Dispatches From the Set

Video – Behind-the-Scenes Look at the The Walking Dead Season 5 Locations

The-Walking-Dead-Season-5-Locations-Video-560Surviving the apocalypse is a herculean task, but as the crew of The Walking Dead can attest, creating one can be just as difficult. In this new video from the Season 5 production, Location Manager Michael Reilly describes the process of transforming a pristine Georgian environment into one suitable for the end of the world. “To us, it’s about controlling where we are,” he says. “Everything has to be trashed and burned out.” Check out the video now to see what he’s talking about, and to get a glimpse at some of locations featured in the upcoming season.

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The Walking Dead returns Sunday, October 12 9/8c on AMC.

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Dispatches From the Set – Stunt Coordinator Monty Simons on Season 5

The-Walking-Dead-Season-5-Monty-Simons-560The Walking Dead Stunt Coordinator Monty Simons talks about the art of falling like a zombie and which character would make a great stunt actor.

Q: This is your first season on The Walking Dead production. How did you get into the swing of things?

A: I jumped in feet-first on the Premiere. It’s probably one of the biggest stunt-heavy episodes ever filmed. I didn’t have a whole lot of time to sit around and think about how to properly get into gear. We had to hit this gear immediately.

Q: How different is The Walking Dead from other series you’ve worked on?

A: This show is different in a lot of ways. When I first got involved with the show, I went back and watched the series from the beginning. It’s so unique in that each day you sit down to watch, you’re mentally involved. Your favorite character could die at any moment. It’s not The Cosby Show, it’s not Full House… this is the show that killed Hershel! Scott Gimple and the producers on this show are some of the bravest in Hollywood. [Laughs] It’s not a zombie show — the zombies move the story forward — but it is about people living in extraordinary circumstances and learning to cope with this new society and the lack of protection. They’re basically starting their lives over.

Q: What stunts from previous seasons do you find the most impressive? Continue reading “Dispatches From the Set – Stunt Coordinator Monty Simons on Season 5″ »

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Dispatches From the Set – Executive Producer Tom Luse on Season 5

The-Walking-Dead-Season-5-Tom-Luse-560The Walking Dead‘s Executive Producer Tom Luse talks about what fans can expect in Season 5 and where he’d hide out during an apocalypse.

Q: How do you prepare yourself for another season of The Walking Dead? Does it get easier or harder for every new season?

A: I would say that it has become a 52-week-a-year job for us. Sometimes we prepare the new season before the previous season is over. As we’re traveling, we have to prepare new locations. Zombies do not provide lawn services or leaf blowers — and the goal is to have our world look as if the world has been shut down for a couple of years — so in a way, we’re making a period film. We have to keep that world fresh for our audience. In order to do that, we have to be planning ahead.

Q: What is your favorite aspect of the production?

A: Change. That’s all it is. Nothing ever stays the same very long on The Walking Dead. You have to constantly adapt.

Q: You’ve worked on other horror productions like Jeepers Creepers I and II. Are you a big horror buff?

A: I’m a romantic comedy guy. I’m a lightweight, but the process of working on a genre film is a lot of fun. It’s given me a real appreciation for horror films and an understanding the genre. Some of the classic horror films growing up like Psycho and Poltergeist really scared me. I was the kid who would hide behind the seat during scary movies.

Q: You’re originally from Georgia. Has working on the The Walking Dead given you a sense of hometown pride? Continue reading “Dispatches From the Set – Executive Producer Tom Luse on Season 5″ »

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Dispatches From the Set – Showrunner Scott M. Gimple on Season 5

The-Walking-Dead-Season-5-Scott-Gimple-560The Walking Dead‘s Showrunner, Executive Producer and Writer Scott M. Gimple shares his favorite moment from the Season 4 Finale and the perfect food for surviving the apocalypse.

Q: You wrote the Season 5 Premiere. What aspect about it are you most excited for fans to see?

A: We ended on a cliffhanger, and I’m just excited to deliver the answers to the questions they’ve been waiting all summer for!

