Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Carl Grimes, Michonne, and Rick Grimes Walk in The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 15: “Us”

When The Walking Dead first began several years ago the epicenter of the drama was in downtown Atlanta (remember when Merle was handcuffed to a pipe on the roof of that office building?) but slowly we moved away from the city to Hershel Greene’s (Scott Wilson) farm, Woodbury, and for the first half of last season, the prison.

As we left things at the end of Season 4, much of our group was locked inside that Terminus train car, but we’ll know they’ll be getting out soon or later and it sounds like we might be headed back into ATL.

In a new video from AMC, TWD location manager Michael Reilly discusses recently shooting a Season 5 scene in Atlanta proper. “We have moved back into an urban area, during the week, on a business day. It’s a big logistical nightmare.” However, whether or not this means our survivors are headed back to Atlanta or Atlanta is going to be made to look like another locale remains to be seen. They have to begin the journey to Washington D.C. sometime...


Explaining what goes into shooting any scene, Michael says, “You gotta get the proper permits to shut the streets down, there are notifications that you have to do, you can’t just show up. You have to give people fair notice that you’re coming.”

It may be a pain in the ass, but it’s an important part of the TWD magic. “To us it’s about controlling where we are,” Michael points out, reminding us that the post-apocalyptic landscape has a very distinct look. “Everything has to be trashed and burned out. We have to dress everything.”

And when the TWD cast and crew need to shoot in a specific location, it’s common for them to shut down the area a block or two around where they are actually shooting, partly because of safety concerns and not wanting to spoil anything for the viewers. Production designer Grace Walker notes, “Some of the security factors that come into place are when we’re filming in towns, cities, or wherever crowds can gather. It becomes difficult for locations.”

In order to protect the cast, crew, and plot, production routinely puts up tents around the set. TWD may be a massive production that lasts from July to November each year, but Michael prides himself on the fact that he and his staff always take the community into consideration when filming. As he puts it, “There’s not a location that I haven’t been to in my entire career that I could not go back to and shoot again.”

Are you surprised that shooting TWD is such a hassle? Happy we’re headed back into an urban area? Watch the complete video and then weigh in below!



The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres on October 12 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.