As if the Fourth of July marathon was not enough to get fans hyped up for season five of TWD Inside The Walking Dead, the special that took fans behind the scenes to reveal secrets of how the show works, piled on a little bit more excitement for those addicted to the AMC series. From stunts to makeup this show fave real insight on just how the “magic” happens.
These “making of” specials are not new. There was an “inside” special hosted by Greg Nicotero in 2012, this one was a zombie studio tour. Another one was in 2013, last year, with “Dead” creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman doing the honors of showing off the prison set.
This particular special looks at the folks behind the camera, like the FX folks, the costume designer, the set designer, the stunt coordinator and the guy who not only blows things up, but who orchestrates those impressive gun shot effects, aka bullet hits. Good old Greg Nicotero also makes an appearance as well as the location guy and the props guy.
They show fans, for instance, how zombie puppets are made and just what goes into making those walkers look so realistic and, for lack of a better word, gross. Two of the walking dead FX looked at are the well-walker from the 2011 episode Cherokee Rose and bicycle girl from season one.
Melissa Gowan, who played the part of bicycle girl, spoke of the makeup and of filming on the day and later seeing just how effective the whole thing looked when the FX team finished putting the final touches on the scene. The actress admitted to being very impressed.
Several of the actors in the show speak of their costumes and Norman Reedus, Andrew Lincoln, Danai Gurira are just some of the actors who talk about what they wear as their characters. Inside The Walking Dead also goes behind the scenes to let Eulyn C. Womble, the costume designer for the show, shows fans just what goes into creating a walker’s outfit.
From adding different types of bloodstains, as in fresh feeding blood to older walker blood, to aging the material through roughing it up and applying mold, dirt and other disgusting body fluids to come up with the perfect zombie outfit.
The special also talks about the props. For instance, it is revealed that each weapon, as in knives and Michonne’s samurai sword, has about three to five different versions of each implement. One of these versions is a digital, or virtual, type of weapon that consists mainly of a handle.
They talk about the locations and just how useful styrofoam is. There is about 60 to 80 acres that the show uses to film their outdoor scenes and the crew revisit the prison location, which now looks completely different. It is also revealed that the show rarely uses green screen for their sets relying instead on a lot of practical set designs.
Viewers also get to meet Darrell Prichett, the special FX supervisor. His department is responsible for the explosions, blood spurts, gun shots, etc. They created the smouldering burnt walkers who appeared in The Grove.
Darrell also developed the “paintball” bullet “hits” which either replicate bullets hitting objects and spewing dust or sparking against metal or brick. This handy bit of technology negates having to use exploding squibs which no doubt cuts down on the expense and increases the actor/stunt performer safety factor.
All this attention to the details of just what goes into making the show appear so real is a great treat for those fans who don’t get enough of The Walking Dead. Another tidbit for fans will be aired on July 15 which will be another Inside The Walking Dead, but it will be a behind the scenes zombie reveal focused on the walker university. Just one more AMC present for those fans who cannot wait until October and the premiere of season five.
By Michael Smith