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"The Walking Dead" producer Greg Nicotero talks Season 3 zombies and more!

07.30.2012by: Eric Walkuski
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Anybody who loves horror knows who Greg Nicotero is. For a long time best known as the name in horror movie make-up, Nicotero is currently an executive producer on AMC's "The Walking Dead" as well as (of course) its lead designer of "walkers" and bloodshed. As we get ourselves prepared for the upcoming third season of the massively successful series, a little Q+A with Nicotero has hit AMC's website, most of it centered around those pesky ghouls, who are in the process of rotting further and further away. These should be the most disgusting walkers we've seen thus far.

Here are some choice bits from the Q+A:

Q: Tell us about the zombie decomposition that's happening in Season 3. How are you changing the ways the zombies are portrayed from season to season?

A: Well one thing I always think about and the rest of the crew can attest to is just how grueling the weather is in Georgia. The sun literally will bake you if you stand out in the sun too long. And one day I'm thinking about it and I'm like, "OK, what would happen to these creatures that have no actual ability to protect themselves from the elements?" So you can only imagine how horrible the smell would be, and what we felt it was important to play up is the idea that these things are becoming dried up and disintegrated and leathery.

Q: We heard there's an animatronic zombie in Season 3. Can you tell us anything about it?

A: The way that they work is the eyes and the jaw are operated via radio control and the neck mechanism is operated by a little handle that comes out of the bottom of the puppet so you can get side to side and up and down neck movements via puppeteering it below frame. So the beauty of that is that you can have it standing there amongst people in makeup and you'll probably pan across it and say, "Wait a minute. How is that thing moving?"

Q: What new tricks have you come up with for the zombie makeups this year?

A: We've been able to do a lot more full-body prosthetics. One thing that I wanted to allow for in Season 3 was, you know, rotted chests and rotted backs. So we sculpted male and female rotted torsos that get glued directly to the performers. And one of the ideas we like playing up was that the walkers, because they are rotting and decomposed, is that they're sort of putrefying -- so if you come in contact with any of them and you slash at them, parts of them might sort of liquefy and come off.

Q: What can you tell us about Michonne's pets? What's unique about them?

A: They're missing their arms, their jaws and their teeth... We actually sculpted the front of the walkers' faces out about an inch and a half, so when you see the walkers on camera, those are not their real eyes -- those are glass eyes that are built into the prosthetic. But by building the prosthetic piece out, we were able to deemphasize their real chin, which was covered under the foam latex piece, so you could stand on set and look at their faces and not see their chin, as if their entire jawbone was torn out. It was a really good marriage of a practical prosthetic face, prosthetics on the body and then the visual effects that erased the arms. It's pretty amazing.

To read more from the Nicotero interview, head on over to AMC.


"Walking Dead" star Lauren Cohan

Extra Tidbit: Are you stoked about the even-nastier walkers of Season 3?
Source: AMC

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2:55AM on 07/31/2012
this sounds sooo AWESOME, and I LOVE that their using a lot of practical effects instead of all cgi!! That animatronic zombie sounds sweet!!
this sounds sooo AWESOME, and I LOVE that their using a lot of practical effects instead of all cgi!! That animatronic zombie sounds sweet!!
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