The Walking Dead: Tour the Season 3 Prison Set; Q&A with Cinematographer Rohn Schmidt - Dread Central
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The Walking Dead: Tour the Season 3 Prison Set; Q&A with Cinematographer Rohn Schmidt



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We have a couple of cool things to kick off the week for fans of “The Walking Dead”: First, executive producer Robert Kirkman takes us on a tour of the prison setting featured in Season 3, and next is a Q&A with director of photography Rohn Schmidt.

Check out the video now to see the cells and prison yard up-close and to find out how the set department created a “fake nasty toilet.”

In the following Q&A Schmidt describes the difference between shooting the prison and Woodbury and explains why he’d rather be stuck in a prison with inmates instead of walkers.

Related Story: New Walking Dead Season 3 Poster Eats a Few Fans

Q: There are two main set-pieces this season: the prison and Woodbury. Which most excites you as a cinematographer?

A: I guess you could say the prison. As a cinematographer and just by nature, it means you’ve got very strong graphics there. Last year we had Randall tied up in the shed, and it was just this very sharp, angular, graphic, black-and-white lighting, and I kind of saw what the prison was going to look like, so I was looking forward to it.

Q: Do you have any visual tricks for distinguishing the two locations?

A: Yes. I tried to create a contrast between the town of Woodbury, which is kind of like a fantasy world with a dark undercurrent to it. It’s kind of a little bit too pretty, so we’ve been using lower film stock to have less grain and look less gritty and raw. Then when we’re doing the final color for it, we’re adding a little bit more flesh to the skin-tones of the actors… And then that contrasts with the prison world, which is very monochromatic, and it’s still just a little dark and scary there. And the actors’ faces are a little less colorful.

Q: Most of Season 2 was shot on location and outdoors. What’s it like to finally be on a sound stage sometimes?

A: I love being on location. There’s a great kind of energy and realism, and there’s this authenticity there. That’s what I really try to recreate on the sound stage, to just find ways to make things a little bit reckless, to do things that are not so perfect because it feels more real… I might flare the lens or have it a little bit too light or a little bit too dark. But, I have to say, a couple times we’ve been rained out of our exterior locations, and now we have a place to go to instead of just shutting down for the day. Or even if it’s just too hot, it’s nice to just have a little relief in the air conditioning.

Q: The barn burning in the Season 2 finale seems like it would be a cinematographer’s dream. What was it like to shoot that scene?

A: Fire is always so dramatic and fun to shoot. It’s tricky, it’s dark, and it depends on how you expose it; it can look kind of white and not really threatening, and we certainly wanted a rich, red golden fire there. The way you achieve that on film is you have a very deep stock. It takes a lot of exposure. The scene looks as dark and in shadow as anything, but there’s probably three times more light there. You’d walk up and think, “Oh my gosh, that is absolutely ridiculously bright,” and by the time we exposed it correctly, it came out just right.

Q: This season we know the walkers are continuing to travel more in herds. Does this change how you shoot them as well?

A: Absolutely… It’s kind of interesting now where they’re becoming kind routine. Like swatting flies almost. Yes, they’re dangerous, but the characters are used to them; they know how to deal with the zombies. It’s more like a chore for them, and we shoot it like that sometimes, too. Let’s hack this one, machete this one, and away we go.

Q: What’s the number one photography trick that gives “The Walking Dead” its creepy, cinematic feel?

A: We try not to be too gimmicky with the photography, and that includes the lighting and the framing of the cameras. By grounding it in familiarity and a reality, then it gets scary because it’s not too pretend. And that said, here’s the contradiction: It is based on a graphic novel, which has really fantastic art in there. So in almost every episode, and hopefully in each scene, I do like to indulge in what I call “graphic novel shots” — so something that’s a little extreme, the camera’s got a very wide lens or very high light or very low light. We try to use that as a spice, rather than a main dish.

Q: Would you rather be stuck in a prison with walkers or inmates?

