Friday, July 23, 2010

The Walking Dead Will Be My New Favorite TV Show [Comic-Con 2010]

My heart almost broke this morning when at 11:33, I was only just walking into the Convention Center due to a not-having-a-phone related disaster this morning. Luckily, I still managed to finagle my way into a packed room for The Walking Dead panel, JUST as producer Gale Anne Hurd asked if we'd like to see some footage. I almost cried with joy, as this was possibly my most anticipated panel of Comic-Con. Already on stage when I arrived were Greg Nicotero, Frank Darabont, Gale Anne Hurd, Robert Kirkman and another producer whose name I missed.

And guys.

This footage.


And now, my "live blogging" from the panel:

Incredible footage brings the house down with a standing ovation

Cast comes out, Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes (after the footage, I'm sold)
Sarah Wayne Calles as Lori Grimes, Jon Bernthal as Shane Walsh ("He does whatever he can to honor his best friend" - audience breaks out into laughter. Someone on the panel - "I think they've read the comic book." "We are really trying to do this right for you"
Laurie Holden as Andrea, Emma Bell as Amy.

Just announced - 2 additions to the case. Norman Reedus (Boondock Saints) & Michael Rooker (everything)

Was the cast familiar with the comic book before they got cast or did they get familiar after?
Andrew knew nothing of the comic, was very intrigued by the sides, put himself on tape, then the script came through with the list of people attached and it blew his mind. He went to his local comic book store in Camden (London) and was told it was the greatest and most successful comic book they had. Loved the world, thought the characters were beautifully drawn and Frank's script was wonderful. To audition, came all the way to Hollywood and audition in Darabont's garage

Sarah had never read comics or seen a horror movie and Greg Nicotero has "ruined her life." with his zombies (which look PHENOMENAL) and she keeps having nightmares

Shooting in Atlanta where it's over a hundred degrees, even at night.

Frank Darabont lost 15 pounds directing a movie for 15 days in over a hundred degree weather.

At lunch time, "no one ever wants to eat with the zombies", humans at one table, zombies at another

Always have three cameras shooting. Wow.

Can you talk about the dynamic between Rick & Shane?
Jon: We will see a little bit of their lives before the apocolypse. "Andrew Lincoln is a WONDERFUL actor and an even better human being. He brings his humanity to the set. Whatever conflict we have to play in the story, it's gonna be really difficult cause I genuinely love this guy."

Zombies in full makeup start walking by me and it's creepy as fuck

Andrew: "I love every single person at this table, in front of and behind the camera." Having the time of his life making this show. He and Jon got to spent two weeks hanging out and building their relationship dynamic.

What was the reason for Georgia over Los Angeles as a shooting location?
Frank: Was written for Atlanta, locations looked amazing and if CA ever gets its "tax incentive shit together", maybe they'd consider shooting there. He encourages us to write to Arnold and demand tax breaks for shooting in LA.

A question - "How are you gonna handle Carl and what happens to him?" Audience yells out - SPOILER

Had to cut back on the reel for us cause it's a family convention, but what we saw gave us a taste of what we'll be seeing in the series. We see zombies' heads explode.

Will we see the other characters?
Kirkman: Glenn and Dale, absolutely.
Darabont: I can't WAIT to get to Michelle (not spelled this way, very different spelling, I can't remember." Can't wait to get to Tyrese also.

Any thought given to reaching out to well known horror directors in the future?
Frank says Yes. They all know who they would want to bring on and hinted at George Romero.

Too early to start casting any other characters that come in later - looks like if Tyrese isn't coming until the second season, season one will only be volume 1 or volume 1&2

Did they ever think about shooting in black & white?
They tried a bunch of cameras out and decided that Super 16 was best. "Film grain, analog, creamy look." Maybe down the line the DVD might have a black & white version, like Darabont did with the Mist.

Bear McCreary doing music for the show. THIS WILL BE THE BEST SHOW.

On the music - Bear loves that this is a character drama that happens to be set in a zombie apocalypse. Talked more about the characters in the meetings over horror cliches. Scoring it like a drama, but you have to do the obvious thing every once in a while in a non obvious way. When he looks online and sees people say "the music should be this!" he thinks "not gonna do that, not gonna do that, not gonna do that." Won't be the music we would associate with a zombie apocalypse.

"Definitely following Kirkman's path of things. May take us a while to get there."

Amazing panel, amazing footage, I can't wait for this offing show. AHHHHHH. WWIIINNNN.