The UPDATE!!!! The Transcript Is IN!!Hey everyone, it's (Jill) from AMC I just want to welcome you all here and thank you for - thanks for participating. So as you guys know, you're going to be speaking with Glen Mazzara, our show manager, executive producer and writer of The Walking Dead. And this is for previous stories for (Foundation Alley) so there will be no spoilers. It talks about, you know, season finale a little bit and obviously talk about the rest of Season 2 that you all have seen already. So I'll turn it over to Glen really quickly and then we'll get started on the Q&A.
Glen Mazzara: Great, thanks (Jill), welcome everyone thank you for your time and your interest and I just want to say, you know, everyone here at The Walking Dead and AMC is just really, you know, proud of this finale and I think this is something we've been building to all seasons, so I can't wait for you to see it. And I can't give anything away, but I'm really, really excited to talk about it and the rest of the season, so fire away. Thank you.
Coordinator: If you would like to ask a question, please press * one. The first question's from Erin Sager with (unintelligible), your line is open.
(Erin Sager): Hi Glen thanks for joining us today, how are you?
Glen Mazzara: Very good, thank you.
(Erin Sager): Thank you, I'm curious, you know, we've seen the death of some pretty major characters, you know, Shane who dies very early on in the comic book and Dale who survives quite a long time, you know, how much do you fell like at this point it's important to connect you to the comic or do you feel like at this point you're just completely, you know, away from that source of material?
Glen Mazzara: Yes that's a great question, thank you. You know, there are characters (or) stories that are in Robert Kirkman's book that we're excited about writing for Season 3 and seasons beyond, so we take that material as inspiration, but we have to put our own twist on it. So we do our own thing - Robert, you know, is here, we're all fans of the book and Robert obviously an executive producer and writer on the show so he's involved in all these creative decisions. And we're all excited about writing this material, so I think one of the things that I really wanted to focus on is to get closer to the spirit of the comic book.
I think, you know, it is visual, it is shocking, it is exciting, it is a page turner and that's something that I think we've really wanted to get closer to so that it's a more faithful adaptation, at least spirit-wise, not necessarily story-wise.
(Erin Sager): Yes and I mean, you know, it's one thing for - the show has been exceptional as far as showing really great violence on zombies and, you know, good kind of zombie gore, and yet one thing we've not seen as much of is sort of a living human on living human violence and we're about to see a lot more of that with the introduction of characters like the governor and (Mishon) - has there been a conversation about like how far we can go with these very graphic depictions of violence amongst the living humans and like where the line is going to be drawn while still being faithful to the spirit of the comic?
Glen Mazzara: Actually those - yes there have been those conversations and those conversations have taken place within the writers room, really, you know, where we're finding our own way. Those are questions that I've faced with Sean and Kirk and the writers on The Shield and we have to be careful that - not to show any human on human violence in a gratuitous way. I think if you look at the show these past few episodes we really earned those moments of violence.
We try to make them as heartbreaking as possible and that's where the show lives. We're not here for shock value, that's not what we're delivering and that's not - that's just not my intention. So I think that you have to pick those moments and I'll admit we have - when we've looked ahead, we do have very shocking, graphic moments, but they're all earned and they're all - they'll all mean something. I think the deaths and the acts of violence in this world play real, you know, this isn't just a shoot-um-up kind of western. And they have consequences for our characters, they really, you know, our characters feel the weight of those actions.
So that's something that's important and it's really a writer's choice - it's something that the writers and the producers come together and really feel our way through.
(Erin Sager): Yes and finally were you surprised by how much (bodies) and how much chatter resulted in, you know, not just seeing the death but Shane's resurrection as a zombie without getting bit, you know, it seemed like that was really dominating the, you know, social media - everybody was talking about, oh wow you become a zombie without getting bit. Were you, you know, surprised by how much people had been talking about that?
Glen Mazzara: Well yes, obviously we're all very excited about how much buzz the show is getting, that's great and that's always sort of mind blowing, you know, that's really been taking us all by storm. But we worked hard to make sure that that revelation landed - we knew what we were doing there. We knew that it was going to land a punch and that story's constructed in such a way that it does land a punch.
You know, that, you know, I'll say, you know, the fact that we revealed the (randal) before that so that people were not completely baffled or thrown off when Shane rises. You know, that there - we built to that and we spend a lot of time crafting that story on the page.
(Erin Sager): Okay thank you for your time, I'm going to pass it on to someone else.
Glen Mazzara: Thank you, thank you.
Coordinator: The next question's from (Melissa) with Popstar.com.
(Melissa): Hi Glen, how are you doing?
Glen Mazzara: Hi, how are you ma'am?
(Melissa): I'm good - speaking about Shane, just before he dies we see this wonderful (unintelligible) flashes (unintelligible) of the walkers, can you talk about how that relates to what we saw in Season 1?
Glen Mazzara: You're sort of breaking up, the question is about the flashes and what was the next - how can I talk about what?
(Melissa): Can you talk about how that correlates to what we saw with (Jim) - what happened to (Jim) in Season 1?
Glen Mazzara: It's a callback, it's something that, you know, we had to decide how to tell that story and I was thinking let's do, you know, where is the horror here? And the horror is that Shane - one of our main characters, we've never had main character become a zombie to this extent, okay. So that was something that I really wanted to put the audience in there and cut to Shane's POV and so those pops represent what is the storm that is perhaps in Shane's brain.
We've cut it that way so that, you know, people think that episode is over and then all of a sudden it's not and you don't know, "Am I watching a commercial or promo - what the hell, oh my god, what's going on," and it really makes you lean in to the rest of that episode. So that was something that is important to me to use certain things coming from horror films because I always do want this show to be considered a horror story first and now it's just a good way to own that.
