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Friday, August 19, 2011

Greg Nicotero and "The Walking Dead" Nominated for 2011 Emmy Awards


August 19, 2011  
Posted By - Emma Venezie  
Source Credits - Deadline | Hollywood
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Greg Nicotero, friend of talent network (and cousin of talent network artist Frank Nicotero), is a 3-time Emmy winner and is a part of the team that's just been nominated for two 2011 Emmy Awards, in the categories Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Series as well as Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup For A Series for AMC's The Walking Dead.

Greg Nicotero, Walking Dead, Emmy's
Greg Nicotero and a Walking Dead zombie. Source: | Deadline | Hollywood. 
Since getting his start on Day Of The Dead in 1985, Greg Nicotero has become the "go-to special effects makeup artist for gore" and is the Special Makeup Effects department head on The Walking Dead. Greg chose the season premiere of the series for his Emmy's submission episode, which included goodies like "zombies devouring a live horse and a shocking scene in which the sheriff shoots a little zombie girl still clutching her teddy bear…and the infamous Bicycle Girl, a half body FX so realistic that it sparked an Internet controversy over how it was achieved." So how was it achieved? In the Deadline | Hollywood article, Nicotero explains…

"We did a whole life casting on Melissa Cowan, who has a great face for zombie makeup. We took our guide from the graphic novel to simulate that classic walking dead desiccated and rotting look. She just looked like she was whittling away. We did a one-piece foam latex face and neck, two more for chest and back. We put the custom dentures in first and then applied the latex over it so you could see her rotting gums and part of her skull. Her makeup application took a little over 3 hours."

Greg Nicotero, Walking Dead, Bicycle Girl, Emmy's
Bicycle Girl. Source: Deadline | Hollywood.
The "gag" is that when the sheriff rolls her off, her bottom half is gone: "We ended up putting her in blue leggings so that visual effects guys could remove the bottom half. So the top was all prosthetics. People could not figure out how we did it. There was a big Internet debate and some fans said it was a puppet. Others insisted that she was full CGI."

In the premiere episode alone, Greg Nicotero worked with over 150 actors in prosthetic zombie makeup, which included foam, latex, prosthetic transfers, silicone pieces, etc., and set them up for a horse-feeding frenzy in which Greg packed "a fake horse carcass with fake guts, organs, blood, much of it made out of gelatin so zombie extras could actually chew and swallow the stuff." As Greg remembers, "The zombie extras were literally whipped into a frenzy because this was the first chance they'd gotten to eat somebody. When they yelled action, all the zombies dove in and were actually fighting over the guts. And when we were done rolling, it was like a badge of honor. None of them wanted to clean off the blood and guts. If you're a zombie extra, that is what you live for."

Here's to Greg and The Walking Dead's nominations and to hoping they take home the wins. For the full article, check out Deadline | Hollywood's EMMY's: Greg Nicotero of 'Walking Dead'

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