally different life, Andrea’s changed so much. She used to be all…” Here Holden raises her arms, rolls her eyes back and screams disorientedly. Now, she says, when she sees a walker, it’s just something to kill.
It’s 8AM now, and two vans approach the set: the day’s scheduled 21 walkers have arrived. They range from background extras — for whom the make-up is less comprehensive — to featured zombies whose roles are integral to the plot (Think Season 1’s Bicycle Girl or Morgan’s wife) to stunt zombies, for whom an arsenal of 150 “squibs” — miniature explosives designed to mimic a gunshot wound — are awaiting for the day’s festivities.
The zombies - along with The Walking Dead’s Special FX Makeup Guru Greg Nicotero and his team from KNB FX — have been working since 3AM to be ready to shoot at first light. At 5AM, the episode’s director Michelle MacLaren enters the makeup trailer to give notes on a featured zombie. “I think it’s important her face isn’t too horrific-looking,” Nicotero tells Andy Schoenberg, one of the makeup artists. MacLaren chimes in that it would be good if her face had some scratches on it, so the CG artists know where to place the gunshot wound.
“How’re they gonna make my face explode?” the extra asks. “I never know what’s practical make-up and what’s digital.”
“Sometimes we don’t either,” Schoenberg replies.
For Season 2, Nicotero has enhanced the zombie make-ups to emphasize the decay the creatures are going through. This means accentuating cheekbones and brow to give the extras sunken eyes and hollow cheeks. The prosthetics that create this effect are called “Lone Rangers” because they’re applied as a bandit-like face mask.
“I look like my Aunt Fae who runs the Pentecostal church in Brunswick,” Amber, the aforementioned walker, says after her Lone Ranger is in place.
“You look like a cross between Winona Ryder and Uma Thurman,” Nicotero corrects as he puts the finishing touches on another zombie.
“You look more dead,” he tells this second zombie, whose hair has been given a healthy dose of conditioner to make it look greasy. “You don’t look quite as handsome.”
You know that feeling, when you’re watching an awesome TV show and all you can think about is jumping through the screen and getting in on the action? Let me paint a better picture. In the movie Mary Poppins, Dick Van Dyke and co dive into the chalk drawings and *poof* all of a sudden they are part of the story. Well now you can almost experience that same thrill with the Walking Dead video game, albeit you won’t actually jump through concrete floors or glass screens. But you will get to kill zombies. Based on the comic books and the TV series, the Walking Dead video game is in production thanks to those geniuses at Telltale Games.
According to Telltale: ”While some of the comic’s side characters likely won’t make an appearance, the main focus on the game will be a man named Lee, a convicted criminal whose escort vehicle is attacked during the zombie outbreak. The zombie apocalypse may have freed Lee from a life in prison, but given the state of the world, he might have been better behind bars.
During the chaos Lee befriends a young girl named Clementine. Having both lost their families, the two form a pact, hoping to help each other survive in this post-apocalyptic world. While this isn’t a remake of the comic series, fans can expect to get more backstory for characters from the comic, like Glenn, and see places like Hershel Greene’s farm before the events that changed them in the comics.”
Episode 1 ofThe Walking DeadVideo Game will make it’s way onto xbox 360, PS3, PC and even the iPad this winter. And oh my lord we cannot wait.
AMC have just confirmed that actor Pruitt Taylor Vince has been cast to star in Season 2 of The Walking Dead.
Vince, who has previously starred in Monster, Identity and L.A. Confidential, is set to play Otis, the foreman at Hershel’s farm. Otis is described as a good-natured and polite individual who first meets Rick and the other survivors under harrowing life-and-death circumstances.
