Thursday, March 21, 2013

'Walking Dead' Filming Secrets: Condoms Make Zombie Meals Extra Juicy 

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, 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!

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