(Melissa): Great, yes - and you talked about how you kind of lead the viewers in a little bit with (unintelligible) in the writer's room what kind of bread crumbs to lead for our viewers to see how far we can get ahead and what we can figure out as we're watching.
Glen Mazzara: Well you kind of broke up, say that - your question again. You're saying that the - about the bread crumbs and then you kind of dropped out in the middle, I apologize.
(Melissa): Oh I'm sorry, you guys talk about in the writer's room what kind of bread crumbs to leave for the viewers so that we can put some of this together in the end, or is that something that you guys talk about?
Glen Mazzara: Oh no, it's something we really talk about. And, you know, one of the things that I think we've been doing is there are a lot of misdirects in the show as well. And so we really want our viewers to lean in and to sort of have a real experience while they're watching the show. This is not a show that I believe you can watch passively, this is a show where people are on the edge of the seat, people are excited, they're sitting there with their friends and their family and screaming at each other.
And that's something that we want, so we do put these misdirection, we put bread crumbs in, we are I think very, very interested in making sure that have a satisfying experience. With that, you know, we don't want to give everything away, but we also don't want to confuse the audience. You know, we do - we are interested in giving answers to people, so we tease them a long and we want to pay off and give answers to our audience and then pose new questions. That's how we think we keep people engaged, we're not interested in just jerking the audience around, okay.
Coordinator: And the next question's from (Leslie) with The Hollywood Reporter.
(Leslie): Hi Glen.
Glen Mazzara: Hi (Leslie).
(Leslie): In terms of the finale and what we can expect, it's already been a really bloody season so far, you know, how much more bloodshed can we expect?. You know, how safe are, you know, these characters we've come to...
Glen Mazzara: There's more bloodshed coming, I will say that. You know, these characters have felt that they are safe on this farm, they've been wrong, they've been looking for a safe place to hide and I guarantee you there will be bloodshed.
(Leslie): Great, thank you.
Glen Mazzara: Okay, thank you.
Coordinator: The next question's from (Kelsey) with Hollywood.com.
(Kelsey): Hey Glen, thanks for talking with us today.
Glen Mazzara: Thank you (Kelsey).
(Kelsey): One thing that really struck me was the very quick slip in Carl's character in the last two episodes. You know, one episode we go, he's running from the zombie when he gets in close quarters and then the next episode he's already ready to draw his gun on Rick and obviously eventually does not shoot Rick, but do you think this is sort of like - has he snapped or does he still have a lot of growing?
Glen Mazzara: I think there's a process, let's not forget that these last few episodes are taking place, you know, really within I think within a week and a half or two weeks of the Sophia incident, you know and that was a huge event for everyone. So I think he's raw, I think he's trying to find a place, you know, he is still a boy. I think that when he's walking along in the woods, you know, that's just, you know, Huck Finn in the woods and he comes across a zombie, he's throwing rocks at him and stuff, you know, he's very much a boy there.
And then, you know, that results in Dale's death and that really racks him. We got a lot of mileage out of Dale's death where, you know, his initial reaction is to withdraw, his father hands him the gun, so I think there's an (ark) there - to me it's tracking, it's making sense. And I think that it's a process of him growing up in this world, you know, whereas everyone else is trying to hold on to the pre-apocalyptic world, Carl is quickly forgetting it. And Lori and Rick are at different levels of recognizing that, but I think Lori recognizes it more than Rick.
But it's a problem for them because Carl if he survives will grow up in a world and probably, you know, the pre-apocalyptic world will just be a very distant memory. So I think that it's not only a question of Carl growing up, but Carl growing up and forgetting what came before.
(Kelsey): Yes definitely some powerful stuff and I mean on that same note of, you know, loosing such huge characters like Dale and Shane, the (Tillman) have sort of become lynchpins for a lot of different relationships. They were really connecters so, you know, how daunting is it to that approach to the show and the relationships when those strong connecters have disappeared?
Glen Mazzara: I'm very interested in focusing on Rick, Rick is the leader of the group and I think that this season has always been to Rick dealing with questions of leadership. When we meet him at the beginning of Episode 1, he's on the rooftop and here's a guy, he's lost in zombie land and he's screwed and it's a question of, you know, what does he do with these people. And we've had different obstacles that he's had to face both personal and marital and, you know, the world around him and zombies and all of that.
So I think that, you know, all of this if you look these steps they really have to, you know, how are we focusing the show on Rick and how are we developing his character? And all of this stuff I think led to a very, very decisive act where Rick kills Shane, you know that's one thing people talk about Shane being killed off, well Rick kills Shane.
Rick took action in a very big way and so that's a statement that I think we're saying about our main character, that he's evolving as a person and a leader and as life becomes more difficult, what is he willing to do. That killing was a lot messier then the killing in bar.
Coordinator: The next question is from (Erin) with SciFi Mafia.
(Erin): Hi, thanks so much for being on the call today, The Walking Dead's one of my very few A-list shows.
Glen Mazzara: Oh thank you.
(Erin): Absolutely, I have about four thousand questions but the biggest ones are about the virus. Can you tell us anything about it at this point or are you barred from revealing anything?
Glen Mazzara: I'm not barred, but I will say that there are answers regarding the virus coming in the finale.
(Erin): Okay, like about whether it's airborne and there's a lot of buzz around (unintelligible) and every place else about what exactly what he heard at the CDC, was whispered in his ear, things like that, is that going to be addressed in the (finale)?