The folks at FX today launched their awesome Walking Dead “all you need to know” website. It will bring you weekly episodic sneak previews, promotional clips, behind the scenes footage, show synopsis and episode guides, background info on all the survivors, sweet photos from the show, wallpaper downloads for your computer screens and lots of tweets, blogs and posts from all those social networks. Seriously, it’s a whole new world of Walking Dead knowledge and treats you just wont find anywhere else…so go and check it out! www.fxuk.com/walkingdead
The Think Tank Birmingham. The smell of ink, comic books and sweat fill the air. It’s the British Comic Book Show and The Walking Dead is the star. I arrive around 2.30pm in time to catch a Q&A panel about Marvel Comics and its upcoming projects. I sneak out just before the end and I bump into Jonathan Ross where we share a quick chat about the Walking Dead and how excited he is to watch the show. Then it was back to signing Turf copies for JR so I meandered over to Charlie Adlard’s post, where he was amusing his Walking Dead fans with a handshake and a smile. What a guy. We spend a minute discussing the run down of our panel and then another talking about his band (Charlie’s a drummer). We agreed to reconvene in “20”. Physically I feel like an outsider at BICS, but mentally, I’m in my element. The only person in the entire vicinity, let alone the country, to have watched the first three episodes of the Walking Dead. Boy these cartoon aficionados have no idea what’s in store for them in Screening Room 1. Finally the time has come. I sit down at the table, microphone clipped on my shirt, bottle of water in hand. The room slowly begins to fill up…50…55…Charlie seems to be running late, 159…200, oh dear, still no sign of Charlie. Then like a zombie from his own illustrations, Charlie appears. The audience go wild, this man is like a god, nay he is God to these folk. He joins me on the table putting the minds of the attendees at rest that they didn’t come all this way to listen to some FX representative plug it’s latest show. The lights dim and an exclusive clip of the show is screened. House lights up…silence. “Well, what did you think?” I ask Charlie. “What can I say,” he says, “it’s going to be brilliant”.
“The Walking Dead” premieres on FX soon, and though noone has seen the official opening sequence for the series just yet, a new, fan-made intro to the series is making the rounds — and it’s pretty spectacular.
Created by animation artist Daniel M. Kanemoto out of images from Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard and Tony Moore’s celebrated comic book series, the fan-made intro unfolds over The Eels’ haunting (and appropriately mood-setting) tune “Fresh Blood.” Check it out: http://vimeo.com/15266890
“I wondered what the opening titles to this terrifying new television show might look like… so I animated a spec title sequence using artwork ripped from the pages of the comic, originally illustrated by Charlie Adlard and Tony Moore,” wrote Kanemoto on the video’s Vimeo homepage.
Like lots of monsters, Zombies have their roots in folklore. According to some researchers, the walking dead originated in Haiti, a country also known for their witchcraft, voodoo and black magic trickery. There are several possible origins for the word “zombie”. These include jumbie, the West Indian term for “ghost”, and nzambi, the Kongo word meaning “spirit of a dead person”. A law condemning zombie creation went into effect in Haiti in 1835. Article 246 of the Haitian Penal Codeclassifies the administration of a substance that creates a prolonged period of lethargy without causing death as attempted murder. If the substance causes the appearance of death and results in the burial of the victim, the act is classified as murder.
Although zombies appeared in movies as early as 1919 many people credit George A Romero with setting the standard for modern zombies. In the classic movie “Night of the Living Dead,” Romero portrayed zombies as slow-moving, flesh-eating corpses, reanimated by radiation from a satellite returning from Venus. The radiation affected the recent, unburied dead, and the resulting zombies were invulnerable until someone destroyed their brains or separated their heads from their bodies. In “Night of the Living Dead,” zombies were neither intelligent nor self-aware. They had a very limited use of tools, mostly confined to using blunt objects as cudgels. In Romero’s later work, zombies became somewhat capable of thought, and in some cases self-aware. They still generally moved slowly and had minimal intelligence.
Many movies and video games have used Romero’s concept of zombies. For the most part, zombies are:
·Newly dead corpses reanimated by radiation, chemicals, viruses, sorcery or acts of God
·Human, although some depictions include zombie animals
·Very strong, but not very fast or agile
·Impervious to pain and able to function after sustaining extreme physical damage
·Invulnerable to injury, except for decapitation or destruction of thebrain
·Relentlessly driven to kill and eat
·Afraid of fire and bright lights
Tell us your favourite Zombie depiction on our facebook page. We’d love to compare notes!