Greg Nicotero and KNB’s make-up work on The Walking Dead has defined the look of the show, generating realistic-looking zombies that have helped sell the high-concept premise to a massive audience. With 13 episodes this year, Nicotero, now promoted to co-executive producer, faced new challenges in bringing a cinematic edge to the show. “Last year we had six episodes, and we did six mini-movies. There was never an instance of, ‘we don’t have a lot of time to figure that out’, we just do, that’s our nature, especially with Frank Darabont, Greg Melton…we all have very cinematic tastes, so we wanted the show to feel big, bigger than you would ever imagine on a TV show.”
Relocating to Hershel’s Farm in Season 2 has upped the stakes. “This show is inherently different to last year, because last year we were in the middle of the city and a walker could come out of any building, anywhere,” Nicotero says. “And this year because we’ve sidetracked to Hershel’s Farm, much like in the graphic novel, the farm certainly isn’t populated with walkers, so there are a couple of episodes where they’re not walker heavy – then all of a sudden the next one, boom! There’s 60 or 80 of them. I’m always looking at what we can do and what we can make better. That’s probably the genre fan in me, the moviegoer that wants to go and see something different, something new.”
Season 2 of The Walking Dead starts on Friday 21 October on FX UK. Issue 60 of SciFiNow, with our huge feature on the show, is available on 26 October.