Glen Mazzara: I will say that there will be answers - all I can say is there will be answers about the nature of that virus revealed in the finale.
(Erin): Okay and again I understand you may not be able to say it, but it seemed to me when that when Amy died, it took hours for the virus to take effect and now obviously it's not, is that consistent or is that (unintelligible).
Glen Mazzara: It's consistent with how we internally approach how somebody becomes a zombie and what type of zombie and how - and it becomes a walk around and what type of walker they become. So in all rationale, you know, Amy was a weaker character than Shane and she was attacked, okay. Shane was, you know, is full of life - he's in a murderous rage, there's just more energy. So he's obviously going to be a scarier zombie, he's going to reanimate quicker, there's just more life in that zombie believe it or not.
So we do have zombies of different strengths, we do have some catatonic zombies - not all zombies play the same and we do have internal rules for that, so what you saw was very, very consistent with how we approach it here. And those are rules that the writers work out and Greg Nicotero's involved with that and Robert Kirkman so we do take our internal logic very seriously and that was - what you saw was consistent.
Coordinator: The next question's from (Joseph) with SFX.
(Joseph): Hi Glen, thanks for giving us time today.
Glen Mazzara: Thank you, thank you (Joseph).
(Joseph): So I had a question, I really don't know how much you can say about this, but Season 1 ended on - there was sort of a note - it ended on a note that the series could of ended with if it wanted to, you know it wasn't necessarily a cliffhanger and I don't know if you can say whether this season is a cliffhanger or not, but can you say if it will end on a - maybe a more open or, you know, (elliptical) note then Season 1 did?
Glen Mazzara: I will guarantee that people will watch this finale and want to know what comes next. And I think a lot of the die hard fans will say, "I can't wait for October," I guarantee it. There are things that are clearly setting up stories, moving ahead and there's also a nice payoff to some of the emotional stories that then open up new story lines for Season 3. So we - this finale is definitely - people are going to have a lot of questions in a good way when, you know, it cuts (a black).
(Joseph): Okay and then just to follow-up on that, the pace of Season 2, I think a lot of people have commented the second half of Season 2 has been particularly great in terms of pacing and how quick it's gone by and how riveting. Do you foresee Season 3 as sort of hitting the ground with that pace and not letting up? Or do you see it kind of building to that pace again as Season 2 did?
Glen Mazzara: That's a great question, thank you. I am very interested in keeping the pace up, I think that I'm very proud of the work we did in the first half of Season 2 and I'm very proud of those episodes and I'll admit I was surprised that people thought that they played slow. I did not think they played as slow as some of the feedback seems to have indicated, I'll admit that surprised us here internally.
That being said, it was always my intention to sort of amp up the pace when we knew we were rushing to a great finale and I think that our episodes have been better crafted as having a beginning, middle and hopefully a great punch at the end. So that's something that I think is important to The Walking Dead. I think we've cracked it, I'm very happy with story telling and the density of these episodes and now that we have - know, you know, what a very successful episode feels like, that's something that we're really, really working on.
We still have slower episodes, we still will have character felt episodes that, you know, this is not something where again that we would ever go to just gratuitous shock value - that's, you know, this is the story about characters we care about. But I do think that the pacing for the Season 3 is - really feels like freight train.
Coordinator: And the next question is from (Matt) with TVLine, your line is open.
(Matt): Hey Glen, thanks for your time today.
Glen Mazzara: Thank you, how are you?
(Matt): Good, I was wondering with, you know, we've lost Dale now and Shane - two of the more descending voices in the group, would you say the dynamics within the survivors will be a little bit more calmer now, they've kind of been at each other's throats in recent weeks.
Glen Mazzara: Let me say that that plays out in an interesting way in the finale. You know, that comes up, you'll see we do address that and I think that plays out in a very surprising way in the finale, so you'll definitely have an answer, but it won't be the answer that you would expect.
(Matt): And regarding the virus issue, I know you said that we'll get some answers in the finale, will it then be you're done - I mean are you interested in getting to the nuts and bolts of this at some point, or is what you...
Glen Mazzara: Of the virus itself? You're saying the nuts and bolts of how the virus works and that kind of stuff?
(Matt): Yes why, you know, did it affect, you know, embryos, fetuses?
Glen Mazzara: Oh yes well that's - what I like is that our - I like our characters being in the dark, you know that's something that is - we've been pretty faithful I think, particularly in this second season and moving ahead to Robert's comic book, you know, the survivors on the ground don't have a lot of that information. They don't know what causes - and they're just trying to live in this post-apocalyptic world.
So that's something that I think is one of the rules of The Walking Dead that we really don't know what's going on and it's a matter of how do we survive, that's the paramount question. So, you know, we'll answer some questions and then always have other questions, but it's actually more exciting when our characters don't know what's going on and don't know if they'll ever be safe again.
Coordinator: And the next question's from (Henry) with CNN.com.
(Henry): Hi Glen, thanks for talking to us today.
Glen Mazzara: Yes, my pleasure (Henry).
(Henry): (And I really like what you said in the last few weeks).
Glen Mazzara: Oh thank you.
(Henry): Oh yes, so as far as the finale can you say that - is it going to sort of wrap up the farm or is there going to be any (psycho inclination) of things that have happened prior that? Or is it just going to sort of wrap up the story of the season?
Glen Mazzara: It sounds like the question is do they leave the farm, is that what you're asking?
(Henry): Is it going to wrap the farm up or is there going to be sort of a flaming sum of the mystery of the season and all in the finale? Are you going to learn more of what we don't quite know yet?
Glen Mazzara: Yes like I said, you know, yes - questions are answered, things are - and propelled forward in a big way okay, you know, that we're moving forward. We're really not interested in going in and filling in back story, you know, our characters are, you know, at the end of Episode 212, you know, that heard those walkers are coming over that hill and our guys are on the run. And I think that I would love to see our characters always on the run after that, I think that makes for a dynamic kinetic show and a very, very frightening one. And that's something that, you know, I think just brings a great energy and suspense to the material.
(Henry): And was it always the plan for it to play out this way from the get go - for Shane to die exactly when he did, you know, exactly that? Or was this sort of something that developed over the last several of seasons?
Glen Mazzara: That was a good question, that was always the plan coming into this season, it was always the plan for Shane to die. That was something that we had worked out from day one and that was a storyline that was taken from the comic book. My - I really wanted to with the writers, we moved that up to Episode 12, so that was not a finale. We moved that up because we had a - as we started working on the material on the back half and as we changed the pacing of this show, that story just ended up moving up and we just had a much better finale to land on.
Coordinator: The next question's from (Jonathan) with Daily Dead.
(Jonathan): Hi Glen (unintelligible) thanks for answering questions.
Glen Mazzara: Hi (Jonathan), how are you?
(Jonathan): I'm pretty good, I wanted to - when you talked about the audience and how you like to keep them on the edge of their seat, I think one of the reasons this really works is because it does the same thing for the comic book audience, for people who have read all the issues.
Glen Mazzara: Right.
(Jonathan): So I kind of wanted to talk about that and wanted to know if that sort of actively effects, you know, your writing episode in deciding who dies because on the farm everyone has died so far. Either, you know, doesn't die at the farm or dies at a different way, like Shane does - dying (unintelligible). I wanted to know if that was something that you're actively considering, you know, as your write episode (unintelligible) or is it something you're thinking about moving forward?
Glen Mazzara: Well we're very aware of our - the comic book audience. We're aware of those fans and, you know, if you look at Shane's death in the comic book, Carl shoots human Shane and Rick executes zombie Shane okay and we had the reverse. And we thought that was a nice playful twist to still orchestrate a scene but in a way that a comic book fans would be surprised. That's something that we intend to do, you know, as we start using some of the more famous storylines from The Walking Dead comic book.
We realize fans have an expectation of certain material and we realize that, you know, fans might get frustrated if we deviate too much for material - we're still going to own it, we're going to do it our way, in a way that makes sense in the rules of our world. So, you know, we give you the TV version inspired by the events of the comic book and we hope that, you know, fans enjoy it because we, you know, we ourselves are fans of the comic book and we sort of feel like we get to play with all this material that Robert Kirkman's created. So it's great, it's fun it's something that we take very seriously, you know, it is something that we really give a lot of consideration to.
(Jonathan): Okay, and then at the same time I wanted to talk about keeping the audience at the end of the Season 4 - the casual audience, because you kind of got to keep all these people in mind at the same time. So I noticed at the beginning of the series - or the beginning of Season 2, there had been some criticisms that there weren't enough zombies or there's too much focus on the drama on the farm and those people obviously hadn't read the comic and wasn't familiar with what about.
Glen Mazzara: Right.
(Jonathan): So as things appeared to tighten up a little bit more with the season, I mean are you keeping the casual fan in mind? I mean I noticed for example like episodes are opening up with more zombie scenes and then they'll cut back something else, I mean is that something that again is constantly on your mind and that you ensure that even if, you know, you don't really watch zombie movies, you're not familiar with The Walking Dead episode-to-episode as opposed to over the entire season that someone's going to have something that they can really get into.
Glen Mazzara: Yes, you know, it's not that we're just interested in throwing in more zombies to have more zombies, I think this world has got has been overrun. You know, we in our minds, you know, this virus sort of started in the cities and now our heroes were sort of just escaping the ways - they were just, you know, running out of Atlanta, they got to this farm and now we think, you know, okay that entire, you know, tsunami of death is just catching up to everybody. And so the entire world is more permeated by zombies, you know, that’s indicated in a literal way and just that zombie in the field, that James sees through the window. You know, there’s a metaphorical meaning to that zombie, but there’s a literal one - just they’re everywhere, you know. So that’s something that’s important, but we don’t just want to throw zombies at the audience every week because we do feel we would lose a part of the casual audience.
What’s important I think, again, is to have an emotional punch for each of our story lines, but also to make sure that our zombies are scary -- to make sure that they are threatening. I think part of the - I think part of the feedback of the farm - sort of playing slower, or perhaps boring in the first half of the season, was really just that it felt too safe.
And I think that now in the back half it’s not necessarily that the zombies are everywhere, you know, although they’re getting closer and closer, it’s just that the world feels less safe. The fact that we’ve introduced human characters. The fact that, you know, your best friend is trying to kill you. It just - it’s just - it’s just amped up in a way that the world doesn’t feel safe and that is important to us. We do - with that - and that’s - it’s those things where there is suspense where you don’t know where the danger is. It could be anywhere. That’s what I think works well on our show as far as keeping people on the edge of their seats.
Coordinator: The next question is from Liz with Zap2it.
Glen Mazzara: Okay, thank you. Hello.
Liz: Sorry about that, I was on mute. Hi Glen. A lot of people are gunning for Lori’s death at this point in the (unintelligible)...
Glen Mazzara: Yes!
Liz: I was wondering how you feel about that and would killing the pregnant woman be over the line for you guys?
Glen Mazzara: I will say this, there’s - if it’s earned, and it’s character-based, and it propels the story forward, nothing is over the line for us.
