Walker Stalker Atlanta: Greg Nicotero and Tom Savini Panel Recap

The panel features Greg Nicotero and Tom Savini, but Savini is running behind. Nicotero says that they're only a couple of weeks away from finishing the filming of Season 8 of The Walking Dead. He goes on to talk about watching Dawn of the Dead in theaters when he was a teenager and it influenced his career entirely.

"My head was in the episode last week, and it was almost in the exact same position and shot as it was in Day of the Dead, which was my first horror movie.

Nicotero is asked about doing the makeup for Killer Croc for Suicide Squad and, as he begins, the crowd starts cheering because Tom Savini has arrived.

Nicotero: "I remember going to see Jaws. I was standing in the lobby and looking at the photos and being terrified. When I saw on the news that it was fake, I was amazed."

Greg begins telling a story about working with Robert Rodriguez ahead of Shark Boy and Lava Girl. They went to the Galapagos Islands to swim with great white sharks so they could study the animals.

Fan questions begin.

What training do the artists who work for you go through?

Savini begins explaining his school for makeup and special effects. Nicotero says that special effects technicians need to know every aspect of the art and he trains everyone that works on his shows. He says that their zombies are so unique that the new effects people have to learn the show's aesthetic.

To Greg: How to you choose which scenes to be in?

"In the scene when all Nicholas and Glenn went under the dumpster, I filled a giant plastic bag with blood and guts and I had instructed the zombies on how to put pressure on it the right way so it would explode. On the day of, I had them put me into full zombie gear so that I could just do it myself."

Nicotero goes into a story about working on Misery, and filming the scene where Kathy Bates smashes James Caan's ankle with a sledge hammer. Savini then talks about scares as a director and how you need to take time in order to manufacture real scares.

If you could be any person from The Walking Dead, who would you be?

"I've always said Glenn. I love Steven and I love his honest portrayal of that character. Even knowing what I know now, I'd pick Glen."

Any story about a really risky effect where you only had one shot?

Nicotero: "I still marvel at the originl Friday the 13th and that scene where the arrow goes through Kevin Bacon's throat."

Savini: "Well Kevin was sitting up straight for the scene and we had an ice pack. I had the arrow to push through but the tubing got loose and went a little while. We only had one take with the clean latex over the ice pack."

Nicotero: "It happened the other day on set where we sliced the walker's stomach open and the blood was supposed mix with the intestines. It took a while for the camera to get rolling and the guts came out completely clean."


How many walkers are there?

"We counted how many we've killed and we're up to around 4,000. That's only the number of the walkers we've killed though, we film hundreds and hundreds every episode."