Q: Are you approaching this season any differently than the previous ones? What have been some of the challenges?

A: Every episode, the show reinvents itself. We’ve always approached it like we’ve got a brand new paradigm in 8 episodes. The pleasure of the show is taking all of these different characters’ stories and interweaving them so that they affect one another. That can be a challenge. As far as production challenges go, it’s a very ambitious season in terms of scope. We’ve been battling all of the elements — and not just Georgia weather. It’s totally self-inflicted, but everyone has been up to it.

Q: How do you decide who will survive and who won’t this season?

A: It’s never an easy decision, but it’s always in service to the story. When characters do die, the story led to that point. Sometimes it can seem shocking and totally random, but it all has to add up. It’s an aspect of the show and a reality of the world.

Q: If you could write yourself into the show, what kind of role would you play? Continue reading “Dispatches From the Set – Showrunner Scott M. Gimple on Season 5″ »

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Dispatches From the Set – Executive Producer and Writer Robert Kirkman on Season 5

The-Walking-Dead-Season-5-Robert-Kirkman-560The Walking Dead Executive Producer and Writer Robert Kirkman talks about revealing Michonne’s backstory and which characters from the comic he’d love to see on the show.

Q: Tell us about the first few weeks on set. What’s excited you the most?

A: Well, the things that excited me the most I cannot talk about! There are a couple of big set pieces that were built from scratch and it’s amazing to see Grace Walker work his magic. I will say that the worst thing about going back to set is that our prison has been dismantled. I kind of wish I had spent a little more time in it. It sucks to see that gone, but moving on, we’ve got cool stuff going on in this season. The secrecy has been fun. There are some really great things coming.

Q: You wrote Season 4, Episode 9, “After” where we get a peek at Michonne’s past life and her family. Can you tell us more about what went into writing those scenes?

A: That had always been a story that was present in the comic book series, but had never really been established in the show — this idea that those pets she was walking around with were actually people she knew. One of the cool things about the show is how we adapt things and improve on them. I think coming up with this emotional story about her lover and her lover’s best friend who had actually caused, in a roundabout way, the death of her child was a pretty big add-on that has enriched Michonne’s character immensely. It’s really cool to be able to play with these characters in two different worlds. That was a big episode for Michonne and it was a lot of fun to write.

Q: Episode 9 was probably the single most faithful adaptation of one issue of your comic than any other episode so far. Will we see anything like that level of faithfulness in Season 5? Continue reading “Dispatches From the Set – Executive Producer and Writer Robert Kirkman on Season 5″ »

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Video – The Walking Dead Cast and Crew on Their Favorite Props, Kills and Explosions

The-Walking-Dead-Season-5-Kills-Explosions-Video-560Over the past four seasons, The Walking Dead cast and crew have seen their fair share of action: deadly weapons, zombie splatters, massive explosions, it’s all in a day’s work when you’re bringing the apocalypse to life. In this new video from The Walking Dead Season 5 set, the cast and crew recount their favorite action moments from the last four seasons. Watch the video now to see which of Glenn’s myriad walker kills rates highest for Steven Yeun, which walker Lauren Cohan (Maggie) prefers, and which explosion Sonequa Marin-Green will never forget.

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Don’t miss the The Walking Dead “Dead, White and Blue” full series marathon beginning Friday, July 4 at 9AM/8c on AMC.

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Video – The Walking Dead Cast and Crew’s Greetings From the Season 5 Set

The-Walking-Dead-Season-5-First-Day-Back-Video-560The Walking Dead cast and crew have been busily filming Season 5 since the spring. Now that it’s officially summer, it’s time to take your first look at what they’ve been up to. In this all-new, behind-the-scenes video from the set, The Walking Dead producers Scott M. Gimple, Gale Anne Hurd and Denise Huth join stars Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan and others to give fans a taste of what lies ahead in Season 5. Watch the video now to find out why Andrew Lincoln calls the Season 5 Premiere “the most ambitious first episode I think we’ve attempted… and if this is anything to go by for the season, I think it’s going to be the best season yet.”

