The Hollywood Reporter loves to get an insider’s perspective on the making of our favorite television shows and movies, and in one of the publication’s latest articles they ask various TV directors to recount their biggest director dilemmas thus far and how they solved them.
As you may have guessed by now, frequent Walking Dead helmer Greg Nicotero was one of the directors asked to tell the story of his biggest on-set dilemma, and the special effects guru chose a moment from the Season 4 premiere last October, more specifically, Greg talked about the expertly choreographed Big Spot run complete with some truly terrifying roof walkers.
“We had to stage the most elaborate action sequence we have done. Our heroes discovered a warehouse store stocked with supplies, but unbeknownst to them, the roof was overrun with zombies and a crashed rescue helicopter compromised the structure,” Greg began. “When Bob Stookey (Larry Gilliard Jr.) causes a shelf to topple, the noise draws the ‘walkers’ to the center of the roof, and they begin plummeting through the ceiling. Our characters found themselves literally in a storm of raining zombies.”
As Greg alluded to, we all remember the chaos that ensued in the Big Spot soon after the ceiling fell —RIP Zach — but there was apparently a lot of planning and special effects that, as viewers at home, we weren’t even aware of. Still, as Greg goes on to explain, this is just part of what makes TWD so great.
Greg continues, “Between the practical zombie makeup effects, gore-filled ‘splat’ dummies and stunt people being dropped through the roof, the sequence provided every facet of what makes the show great in a five-minute span. The scene was storyboarded, and each character's kills were meticulously choreographed. Mike Satrazemis, our DP, designed a lighting effect to simulate the torn-open roof and streaming sunlight into the dark store. Effects producer Victor Scalise created a downed Chinook helicopter and expertly simulated its fall through the roof. I couldn't be more proud of how it turned out.”
We knew when we were watching that scene that we were witnessing something special, and even though it was only a small portion of Season 4, Episode 1 we could tell that this action-packed sequence was meticulously well thought out and rehearsed.
It was recently revealed that Greg is also directing this October’s Season 5 premiere and has a plan for the walkers to get a “whole new look,” so we’re eager to see what he comes up with next!
Do you remember being impressed by the Big Spot sequence in the season premiere last year? Sound off below!
The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres in October 2014 on AMC.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter