Q&A with The Walking Dead Art Director Doug Fick; New Season 3 Behind-the-Scenes Video - Dread Central
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Q&A with The Walking Dead Art Director Doug Fick; New Season 3 Behind-the-Scenes Video

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“The Walking Dead” on AMCtv.com

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To kick off the week, we have an on-set interview with Doug Fick, art director of “The Walking Dead”. Check it out along with a new behind-the-scenes video from the show’s upcoming third season.

In this Q&A Fick discusses how he enhances the scare factor of his sets, why zombies are scarier than vampires, and lots more!

Q: You designed sets for “The Walking Dead” Seasons 1 and 2. How is Season 3 comparing?

A: Season 1 was pretty chaotic. We were working on a really large scale… Last year we were really just on the farm and in the forest so we weren’t building a whole lot… And then this year it’s been a huge build basically. It’s a different show altogether… I think this year has been the most challenging so far.

Q: What’s been the most fun?

A: This season has been the most fun. It’s been a great year that way. The process has occurred under two production designers. Greg Melton, who was our production designer for the first half of the first season and all of last year, began the process before we finished last year really. He started scouting and starting doing some conceptual work. And then Graham “Grace” Walker came in, and we began work in the end of January, beginning of February and began building almost immediately. So we were designing just barely ahead of the building process.

Q: You guys are building one of your main sets on a studio lot. What are the challenges to that?

A: A lot of the process was driven by sort of the realities of the site we have here at the studio, which has really banal, boxy metal buildings that are not much to look at and don’t look particularly intimidating. So we had to adjust to that reality. We couldn’t cover them completely, and kind of the way to deal with that was to treat the [set] as something that had evolved over time so that it has a part that’s really old, maybe something from the beginning of the twentieth century, and newer parts that have been built up over the years, maybe up into the ’70s and ’80s.

Doug Fick, The Walking Dead Art Director

Q: How important is trying to enhance the scare factor of the sets?

A: That was sort of a priority… So we’ve magnified the decrepitude of things. Psychologically it makes more sense since there’s a zombie apocalypse. We kind of fast-forward the decay is what it amounts to… We’ve also created sort of connective spaces like a hallway, and a boiler room in particular is probably our best set in some ways that are scary in that they have a lot of stuff in them and a lot of corners to creep around. There are just a lot of ways that camera angle and lighting can really accentuate that scariness.

Q: You guys are shooting 45 days in a small town in Georgia. That’s a lot…

A: It is, and people have been very amenable to it. And we’ve been a good thing in general for the town. We’ve brought a lot of business and we’ve been good neighbors and we try to be honest with people about what the process is going to involve.

Q: You worked on “The Vampire Diaries” so say honestly: Which are scarier? Vampires or zombies?

A: [Laughs] I think zombies are inherently [scarier] because the notion is that everyone becomes one. That you can’t escape that fate. I think the idea of losing your consciousness that way to me is a really scary thing… And I think there’s a degree of sexiness to vampires that doesn’t exist with zombies.

Q: So you guys aren’t going to try to sex up the zombies on “The Walking Dead”?

A: I think that’s where we might jump the shark.

Q: As a set designer, what would you look for to create the ultimate anti-zombie fort?

A: See, I’d put it on an island. That’d be the first thing I’d do. I think that would be the best kind of protection, although I guess they could float across.

To stay up-to-the-minute on all things walker related, follow @WalkingDead_AMC on Twitter and visit “The Walking Dead” on Facebook. For more be sure to hit up the official “The Walking Dead” page on AMCtv.com.

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George A. Romero’s Daughter, Tina, Wrote a Script For Queens of the Dead

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The loss last year of director George A. Romero was a huge blow to the horror community, as well as the filmmaking community at large. The passing of the man responsible for creating the modern day zombie and whose work influenced “The Walking Dead”, Dead Alive, 28 Days Later, and Jordan Peele’s Get Out was felt far and wide but we take solace knowing that his work and legacy will live on forever.

Something that brings a smile to my face is hearing that his daughter, Tina, who DJ’s under the name DJ TRx, has written a screenplay for a zombie film that is called Queens of the Dead. And yes, it’s very gay! Romero has not only written the script but also plans on directing the film herself.

Romero tells The Saunder Blog about the film, saying, “Queens of the Dead is a fusion of two huge parts of my world: zombies and Gay nightlife. It’s a tribute to my father as well as my entrée into the genre he grandfathered. I can’t say too much yet, but what I can tell you is that this film will have all the hallmarks of a George A. Romero classic: farce, politics, heroes, assholes, and most importantly, herds of silly and slow moving walkers that you can’t help but love. But I’m doing it Tina-style, and bringing the glitter, choreography, queers & queens.

