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Q&A with The Walking Dead Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd

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“The Walking Dead” on AMC

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Time for another weekly Q&A from the set of “The Walking Dead”. Today Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd describes sending Season 3’s extras to zombie graduate school and predicts who would win in a walker vs. pirate battle.

Q: You guys are now shooting Episode 303. How are things on set?

A: They’ve been great…We shut down the town [we’re shooting in], and we had a couple hundred fans surrounding the town. And they stuck around not able to see anything, so I have to give them full credit for their persistence.

Q: This season is the longest yet with 16 episodes. What kind of challenges does a longer season present?

A: It’s really a marathon this year. The advantage is we have had some cooler weather in May, and we’ll be going into cooler weather again in October. The challenge is maintaining the same intense level of storytelling that our audience expects of us, and we certainly plan to deliver on that.

Q: There are so many new locations and characters this season, what are you most excited about?

A: I will say that I loved the farm, but it is good to be off the farm. And the contrast between our [two main sets] this season is so great…We’re setting up this first community that is functioning in a post-zombie apocalypse. We get to see not only the advantages of putting civilization back on its feet again but also the dark forces at work in what may seem like a Utopia.

Q: A lot of this season is filmed on an air-conditioned soundstage. Are you relieved to be inside, or do you miss the outdoor shoots?

A: We were shooting in the woods again a few days ago, which I’m sure will always be a component of our series. And we encountered the ticks and the chiggers and the wildlife again, so they reminded us of many of our travails last season. Plus we were hit by a deluge of a rainstorm and we had to evacuate that set… But the air-conditioned stages are very much enjoyed by cast and crew alike. [Laughs]

Q&A with The Walking Dead Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd

Q: This is your third season of “The Walking Dead”. What’s the secret to keeping the show feeling fresh and scary?

A: It’s really important to focus on making the story as richly character-driven as possible because the scares and the sense of jeopardy only come with identifying with those characters when they’re in jeopardy.

Q: There are many new human threats this season, which you’ve always warned about, but what about the zombies? What new tricks can we expect from them?

A: Obviously we have the absolute best makeup effects team on the planet, led by Greg Nicotero… And every year he ups his game. So we’re not just seeing the same old thing. This season we’re going to have puppeted animatronic zombies, and that’s something that we haven’t seen before.

Q: Have the zombie extras improved their technique over three seasons?

A: [The zombies] get better and better. Now they’ve had three years of zombie college, and they’re about to go to graduate school… Our Walkers all have a history that the performer brings to the table, which is, “Okay where was I bitten, what part of my body has been affected, and how long have I been in the zombie state?” And that determines whether one arm isn’t working or if they were bitten on the neck, maybe their head hangs over to one side.

Q: Next month will be your third visit to Comic-Con to give fans a look at “The Walking Dead”. What can fans expect?

A: We like to bring a special reel for the fans at Comic-Con so they can see a special sneak peak of Season 3 before everyone else. It’s sort of a reward for waiting in line to get into the hall. And we’ll be bringing a larger contingent of our cast and crew than ever this year. And also because we began shooting a lot earlier this year, the reel will contain a lot more footage than it has in the past.

Q: We’ve heard that you’re working on a pirate TV show. Any similarities between pirates and zombies?

A: The thing about pirates is they’re a little easier to kill, but at the same time they won’t stop at anything either. They’re all out, all the time, and they’re not easily dissuaded once they’ve got their eye on the prize.

Q: But who would win a battle between the two?

A: I think it would depend on how many zombies there were and how quickly [the pirates] figure out that you have to destroy the brain or they’ll keep on coming.

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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Jesper Kyd Returning to Score Vermintide 2

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From the cover of Kyd's first Vermintide OST

Get your headphones ready, Warhammer fans because State of Decay and Darksiders 2 composer Jesper Kyd is back to score the upcoming Warhammer title Vermintide 2! The game will be coming to PC and consoles early this year.

