How Do Actors Play Walkers? 3 Weird Fan Questions Answered
Wetpaint Entertainment is here to set the record straight on matters related to your favorite Walking Dead characters and stars — from Andrew Lincoln's love of the circus to what it takes to be a Walker.
Using our Internet wiles, we grabbed some of the most burning queries made to Google, Bing, and more hoping to shed light on some hot topics. Get some answers below!
How much does each episode of 'The Walking Dead' cost to produce?
The Walking Dead notably cut its budget between seasons 1 and 2, from $3.4 million to $2.75 million an episode. But is the show still operating within those budget constraints?
In an interview with Deadline soon after news of the cuts broke, AMC president Charlie Collier clarified that the Season 2 budget would be pretty much be the status quo moving forward. "We went straight to series, with the first season serving in many ways as a pilot, and then we have settled into a 13-episode pattern budget," he said.
Since TWD lost a showrunner — Frank Darabont — amidst that budget cut, and lost Glen Mazzara between seasons 3 and 4, some have speculated that Glen was working under similar budget constraints as Frank. But we don't have hard per-episode numbers.
How Do Actors Prepare to Play Zombies on The Walking Dead?
Get ready for this: The Walking Dead actually has a zombie school. One advantage to having a veteran special effects artist on staff — Greg Nicotero, who specializes in zombies and has the coolest career ever — is that he knows his stuff. Potential extras attend zombie school, and then the tops of the class appear on the show.
"The performance has to bring those zombies to life. It has to make them scary or creepy or ferocious," says Greg in a video about the school.
"I start everyone at the same place," he continues."There's really no wrong way to do it.
"We try to let everybody's zombies come out in their performance," clarifies stunt master Russell Towery.
Greg takes a room full of potential extras and asks them what their best zombie will be, and the crew schools them on posture and getting The Walking Dead's brand of zombie just right — similar to leaving a bar at 2 a.m., says Greg.
"15 or 20 people are just naturals," he says, "and they get it."
One game, he says, is called "attack the cameraman." How fun!
Greg ranks the potential Walkers on a scale of one to five, and the crew puts together a book of potential zombies with their measurements and everything, so wardrobe can have everything ready when it comes time to shoot an episode.