Do you love nerdy behind-the-scenes info about your favorite shows? I do and I don't. Sometimes I like to perpetuate my emotionally unstable belief that the characters and their world actually exist, which is why I don't really enjoy filming trivia about Game of Thrones. (You just SHUT UP about those Northern Inuit dogs, they're DIREWOLVES.) I do, however, like hearing about what goes into making a Walking Dead episode, maybe because I totally know zombies aren't real.
They aren't real. They aren't real. They aren't real. You just have to repeat this a few times when you get the urge to stockpile ammunition and MREs.
Anyway, if you're interested in how the Walking Dead creators use condoms to film zombie attack scenes, or find out who made a cameo in last Sunday's episode, I've got the lowdown.
How they film certain scenes:
The crew uses high-grade gyroscopic camera stabilizers to create steady shots when they're shooting from a moving vehicle. This gyroscopic technology dates back to WWII when it was used on gunner sights for warships. The More You Know™!
How actors playing zombies can hit the deck without getting hurt:
Most of the zombies you see that take a fall onscreen are wearing knee and elbow pads under all that fake rotting flesh, so they can dramatically drop to the ground when need be.
How they get those shocking headshots:
The Walking Dead shows a lot of zombies getting shot through the brain, obviously. The way these scenes are often filmed is the actor has to violently jerk his or her head at the exact moment they hear the fake gunfire go off, so FX artists can digitally add in the splurting blood afterwards. (Personally, I think this trend of CGI woundsplatter dials down the creepiness factor -- it still looks pretty fake compared to physical visual effects.)
What the condoms are used for:
When you see walkers tearing into a victim and blood geysering everywhere, the actors playing zombies are often biting into a condom filled with fake blood. Yum!
What famous faces were camouflaged as zombies in last week's episode, The Suicide King:
One was none other than co-executive producer, director and special effects make-up designer Greg Nicotero. (You may also know Mr. Nicotero's work from a rather spectacular moment involving Gus Fring in Breaking Bad.) He says he likes to put at least one "zombie cameo" in every season, and he made his own appearance as a zombie who had breached Woodbury's barricade. Also, NFL star Hines Ward was unrecognizable as a walker who attacked Rick's group after they rescued Daryl.
Here's a video of the above Walking Dead trivia and more, released by AMC:
Did YOU spot Hines Ward or Greg Nicotero last week?
Image via AMC