Promoting the highest-rated TV show on cable, AMC hopes to build a little summertime hype.
Inside The Walking Dead is a behind-the-scenes look at The Walking Dead. This documentary is pretty informal, interviewing cast and crew about the ins and outs of filming the show while clearly showing the boom microphone during multiple interviews.
Executive Producer Greg Nicotero shows off the props, creature creations and Zombie makeup from his special-effects studio, KNB EFX and two of the highlights focused on EFX creations: the Well Walker of Cherokee Rose and Bicycle Girl of the pilot episode.
Costume Design is the next portion of the program. The main character’s clothing definitely takes a beating while fighting off the undead. Andrew Lincoln’s favorite pair of boots have been resoled eight times since the pilot episode aired. Also, Costume Designer Eulyn C. Womble gives a demonstration on creating a Walker costume, complete with rips, sweat stains and different colors of blood.
Locations are very important to encapsulate the specific look for the show. The collaboration process between the production designers and location managers are key to getting the right setting filmed.
There was an entertaining portion of the show highlighting special effects, showing all the practical explosions used on the show.
Prop Master John Sanders showed off the differences in Michonne’s katana sword (there’s the actual “hero” sword that’s rarely used, an aluminum version that is for hitting, a rubber version for making contact with people, a retractable one for keeping the sword straight and a digital half-version for green-screen kills).
Apparently, there’s a TV rule where you can’t shoot a live arrow on camera, so Norman Reedus has many workarounds to use his crossbow in action, also known as figuring out a “crazy math problem,” in his own words.
Another big element of The Walking Dead is all of the stunt work. Practically all the actors do their own stunts, so the audience can see their faces during the on-screen action.
“The range of stunts that we do are a pretty wide swath. We’ll do everything from fire burns to high falls to cars crashing.”
The wide range of topics covered made this documentary fun to watch. Zombie kills, cast deaths and the show’s fandom were all addressed, as well. Nothing truly groundbreaking was shown or exposed, but it was just enough for the outside world to get a glimpse of the Hollywood filming process.
While this program was created in part to promote the upcoming Season 5 — which won’t air until October — it was also done in hopes of giving a ratings boost to AMC’s summertime programming, especially Halt and Catch Fire.
Another documentary, Inside the Walking Dead: Walker University, will also air next week. Here’s to hoping there will be more new summertime specials featuring the undead!
Strength: The demonstrations by the crew were great.
Weakness: The cast interviews weren’t terribly exciting.
WTF Moment: The shot of Zombies playing cards during their downtime was priceless!
– “Sometimes, I just really want to cut a head off.”
– “It took 25 minutes for Hershel’s barn to fully burn.”
– “A Main ingredient in walker brains is cottage cheese.”
– “There are over 150 people in The Walking Dead crew.”
– “When they kill you on the show, man, they kill you good.”
– “It takes one to five days to composite a hero walker’s death.”
– “From the Season 1 cast, only five main characters have survived.”
– “While attempting to dig a moat around the prison, the crew discovered quicksand!”
– “It takes about 10 days to complete visual FX on one episode of The Walking Dead.”