Kyd was inspired by Norse mythology, utilizing ancient tribal music as well as dark fantastical elements to build upon the acoustic soundscapes he composed for the first Vermintide game. Channeling his own Scandinavian roots, Kyd will blend Viking and Norse-inspired vocals with ritualistic percussion styles to create a unique soundtrack experience.

Three tracks from the score can be heard below.

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Like Me – Will You Like This Dystopian Thriller?

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Starring Addison Timlin, Ian Nelson, Larry Fessenden

Directed by Robert Mockler


While Like Me is not dystopian in the classic science-fiction sense, it does aptly put the downer vibe across. If the present is abysmal, then the future is downright hopeless. We learn this as we follow an unhinged teenage loner called Kiya (Addison Timlin) on a hollow crime spree that she broadcasts on social media. At first the world “likes” her—with the exception of YouTube rival Burt (Ian Nelson), who disdainfully denounces her viral videos—but pride goes before the fall, and Kiya’s descent is spectacular.

If you’ve peeped the trailer for Like Me, then you’re probably expecting a horror movie. I mean, they’ve got the requisite menacing masked baddie and they’ve got genre icon Larry Fessenden in a major role—those are a couple of the key ingredients, right? Yes they are, but this simmering, shimmering stew of Natural Born Killers, Excision and King Kelly, it boils down to a whole lotta nothing. Like Me is sort of a drama, kind of a road trip flick, and almost a thriller. It succeeds at none yet does stand on its own as a compelling collection of cool visuals and pertinent performances. But is that enough?

While Kiya is a compelling character on the surface, there’s barebones beneath. Sure, she’s a Millennial mind-fed on random online clips and snappy soundbites—but what turned her into a psychopath? Was she born that way? Is social media to blame? We’ll never know, because not a hint is given. I don’t mind ambiguity, but even a morsel would have been welcome in this case. As Kiya ramps up her reckless exhibitionistic extremes, the stakes are never raised. In the end, who cares? Maybe that’s the point.

A word of warning: If you plan on watching this movie while chomping snacks…don’t. There is stomach-turning scene after vomit-inducing scene of orgiastic easting, binging, and the inevitable purging. I’m sure it’s all metaphorical mastication, a cutting comment on disposable consumption. I get it. But I don’t wanna look at it, again and again and again. Having said that, Like Me is an experimental film and in its presentation of such grotesquery, it’s quite accomplished. Montages, split-screens and jittered motions are scattered throughout, showing us all sorts of unpleasant things…Kudos to the editor.

I didn’t hate Like Me. But I do think one has to be in the mood for a movie such as this. It’s not an easy or entertaining watch, but it is a peculiar and thought-provoking one. There’s some style and mastery behind the camera, and I am curious to see what first-time writer-director Rob Mockler comes up with next.

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Last Toys on the Left

Funko Giving Jurassic Park the Pop! Treatment as Only They Can

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It is no secret we’re BIG fans of Funko’s Pop! Vinyl line here at DC HQ, and now they’ve announced a new series that has made our hearts just about burst… read on for a look at Pop! Movies: Jurassic Park, heading our way in February. The regular figures are awesome on their own, but wait until you see the exclusives!

From the Funko Blog:
Jurassic Park fans, get excited! To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the iconic film’s appearance on the silver screen, Jurassic Park is coming to Pop!

This series of Pop! features paleontologist Dr. Grant, Jurassic Park CEO John Hammond, mathematician Dr. Malcolm, and embryo-smuggler Dennis Nedry. (Keep an eye out for Dr. Ellie Sattler in Pop! Rides coming soon.)

We couldn’t forget the Jurassic Park dinosaurs! Featured in this line are the great T. rex, Velociraptor, and Dilophsaurus. Look for the Dilophosaurus chase, a rarity of 1-in-6.

Be on the lookout for exclusives. At Target you can find a wounded Dr. Malcolm, and the Dennis Nedry and Dilophosaurus 2-pack is available only at Entertainment Earth.

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