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Don’t miss the The Walking Dead “Dead, White and Blue” full series marathon beginning Friday, July 4 at 9AM/8c on AMC.

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Dispatches From the Set – Producer Jolly Dale on Season 5

The-Walking-Dead-Season-5-Jolly-Dale-560The Walking Dead‘s producer Jolly Dale talks about growing tomatoes on-set and which character she’d want on her team during the apocalypse.

Q: You started off as a production supervisor on this series. What are the main differences in your role as a producer now?

A: Being production supervisor is very “nuts and bolts.” It’s about numbers, keeping track of the budget, hiring crew, getting equipment… I’m freed up a little bit from that now. I sometimes think of myself as the mom of the crew. I run the internship program here and we have a relationship with a couple of different universities. I get to interact with other people more.

Q: A The Walking Dead internship? That sounds amazing.

A: Yeah, it’s a coveted position! We had so many applicants.

Q: You’re spearheading an effort to “go green” on set. What does that entail?

A: Every year, we try to build on what we established the year before. During Season 2, we tried to address how much paper we were using and encouraged people only to print when they had to or to print on double-sided paper; or to use an electronic device to retrieve their information. So, we started there and then really got into the recycling efforts. It’s a challenge. There are people who don’t understand, I think, all the reasons why recycling is such a good idea. We try to make it as attractive as possible and as easy as possible to do it, but sometimes people just don’t want to do it. To that end, we’ve tried to have a “green” representative from each department to be the cheerleader.

Q: What’s been the coolest or most innovative way in which you’ve re-used something? Do any of these efforts make their way into what we’re seeing on screen? Continue reading “Dispatches From the Set – Producer Jolly Dale on Season 5″ »

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Dispatches From the Set – Executive Producer and Special FX Makeup Designer Greg Nicotero on Season 5

- The Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMCThe Walking Dead Executive Producer and Special FX Makeup Designer Greg Nicotero talks about a zombie look he’s always wanted to try and his process for creating Hershel’s walker head.

Q: Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd said we’ll be seeing some frightening walkers this season. What new tricks do you have up your sleeve?

A: I have many new tricks and a very long sleeve! Just like last season where we were able to introduce a new walker look by having the infected walkers with the bleeding eyes, we’ve taken the makeup one step further. While on set, even some of the actors were looking at the makeup and had noticed that we refined and modified our technique even further. For people who have been looking at our makeup for years now, when they still have that level of excitement, it means we’re keeping it fresh. That’s what’s most important to me.

Q: What can you tell us about the state of decay walkers are in, now that we’re in Season 5?

A: These walkers have been around for what we estimate to be a year and a half, so there’s a lot more exposed bone and skin falling off. We’ve got a whole new look on some of these featured walkers. It’s exciting.

Q: Is there any zombie makeup effect you haven’t yet done that you really want to do? Continue reading “Dispatches From the Set – Executive Producer and Special FX Makeup Designer Greg Nicotero on Season 5″ »

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Dispatches From the Set – Co-Executive Producer Denise Huth on Season 5

Co-Executive Producer Densie Huth on the set of The Walking Dead Season 5

The Walking Dead‘s Co-Executive Producer Denise Huth talks about portraying the Governor’s wife and her No. 1 tip for surviving the apocalypse.

Q: After four seasons of The Walking Dead, what aspects of production still manage to surprise you?

A: That it never gets easier! [Laughs] You’d think it’d become routine at a certain point — and it doesn’t — it just gets bigger and harder. It’s great and it makes the show fun. It always feels like a new challenge and not just another day on The Walking Dead.

Q: How is the location scouting going? Can you tell us about any new locations for this season?

A: We’re out of the prison and we’re on the road; and we will see a little more of Terminus. The [survivors] don’t have a space to get back to, like the prison, so this year will be really brand new, which is exciting.

Q: We saw a photo of you as The Governor’s wife during Seasons 3 and 4. Did anyone actually recognize you? Continue reading “Dispatches From the Set – Co-Executive Producer Denise Huth on Season 5″ »

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