Romero’s father always brought some sort of social message into his work, so to hear that she will continue that tradition is inspiring, especially since it comes on a topic that is so discussed and topical.

If you want to read more about Romero and her DJ career, click on the link above.

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Wanna See Something REALLY Scary?

Wanna See Something REALLY Scary? Local 58 Contingency Emergency Broadcast

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Wanna See Something REALLY Scary

“Wanna see something REALLY scary?”

To horror fans who came of age in the 1980s, the line above instantly evokes memories of Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks in the opening scene from Twilight Zone: The Movie. Now, on a bi-monthly basis, I’ll be asking, “Wanna see something REALLY scary?” with the goal of shocking you with chilling footage plumbed from the darkest corners of YouTube.

As a child of the Cold War born in the 1970s and traumatized by films like The Day After and Threads, I remember immediately panicking every time an Emergency Broadcast broke into a TV show I was watching. That alarming tone made my stomach drop and in the moments before it was confirmed to be “only a test” I had already imagined a barrage of nuclear warheads bursting overhead.

My heart went out to the residents of Hawaii who, due to a false alarm, believed a missile attack was imminent this weekend. For almost 40 minutes, families scrambled into fallout shelters, bathrooms, and even storm drains, believing war had begun between the United States and North Korea. Even after the all-clear was announced and the warning revealed as a mistake, nerves were severely rattled. I can only imagine the potential long-term damage done to the psyches of Hawaii’s youngest residents.

For a taste of the pandemonium that occurred, check out an excerpt from CNN’s reporting below.

While the shock must have been unprecedented for most, a bizarre alert that accidentally aired in the late 1960s puts the Hawaii debacle to shame. What viewers of a local station saw just before the end of programming at 3 am was a message announcing the fall of the US Government, and included instructions for committing suicide rather than surrendering to enemy forces.

Wanna see something REALLY scary?

The message bore the seal of The U.S. Department for the Preservation of American Dignity, included a statement from President Lyndon B. Johnson, and warned that failure to commit suicide as instructed would have consequences:

“Your local law enforcement has been ordered to ensure your compliance,” the message cautioned. “It is against the law to delay.” The final instructions remind adult viewers to put down their children and pets first while promising “There is nothing to fear.” Though the station later posted a statement ensuring viewers the message was a hoax, the potential loss of life this broadcast could have inspired is staggering. Have a look:

If the Local 58 Contingency, as it’s become known, seems too outlandish to be true, that’s because it isn’t. Though the video doesn’t include an admission of fiction, it’s written and directed by Kris Straub. If that name sounds familiar, that’s because he’s the writer of the popular creepypasta Candle Cove, recently adapted into a TV series on SyFy.

Still, the vintage look of the Local 58 Contingency, not to mention the current climate of heightened tensions between American and a rogue nuclear nation, make this video a truly terrifying viewing experience.

Got an idea for a future installment of “Wanna See Something REALLY Scary?” Hit me up on Twitter @josh_millican!

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The Housemaid Haunts a New Trailer

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Here’s the thing… if we had the choice between cleaning up our own house or being haunted by a vengeful spectral servant of sorts, well… just hand us a friggin’ mop, wouldja already? Still, in the case of The Housemaid, it looks like nothing is gonna stop her from sensing shivers! Dig on this new trailer.

Derek Nguyen directs the flick, which stars Kate Nhung, Jean-Michel Richaud, Kim Xuan, Svitlana Kovalenko, and Rosie Fellner. Look for IFC Midnight’s release of The Housemaid coming to select theaters, VOD, and via Digital platforms in the U.S. on February 16, 2018.

Synopsis:
A forbidden passion awakens vengeful spirits within a haunted mansion in this bloodcurdling, erotic tour-de-force.

Vietnam, 1953: Linh (Nhung Kate), a poor, orphaned young woman, finds employment as a housemaid in a crumbling rubber plantation presided over by the emotionally fragile French officer Sebastien Laurent (Jean-Michel Richaud). Soon, a torrid love affair develops between the two – a taboo romance that rouses the ghost of Laurent’s dead wife, who won’t rest until blood flows.

Submerged in moody Gothic atmosphere, this stylish supernatural saga confronts the dark shadows of Vietnam’s colonial past while delivering heart-stopping scares.

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