A: I think the inmates. I’m very much a man of reason, so I’d rather have someone I could maybe talk with and negotiate with.

Q&A with The Walking Dead Cinematographer Rohn Schmidt

“The Walking Dead” returns for a third season on Sunday, October 14th.

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

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SXSW 2018: Three Directors Talk Horror Folklore for The Field Guide to Evil



Horror anthologies that try to do something different within the genre are a rare breed. While there are certainly some that stand out above the rest, it’s a short list indeed. That’s why The Field Guide to Evil may be something of serious interest to those who love getting horror in short bursts but still want a full cinematic experience. Adapting folklore tales from around the world with directors from their respective regions, The Field Guide to Evil weaves together 10 tales that delve into the world of myths and lore, sparking tales that speak universally across borders, across ethnicities, and across religions. These are the stories that made us fear the monster under our bed, the creature in our closet, the shadow in the dark, and every other entity that haunted our nightmares.

To tell us more about the film, we got the chance to speak with directors Calvin Reeder and Yannis Veslemes, as well as producer Anke Petersen, about The Field Guide to Evil. We discussed the importance of folklore when it comes to horror, the universality of these stories and why they affect us so deeply, and the role of women in these tales throughout the ages.

A feature-length anthology film. They are known as myths, lore, and folktales. Created to give logic to mankind’s darkest fears, these stories laid the foundation for what we now know as the horror genre.

The Field Guide to Evil features stories and filmmakers hailing from Austria (Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala), Hungary (Peter Strickland), Germany (Katrin Gebbe), Greece (Yannis Veslemes), India (Ashim Ahluwalia), Poland (Agnieszka Smoczynska), Turkey (Can Evrenol), and the United States (Calvin Reeder).


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SXSW 2018: The Ranger Cast Brings Punk Rock Back to Horror



Yesterday, we gave you an adrenalized dose of punk rock with our interview with director Jenn Wexler and producer Ashleigh Snead of The Ranger. Today, it’s time to introduce you to our band of merry misfits! Above, we’ve got an interview with cast members Jeremy Holm, Chloe Levine, Amanda Grace Benitez, and Granit Lahu that tackles the ways in which punk rock and horror share similar views by mainstream society, what is was like working on set, and we even got Granit to sing us some lines from an original song from the film!

When Chelsea and her friends get in trouble with the cops, they flee the city and go on the run. Fueled by a hallucinogenic drug called Echo, they hope to lay low–and get high–in an old family hideout in the woods. But Chelsea’s got reservations about going back to nature and secrets she’s not sharing with her friends. When a shot rings out, her past comes crashing back, and the punks find themselves pitted against the local authority: an unhinged park ranger with an axe to grind.

The Ranger stars Chloe Levine, Granit Lahu, Jeremy Pope, and “Mr. Robot’s” Jeremy Holm as The Ranger.


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Exclusive: Followers Clip Takes You Into the Final Night



Hitting limited theaters as well as coming to Digital HD and VOD platforms this Friday is the found footage horror/thriller Followers. The movie follows a social media celebrity couple who go camping only to face the consequences of living such a public life. To give you a sample of what’s in store, we’ve got an exclusive clip for you to like, comment, and share!

The film will be appearing in the following markets this Friday: Los Angeles, Dallas, Boston, Phoenix, Seattle, Tampa, Miami, Denver, Cleveland, and Allentown.

Brooke and Caleb, a social media celebrity couple, are celebrating their special anniversary on a camping trip deep in the woods of Sunny Florida. Brooke and Caleb plan to record the entire trip for their fans, and Caleb even has a special surprise for her to make this weekend extra special. But they are not alone. Helpless and cut off from all communication, Brooke and Caleb are being followed by Nick and Jake, two aspiring filmmakers hell-bent on filming a documentary on how easy it is to track someone down through social media… and kill them.

Directed by Ryan Justice, Followers stars Amanda Delaney, Justin Maina, Sean Michael Gloria, and Nishant Gogna.


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