Glen Mazzara: Okay? But (Dale’s) death propelled the story forward in a big way, even Lori going out to talk to Shane -- she’s obviously rattled by Dale’s death. You now, she’s trying to get her house in order. So Dale’s death, you know, propels us forward. Shane’s death propels us forward, you know. So there’s - so we have certain criteria for any death and I will honestly say that no character is safe -- that we have examined at different times killing every character. No one is safe on this show.
Liz: Okay. Thank you Glen.
Glen Mazzara: Thank you.
Coordinator: The next question is from Ethan with New York Daily News.
Ethan: Hey Glen, how are you doing?
Glen Mazzara: Hey, how are you Ethan?
Ethan: Okay. I have two quick questions for you. The first one is obviously Shane’s death transpired slightly differently in the comic books in that Carl shot him a little earlier. And I’m just wondering was the decision to not do it that way done because it would have been too shocking for television audiences, or because you liked the sort of the arc of Carl growing into that bad-ass we know from the comic books?
Glen Mazzara: Oh well, we do want to see Carl grow into that bad-ass. You know, Shane’s death really became about Rick taking action. That’s a very, very personal death. So the - my paramount concern was our lead character -- Rick.
You know, and here’s a guy -- his best friend Shane -- who he’s given every opportunity to. You know, they beat the hell out of each other two episodes prior. He even gives him a gun and says, you know, you need to find your way back. He’s overlooking the fact that there has been this affair.
He’s really given this guy every chance to repent and the fact that Shane is leading him out to his murder, you know, Rick has had enough. Rick has to take action, and so that murder became about Rick and we realize that there were concerns about, you know, well this is different from the comic book. Obviously, Carl shoots him in the comic but we did not want Rick to be passive and just watch his son kill Shane. We did not think that that was the right story. It would have had to be Rick’s story.
Ethan: And were you on the set for either of the Dale’s death or Shane’s death for the filming of that? Or...
Glen Mazzara: No, I wasn’t. We had a lot of producers there: (Denise Hooth) was there; (Evan Riley) was there for our - for the Shane death; Gale Anne Hurd was there for that: and (Fidel’s) death, that was (Angela Tang), one of our writers; and Greg Inciter, our producer/director.
So we had a lot of people there, and I was calling into the set. But part of the way that I like to run the show is I just go back and forth to Atlanta, and I spend a lot of time prepping the directors and working with the writers, and then - and the actors - and then, you know, then I try to get out of their way. And obviously, that’s a good call because I’m very happy with both scenes. I mean they’re beautifully shot, and well directed, and incredibly well actored - acted, Guy Ferland directed that - that scene, the showdown between Rick and Shane.
And so it’s just my goal to give people all the information that I have, and to talk about our intention, and then just let the artist play with the material, and shoot the best thing that they can. I don’t need to be on the set, you know, directing over people’s shoulder. That’s not for me.
Coordinator: The next question is from (Ernie) with BuzzFocus.com.
(Ernie): Hi Glen, it’s nice to speak with you today.
Glen Mazzara: Thank you.
Ernie: I wanted to know if we see this (descent) in Carl’s character doing - will we see Jim or Riggs become more of a featured actor in Season Three?
Glen Mazzara: Oh we do have a strong story line for him in Season Three. We do. I think we are very interested in showing how he is growing up in this world, the tension that leads between him and rest of the group.
And yes, I think Chandler has done a fantastic job and has really brought this character to life in a way that works I did about writing. So yes, I think that he has - he certainly will be featured.
Ernie: There’s also some great craft taken with Shane (unintelligible) you know, he was like the - I guess the opposite voice of so many that were on the farm. Now - I felt that it was kind of an important voice, so with him gone - and then also that - the dissection of that final scene, we still don’t know if I guess the right guy is the leader.Can you talk about the kind of crafting Shane’s final scenes and still having that ambiguity of maybe he’s right, maybe he - maybe his way is the way even as unpopular as it was.
Glen Mazzara: Well I’ve always said that, you know, Shane is - has been right in a lot of his calls -- you know, breaking open the barn, you know, I point that out. He’s the guy who technically found Sophia. So he has been right. I do think, however though, he’s a very, very flawed character. He lacks Rick’s humanity and compassion. And that’s a question, what is the role of humanity in this world?
And, you know, from Lori’s perspective, I think Lori would love for - to have a man who has traits of both men -- of both Rick and Shane.
]So it’s tricky and I think that, you know, Rick - for Rick to commit the murder that he did, in a way he was - he was pushed to it. He was trying to blame Shane for it. “You put this knife in my hand,” but he’s the man who took action.
So he’s really in a sense, you know, I hate to use the word “infected” because that implies the virus and all of that, but I think that you see that -- you’re Shane’s character has certainly infected Rick’s. Again, not implying that there’s a viral infection going on here. But you see that Rick is certainly at the end there has a shade of Shane in him. So I think that that’s important moving forward.
Coordinator: The next question is from rumblepup with Roamersandlurkers.com.
Robert: How are you doing Glen?
Glen Mazzara: Hey Robert. Roamersandlurkers, our big message board, how are you?
Robert: Yes, we’re doing fine, thank you for having us today.
Glen Mazzara: Oh, thank you.
Robert: The fans of the show have been really, really taken to of the characters of The Walking Dead very personally.
Glen Mazzara: Yes!
Robert: And we all did. We have, in our community, we have everything from Rick fans to Shane fans, to Daryl fans, to Lori haters -- oh my God, so many people hate Lori!
Glen Mazzara: Nice! Yes.
Robert: And it’s interesting to see the development but while I’m seeing this from a big macro view of fans and being a fan of the comic book myself, is there parallels/ contrasts with the comic book, for instance, Robert Kirkman was always very open in that he’s going -- and you mentioned it before -- but Robert Kirkman always said he’s going to kill a character at any time that the story leads to. Death happens to good people and bad people and sometimes it happens to a favorite character.
That’s a much different attitude for a television show where you have to treat characters a little bit differently. You said nobody’s safe but can you talk about the difference between how Robert Kirkman can kill off a character at a whim, and he’s done that in droves, you know, and how you guys need to affect that for the TV show.
Glen Mazzara: Well, we’re not afraid to kill characters. We - we’ve been doing it. You know, by the - by the time at the end of the finale, you know, in the past six episodes we’ll have more deaths than - than number of episodes. You know, I won’t tell you what those numbers are, but you know, if you count up all the deaths we’re - we’re certainly, you know, on a good killing spree right here.
But you have to build to it. You have to anticipate it, you arc to it, you design it. Because again, we want to have it land emotionally for the audience, have it land emotionally for our characters, and propel the story forward.
So, you know, I know Robert is a little more immediate -- oh, I feel this is right, let me just kill this character -- we don’t, we can’t necessarily do that. We need to build to it, and then make sure that it - it propels the story forward coming out of it. So and that’s just part of the process of TV. That’s just something that - but it’s all story-based.
It’s all about the story and the character. We don’t have - to be honest, we don’t really have other concerns. I know that there are, you know, fans have their favorites and obviously there’s all this other stuff going with the TV, but we are really, really focused on telling the most exciting, surprising, compelling, emotionally-rewarding story that we can.
And that is - that is paramount and when we, you know, are working on our Season Three arc and we are putting that forward to AMC, and AMC hears some of the stuff that’s planned, they’re very surprised, but everyone is agreed that this is the best possible story. So really are story-driven here.
Robert: And one of the things that was - obviously, we’ve talked about it previously here, is some of the mysteries and the backgrounds of how the zombie apocalypse started, and the virus, and stuff like that. Had there been any - are we going to drift that wsy - we have theories or background of how the virus is going to be shown in the rest of the seasons, or how about the beginning of the zombie apocalypse?
Glen Mazzara: That’s a question - that’s a question that comes up. I feel like that story’s been told in many zombie movies and many outbreak-type movies, and we’ve seen that, you know. I mean you can - you can even do it, you know, using a map at the end of Planet of the Apes - Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
You know, maybe that’s something that we would - we would go back and do a standalone movie for that. Maybe that’s something that we can do in a webisode, or some other way to tell that story, but it’s not something that really interests me.
It’s not something that ever comes up in the writers - with the writers. And, you know, I’ve said a few times that I’m not particularly into - interested in using flashbacks or going in and filling in bits of people’s histories, and I would consider going back and showing how the outbreak started a flashback, let’s say.
I’m not interested in that because I want - I want to propel the story the forward. I want to drive it forward. There’s a lot of adrenaline involved in a story, and that’s just my natural inclination as a story teller. I want to - I want to - you know, I don’t want to go back. I want to keep people guessing.
I want to keep people confused on the edge of their seat so they don’t know what’s coming next. They don’t have all the information and they’re trying to figure it out and they’re on the run. That’s exciting. That’s the kind of show that - that I’m interested in - in telling. That’s the kind of show I want to watch.
So to go back and tell people how the outbreak - who gives a shit. The outbreak started, and everybody’s screwed, and now we’re - we’re running from these zombies. I love that. I love that, you know. So, that’s - that’s just kind of my - my personal take as a storyteller. I just want to push it forward and have people frightened.
Coordinator: The next question is from (Aaron) with GeekOut.
(Aaron): Hi Glen, again. You know, with the - with the depth of Dale as sort of the moral center and Shane as sort of like the other second in command, there seems to be the power vacuum now for this - this second leader. With the popularity of Daryl, Norman Reedus’s character, do you have plans on kind of bumping him up a little bit? Giving him more airtime and having him become sort of a - a secondary leader?
Glen Mazzara: Well, I’ll say this, you know, if he survives the finale, okay, I would certainly lean on that character heavily. I think Norman’s done a fantastic job. He is - his is someone - he - and that character, as you know, is not established in the comic books. So - so and - and Norman has really brought that character to life.
What I’m very happy with is, you know, that character’s arc in the season that he has, you know, took on this quest to find Sophia. He failed. I think he questioned whether or not he was - he ever had a chance. He withdrew from the group and now he’s - he’s plugged in - in interestingly through violence. You know, we see him beating Randall. We see that is able emotionally disconnect and put down Dale to do what even Rick hadn’t done.
So yes, he is a viable leader. He is a viable number two, there’s certainly not the personal baggage that Shane had, so I do think that, you know, moving ahead -- if he survives the finale -- that that would be a character that would - would play a prominent role. You know, Daryl is the character that is in a sense pre-adapted to the apocalyptic world, and he seems to be the most qualified to survive.
(Aaron): Was there a talk with Greg Nicotero about sort of the zombie kills, sort of the grand finale of zombie kill is of the season. Did you kind of hold back on certain things because you kind of wanted to go out with a bang on certain effects and gory - gory destruction of the zombies?
Glen Mazzara: No, we - no, we didn’t. We didn’t not have zombies in other episodes to have more zombies in - in the finale. That was not the case. We, you know, had zombies as we felt that that was necessary for our story, you know.
And so then to talk about Greg, Greg was very, very involved in - in, you know obviously all of the zombies in the finale, and I can’t say what specific scene, but this is interesting. I’m happy to answer this question after you guys hear the finale.
But there was - there’s an event in the finale that we were talking about something and Greg said, “Let’s use what Robert did in the comic book.” So there was a - another event in the comic book that then we adapted -- and Greg pointed it out -- so we sort of had a theme that we were working on. The scene wasn’t really working, it didn’t have the juice, and Greg said, “Well Robert just did something in the comic book that really shocked us.” So he said, “Great, we’ll steal that.” and we put it into the show.
So it’s different characters, it’s a different scenario, but it really was - what was great was we had this treasure trove of Robert Kirkman’s work and Greg was the one who said, “Let’s do this,” and then, you know, we just - we just wrote it up and shot it.
So that was a great way where the whole walking dead team came together to sort of solve a particular story problem in the finale. And I think it’s - it’ll be hopefully an iconic moment. It certainly is a standout moment.
Coordinator: The next question is from Leslie with the Hollywood Reporter.
(Leslie): Hey Glen. You know in terms of T-Dog, he’s really become this huge character, almost as much as Daryl. I mean fans love him even though there’s not a whole - a whole lot of story line for him.
Glen Mazzara: Yes!
(L What’s his chance at the - at survival, and how much can we expect, you know, if he does survive next season?
Glen Mazzara: I will say this, okay; I will say that T-Dog fans will be happy to see some terrific stuff from IronE Singleton in the finale. I will say that, okay.
I won’t talk about his fade or moving ahead, but I think that that is a great character and part of our thinking is -- and this has not been translated okay, and this might be something that comes out at some point -- is if you look at T-Dog’s statements at the beginning where he realizes that he is very much an outsider within this group, and he doesn’t trust anybody. In our minds - in our internal logic he’s very very smart in that he keeps his mouth shut.
He’s not drawing anyone’s attention. He’s not drawing anyone’s ire, and his agenda has been to survive, and he doesn’t trust any of these people. So we actually, and I’m not just rationalizing something, that - that there was an intention here of why this guy was quiet. He’s just kind of playing it - now maybe we could have filmed it differently, or played it better, maybe that’s not - maybe we’re dying with our secret, but in our mind this guy is a kind of, you know, playing everything close to the vest.
So you’ll see some, you know, he certainly did a great job in this past episode. In the finale there’s some reason to love T-Dog and - but there is a method to our madness here.
Leslie: All right, thank you.
Glen Mazzara: Thank you.
Coordinator: Next question is from (Jonathan) with (Daily Dud).
(Jonathan): Hi Glen.
Glen Mazzara: Hi Jonathan.
(Jonathan): I just wanted to ask about mapping out second season, third season, and beyond a little bit because obviously the comics can go on for decades if they need to; the show, probably not.
So I wanted to know if you’ve been writing season two, do you have a definite end story in mind? Do you know where you want these characters to go, how you want to introduce some of the new ones, and is that always something you keep in mind for future episodes?
Glen Mazzara: It is. At the end of the second season I sat down and I wrote sort of a - a, you know, a big - a - you know, a big paper on what I wanted season three to be, and what characters we were introducing, what story lines, and just what it should fell like in inspirations and all of that. And I shared that with the writing staff so that they could think about it over Christmas, I was still working on post for season two.
And then they came back and we used the spirit of it all and as everybody started contributing and this thing became that thing, and things started evolving and morphing, and changing, it just got a thousand times better. But that document that I wrote really does, you know, bring us into season four and I’ve spoken with Robert on what I feel is the - the series finale.
So this is - this is something that, yes we make up as we go along. We stitching beads together, you know, this makes sense for this character, what’s the next step? You know, that’s always mindful, but there -there - I - you know, Robert hopes the show never ends okay. He’d like it to be like the comic book and go on for 30 years. I don’t know if that’s plausible, but I do have a feeling of where this - this show ends.
Where the series ends I’m excited to tell the story, and I would say that certainly, you know, before we - we haven’t, you know, we’re just starting to write season three now. We know pretty much the entire arc of season three, you know, almost beat by beat.
Certainly pushing into season four I have ideas and then skipping ahead to the end of the series I have very strong ideas. But, I’m also open to all of the writers and producers and AMC contributing to that, so I’m sure that what finally ends up being shot and filmed and aired will be very very different. But that’s just part of the process and I’m open to collaborating with everyone. Okay?
Coordinator: The next question is from (Ernie) with BuzzFocus.com.
Ernie: I wanted to know if there was going to be any exclusive Web content like there was at the beginning of this season and we’ve also heard stories about Sam Witwer’s grenade story that wound up on the cutting floor. So is there something that we can look forward to on the Web as far as put the mental material prior to the season, or during the season?
Glen Mazzara: Yes, Greg Nicotero and Jill -- are you on? Do you remember Greg’s co-writer? I forget the gentleman’s name right now. Well, Greg Nicotero...
Jill: I can send it around.
Glen Mazzara: Okay, so Greg Nicotero and his co-writer were just awarded a WGA Writers Guild Award for their webisodes. And so that same team is going ahead with a new round of webisodes for - to bring us into season three. So they’re just beginning to write that material, I’ve seen a - a treatment for it, and they’re going to write that material and I believe Greg is going to direct that as well. So there will be more webisodes coming before season three, yes.
Ernie: Okay, great. And then could you maybe tease us a little bit of what we can look forward to with - with Andrea and kind of her development? We don’t know if she’s going to make it to season three, but if there’s something that maybe you can tease us about where she’s - because we’ve already scratched the surface of what she’s evolving into.
Glen Mazzara: Yes, you know I think what’s interesting is that Andrea is a unique point of connection of Dale and Shane, you know, and we talk about that - that moral voice being lost, and Andrea connected with Dale. I think that she may not have agreed with Dale’s argument, but she’s the one who stood by Dale in that jury scene in episode 211. So there’s a voice of conscience there that she is - is affected by him. We see that she’s - she’s the one who really quietly is - she and Glen at the RV are mourning Dale. So that - that’s a very very strong connection that I think she has - has in a sense internalized that voice.
She also, though, does agree with Shane. She thinks his - perhaps his methods were wrong, she tells him, “You could use a lighter touch.” But we do see that she does side with Shane in a lot of ways and we’ve even seen in this past episode where she stands up to Rick and says, “Well maybe you shouldn’t leave the - the farm.” You know when he says, “Hell breaks loose every time I leave the farm.”
So that character is really, you know, those forces that we’re saying that they’re gone, you know, one of the other journalists said, “Well those voice are gone.” I would argue that’s not the case, that they’re not internalized in one of our lead characters. So that’s a good arc, so if she makes it out of 13, it’ll be interesting to see what she does.
Coordinator: The next question is from Lindsey with Broadcasting and Cable.
Lindsey: Hi Glen.
Glen Mazzara: Hi Lindsey.
Lindsey: Looking back on the season as your first as executive producer, how did your approach to the show evolve, if at all? And how does that affect your approach going forward to the third season?
Glen Mazzara: I think my approach when I first became a show runner was really not to - was sort of to listen, take in a lot of the information -- I believed in the story that we were telling -- and to really collaborate with people and to, you know, get my bearings as the show runner and figure out how best to tell this story.
The fact that, you know, I think we’ve had some successful episodes. The fact that people are responding to the pacing, which is something that’s been very important. That’s been something I’ve been putting forward. The idea that the - I’m very interested in - in moving up story and not saving it, or building to it. Let’s pull it up and then figure out some great story behind it, that’s just the way we wrote the shield, so that’s where I’m comfortable.
So I feel like I’m in the zone on this. I feel confident in the material that the writers and I are working on, and you know, I feel like this is - this is a show that I was really very luck to become involved with. But, you know, I’m very excited to continue to write it.
So I feel more confident moving forward. I feel like I do know what’s right for the show, I do have a feel for it, I do feel like I am in the zone on this one, and I’m just excited. So I’m, you know, glad to move into season three and introduce new characters, new story lines, and just sort of try to figure out how to tell that story. Okay.
Coordinator: And there are no questions at this time.
Glen Mazzara: Okay?
Female: I think we’re - I think that we’re done.
Glen Mazzara: Thank you everyone, I really appreciate your time and interest and I hope you enjoy the finale. We’re very excited about it and I look forward to speaking to you after that. Okay? Thank you.
On the increasing bloodshed in the last part of the season, and how much more bloodshed we are to expect.
Glen Mazzara: There is more bloodshed coming, the survivors think they are safe on Hershel's farm. They are wrong.
On Carl, has he snapped or gone over the edge?
Glen Mazzara: This is a process of character building with Carl. He's growing up in a world where civilization has to be remembered, not experienced. Last few episodes have taken place within 2 weeks of the Sophia incident. Dale's death has really started an arc in Carl's development.
On Shane's Death and where that leads Rick.
Glen Mazzara:The Show's focus was always on Rick. Rick dealing with issues of leadership. At first he was lost, and he needed a decisive act in his life to cement his character and leadership abilities in this new world. Episode 12 was really not about Shane dying, but about the act of Rick killing Shane.
Was Shane's way the way?
Shane has been right in most of his calls but he's a flawed character, lacks humanity and compassion, Rick has are leadership qualities but lacked the violent nature of Shane. With Shane's death, Rick has been infected with some of Shane's personality.
On the virus and how it works in the show.
Glen Mazzara: Many answers are in the finale, and it will cover a lot of what people have been wondering about. The zombie virus' action on a person depends on that person. For instance, in Season 1, when Amy died, it took a few hours for the zombie virus to affect her, because she was essentially a weak individual, her death was prolonged. The virus was not strong enough in the environment. However, with Shane, who was a much stronger person, a fighter, the virus had been working on him for a long time, but he didn't succumb, but when he died, the virus had a strong, rage filled body to reanimate. It happened much quicker. More life in the zombie.
Season 1 ended on a note - not a cliffhanger, where the show could have ended without much fanfare. How will this season end?
Glen Mazzara: I guarantee will end with fans dying to see season 3. We worked on the pacing of Season 2 to bring about Season 3.
On the pacing of the show.
Glen Mazzara: I was surprised people thought it played slow, but we definitely had the intention to amp up the pace to finale for some punch at the end. What propels this show is not the action, but the story. Happy with storytelling, slower episodes about characters we care about. Pacing for S3 will be freight train.
On the Zombie Virus.
Glen Mazzara: Done with virus in finale. The nuts and bolts of what's important will be dealt with. Glen is more interested in the story moving forward. What we like is that our characters are in the dark and that is faithful to Kirkman comic book. The survivors don't have virus information. Unspoken rules of the walking dead - the survivors don't know what's going on, we'll stay true to that.
On the Zombie Apocalypse.
Glen Mazzara: The lack of zombies in The Walking Dead is actually the edge of the wave of a tsunami of death. The ZA hit the ciites, and the zombies are slowly walking out of the cities outward. Evidence of that is the first herd. Zombies are everywhere, and still coming. The TWD world will seem less safe and dangers everywhere.
Edited by rumblepup, 16 March 2012 - 06:03 PM.