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GREG NICOTERO, Executive Producer

Since our characters don’t know them as walkers, at what stage are they discovering the “turned” or “infected” people versus The Walking Dead?

Our show starts at the beginning of the outbreak. We used the season 1 of The Walking Dead prosthetics as a base. The big challenge is that there are sequences and times in Fear where we want people to not necessarily be able to tell the difference if someone is living or dead. If you’re walking down the street and someone is next to you and they’re moving a little slowly, we are using the contact lenses but we also went with a bit more of a diseased look, i.e., redness around the eyes and nose, and sweat. We did things like that to really sell the fact that this is the beginning stage of our zombie apocalypse.

Which is the main challenge creating the new show?

One of the most exciting aspects of it is that when you start thinking about this timeline and what people are going through, there’s got to be a certain amount of panic and violence that is inherent with the decay of society. So what we are able to do is a heightened reality in terms of the actual anatomy with the Fear SPFXMU. So if there is a gunshot wound or stab wound, we are able to play up the reality of muscle, bones and ligaments and show that type of damage. I had a biology/medical background before getting into SPFXMU, and that’s one of the reasons why the prosthetics we do for these shows are so real. There is a sharp eye for realism here. We are able to play up the reality of muscle, bones and ligaments and show that type of fresh damage as a direct result of people being hurt or wounded or dying. So that was a very exciting element for me.

What’s different on Fear?

We’ve been able to do a few things on Fear different to The Walking Dead. We really wanted the show to be distinct in terms of its overall tone and feel. We have a few of our iconic moments that people will remember and talk about.

The companion series is unique in that we’re not deep into the apocalypse. Because we’re earlier in the timeline, we have more human beings fighting for their lives, so we get to pepper in some great zombie gags in and amongst this great drama.

Fear also allows us to go a different direction with decomposition using the climate of where it’s set in LA. This will have a very different effect on our walkers than the landscape of Georgia on their decomposition.

What is the difference in basing inspiration from the comic versus creating something new?

They both have different challenges—I think having a graphic novel like The Walking Dead is great because you know it’s already a tried and true commodity. You know the successes of it and you’re able to emulate that. I think the biggest challenge with the companion series is that the visibility of the show and the inherent comparisons that will be made between the two shows are inevitable, but the truth of the matter is they are two different shows. Fear has a fingerprint that feels similar to the world we’ve created, just in a different timeframe, all coming about from the same event. There is a wide world out there to explore, which is what makes the companion series so exciting.

Do you think Fear will have similar success to The Walking Dead?

That’s a hard question to answer. If someone would have told me five years ago that we would have been shooting six years of The Walking Dead, I wouldn’t have known how to respond to that because we just do what we love to do. Every season we elevate the material and challenge ourselves.

Fear will have the same work ethic that we have on The Walking Dead, which is to continue to push the story forward and make meaningful drama in this fantastic genre backdrop that we all love so much.

I know a lot of people are very excited and I’ve had a tremendous number of fans respond very favorably to the fact that they get another bite at The Walking Dead apple starting in August. There is a genuine appetite for The Walking Dead universe while we are in hiatus. What better way to fill that time than with another Walking Dead show? Expectations are high; we have our work cut out for us because we don’t want to disappoint the fans.

Did you train the walkers in Fear, and will there be as many as in The Walking Dead?

Yes, I am still the Dean of Zombie College. We had a mini zombie school in Vancouver, and it was important to have the continuity in terms of how we integrate the walkers into the show so we have Andy Schonberg who’s been on The Walking Dead for five years up there in Vancouver doing the SPFXMU. As far as numbers, you’ll have to wait and see on that one. It’s definitely something that begins and builds momentum. One of the things that is great about the first six episodes is the sense of enormity of the crisis. I’ll give the analogy of when someone comes home from a foreign country and they’ve been exposed to some bacteria and authorities want to quarantine them. You read about it on the news and on the Internet and it doesn’t become real until it’s someone you know, or a friend of a friend. Then it becomes the person that lives across the street, then the person down the hall. So there’s a very specific dramatic build that we have established in Fear that is more realistic to the world of this virus that seems to infect people.
Interviews
Cast Interviews Interview - Kim DickensInterview - Cliff CurtisInterview - Frank DillaneInterview - Alycia Debnam-CareyInterview - Lorenzo James HenrieInterview - Elizabeth RodriguezInterview - Ruben BladesInterview - Mercedes MasonSeason 1 Cast InterviewsCliff Curtis - The New Frontier
Crew Interviews Interview - Dave EricksonInterview - Robert KirkmanInterview - Gale Anne HurdInterview - Greg NicoteroInterview - David AlpertInterview - Adam Davidson

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