Walking Dead Director Greg Nicotero Explains How They Pulled Off That Premiere -SPOILER ALERT (EW.com)

EW.COM: When you were shooting stuff like that throat slitting scene, was part of you like, “Yeah, we’re never getting this on the air?”

GREG NICOTERO: When Scott Gimple pitched the episode we had a long conversation and I said, “Listen we have a great opportunity to put a little red herring in here because [MAJOR COMICS SPOILER REMOVED BY HORROR BOOM] So we set that up specifically to tease to the audience that Glenn might go. And so that is a perfect example of Scott and I taking something and just continually ramping it up. And the way that we accomplished the blood gags were that we put a tube around the actors’ necks and we shot the entire scene with the tube there, and then the actor came across with the knife and we sprayed the blood out, and the visual effects went in and erased the tube. So the tube was there the entire time. So we shot the whole scene and it was easier than putting a prosthetic on and trying to hide the tube. Again, a really good marriage of practical and digital and it’s so shocking. I had that low angle with Robin Lord Taylor — who is in Gotham — that was him, because he played the character Sam in episode 4 of last year. People will hopefully notice that that’s him. That’s where Rick gets his watch back. So we just put the tube on and shot the scene and I had this low angle where the blood sprayed the lens and they were like, “You’re never going to get away with that. They’ll never let you do it.”

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This EW.com piece, in which Greg Nicotero spills stuff about everything from that post-credits tease in the premiere, to wondering if they’re going to get away with certain gore, to the emotional re-unions of characters on the premiere, plus a big comics spoiler we had to remove! They didn’t bother with spoiler alerts for the comics, so when you read this piece on EW.com, BEWARE OF SPOILERS FROM THE COMICS UNLESS YOU ARE PAST ISSUE 100!

Click “View Original” in the lower left to read the entire article.

‘The Walking Dead’: See Greg Nicotero’s storyboards for the epic supermarket zombie scene — EXCLUSIVE

“One minute they’re safe, and the next minute they’re literally in the center of a zombie herd. They don’t see them coming because they’re not coming from any traditional way, they’re coming from above. So, Grace Walker built an amazing — it was between Grace, and Darrell Pritchett, and Russell Towery — because we built a set that was 15 feet high that had an eight-foot drop ceiling, and then above that there was an eight-foot section where we believe the roof of our store was. So, we hung dummies all over the set and we’re dropping dummies and stunt guys through the holes. And we would do stuff where we would be shooting the ceiling and a dummy would break through, and then when the camera came down we’d have a person in makeup stand up in the foreground. So, we did all these little switches where it would look like you were seeing one come through and then you’re like, ‘Oh, my God!’ and it stands up in the frame.”

Greg Nicotero, from the EW.com piece above

Don’t miss the link to the photo gallery/storyboard comparison! Thanks again, EW.com.

 

See Best Mama DVD Extra- Javier Botet, The Actor Behind Mama! Behind-The-Scenes Interviews, Creepy As Hell All-New Footage, More (Wired.com) SPOILERS!

SPOILER ALERT-if you plan on seeing Mama (2013) on DVD but have not done so yet, it’s probably best to save watching this BTS footage till after the movie. More than one commenter on the Wired post said it sort of, well, spoiled the illusion.
Many of us who have been terrified by the movie for months, on the other hand, are more than happy to see that it was  an illusion…

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Well, we WISH we could take credit for any part of this, or just post it directly, but it’s a Wired.com Exclusive clip from the Javier Botet featurette on the Mama DVD/Blu-Ray. Click the big red link below for the never-before-seen footage!

Watch Jessica Chastain Kiss Mama in This Exclusive Clip/Underwire/Wired.com

SEE! Proof the CGI was mainly limited to the hair/clothes floating effect!

SEE! The only actor who could portray Mama in the feature film and give you the worst nightmares!

SEE! Javier Botet out of make-up, being interviewed, to possibly help you sleep a little better by reminding you it’s just a movie.*

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Not to mention some very creepy concept art (it must be a co-incidence that one of the drawings looks like a relative of the Attic Monster/Medieros Girl from REC and REC2), Botet wandering around the set semi-casually in full makeup and costume (other than the CGI sensors/trackers wrapped around his bald head, making him look like the world’s scariest Christmas decoration), and we start to see him being swooped around on wires before the clip fades out. We do get to see over two minutes of amazing, never-before-seen footage, though. He does that horrifying, speedy crawl backwards, then they (apparently) reversed it to make it look extra creepy and unnatural.

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You can watch the entire Javier Botet ‘bringing Mama to life’ (or death, as it were) featurette when the Mama DVD/Blu-Ray releases on May 7th… just in time for Mother’s Day.

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*This will help, until the next time it’s the middle of the night, you can’t sleep, and you hear a strange noise.

Special Effects Deliver Gore Galore in Netflix Show ‘Hemlock Grove’ – Howard Berger of KNB EFX

KNB EFX – still the best, and out favorite, in practical gore effects (going back to Nicotero’s work in Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn…actually, before that). What’s “gore galore” to most might be a medium amount of gore for us (and we’re also far from ‘squeamish’), but we agree 100% with the “raw, visceral” part. Plus, the eyeballs were a great touch. Check out the cool concept art!

Don’t miss the KICK-ASS Hemlock Grove Featurette: Dissecting the Werewolf Transformation (Shock Till You Drop Exclusive)

Apologies; this was supposed to up on Saturday and we’re still trying to figure out why it didn’t publish, but hey! It’s here now! Click on the big red link below to see just how they did some of the awesome effects. It includes interviews with Eli Roth, Lily Taylor, and the werewolf himself, the easy-on-the-eyes (when he’s not transforming):

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Landon Liboiron as Peter Rumancek …plus lots more. Click on the big red link below to take a gander…

Exclusive Hemlock Grove Featurette: Dissecting the Werewolf Transformation | Shock Till You Drop.

 

Not sure this is the best werewolf transformation in horror as they claim that they aimed for, we’re still partial to The Howling. Guess you never do forget your first (especially if you saw it in a theater when you were probably, in retrospect, too young).  The Hemlock Grove transformation isn’t too shabby, however –especially if you’re sick of seeing the 2-second long (tops) morphs on True Blood.

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Don’t Miss GIANT SEA SERPENTS AND CHUPACABRA SNAILS – WELCOME TO THE MONSTROUS MENAGERIE OF TAKESHI YAMADA (ShukerNature)

Here’s a really great, exhaustively researched and put-together article on Takeshi Yamada, artist and rogue taxidermist (he currently appears on AMC’s “Immortalized”). In fact, this is the best, most complete one I could find.

I mentioned his work last week in this piece, and how I accidentally discovered his work on You Tube while surfing online when I couldn’t sleep–you know, the kind of online session where you invariably end up places with user comments like: “I think I landed on the weird part of the internet”. I couldn’t find the original video to post here. I recall it pretty well, though. The clip was presented with no explanation other than some title like “Nature’s Mistakes: Cryptozoology“* and just had a series of black and white photos of Yamada’s hair-raising art slowly fading in and out, including a couple where he poses on the beach with them as if he has discovered them, wearing a white lab coat (scroll to the very bottom of this post to see one I distinctly remember seeing and thinking something tells me in I’m for some real bad dreams tonight), set to creepy music. One of the user comments said to Google Takeshi Yamada. I did, and my first emotion was a wave of relief that these were photos of very realistically created works of art by a”rogue taxidermist” who specialized in carefully designing and crafting animals that didn’t actually exist. Nature’s Curiosities. A few on the You Tube video just looked a little too realistic (the obvious lack of Photoshop manipulation was unsettling).  Then I found the article below and read for at least an hour.  I looked him up again to read more later, when it was light out and my sleep cycle wasn’t troubled by nervous insomnia. Check it out below and prepare to be dazzled.

ShukerNature: GIANT SEA SERPENTS AND CHUPACABRA SNAILS – WELCOME TO THE MONSTROUS MENAGERIE OF TAKESHI YAMADA

 

If you’d like to see him in action, talking about his work process and his art, and showing the viewer around his studio,  I highly recommend you watch the below video (“Who is Takeshi Yamada?”) that AMC put together as an online extra for “The Immortalizer”:

The concept of the competition is that there’s four Immortalizers**, and each week some rogue taxidermist the showrunners picked comes on to challenge; they go in totally blind and they don’t even know the theme they’ll be given. The themes are pretty broad and always make a tiny part of me a little nervous as to what will be the final reveal of the art, such as “Your Worst Nightmare,” which another Immortalizer was picked for. That was kind of a relief, as even Yamada’s one depiction so far,  for the theme “The Odyssey” featured a canine beast with something like nine heads, being circled by his ‘dragon-bats’,  all with very sharp teeth–among other features– and if I owned it, I’d put it as far as possible from the bedroom or anywhere else I planned to sleep. See the ‘reveal’ in the below video (and note the sense of showmanship the artist has):

The challengers also don’t know which Immortalizer they’re going to be matched up to compete with–there’s a big build-up to the announcement and then the chosen Immortalizer makes their grand entrance.  If I were in the guest challenger’s shoes (when the challengers are introduced, they always describe themselves as ‘edgy’ and ‘wild’ in varying degrees) when the reveal came for who they are up against, and Takeshi Yamada came strolling out smiling in his vintage top hat and tux, with his ubiquitous pet ‘Sea Rabbit’ tucked under his arm, I’d immediately want to throw up my hands and say, “Fuck it! I give up, never mind! You win, I don’t know what I was thinking.” Fortunately the challengers don’t do that, though, so you get to see Yamada really go to town:

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OK, maybe there are less than nine heads, but looking at this piece? That sure as hell doesn’t matter.

If you want to see more but are in a hurry, I put together a small gallery of a few photos that I DO NOT CLAIM TO OWN THE COPYRIGHT TO (Mr. Yamada does in most cases) below; click to enlarge.


I sure as hell don’t claim to know everything, but I’m positive Takeshi Yamada is incapable of making a boring work of art. Even if he tried.

*I remember Googling the word ‘Cryptozoology‘ before I Googled ‘Takeshi Yamada’, and the definition of  Cryptozoology and cryptids didn’t calm me down any at the time.

**Beth Beverly, Dave Houser, Page Nethercutt, and Takeshi Yamada are the four champion Immortalizers. If you’re a Brian Posein fan, he’s one of the three judges and says something hilarious (that usually has to have a word bleeped) at least once a show.  I looked up the schedule on the official site and Yamada will next be featured in an episode with “Heaven and Hell” as the theme.

This is one of the first photos I saw that freaked me the hell out on You Tube several years ago.

This is one of the first photos I saw that freaked me the hell out on You Tube several years ago.