Monday, December 9, 2013

TWD: Just a horror soap opera?


"A soap opera, often referred to simply as a soap, is a serial drama, on television or radio, that features multiple related story lines dealing with the lives of multiple characters. The stories in these series typically focus heavily on emotional relationships to the point of melodrama." (Courtesy Wikipedia)

A soap opera has continuing characters that are constantly being placed into dramatic story arc regarding love, marriage, murder, comas, fights, confrontations, hard decisions, and the usual overly exaggerated daily problems that we all share. TWD has had it all from the jump: cop drama, comas, cheating, pregnancy, betrayals, murders, love blossoms with two young lovers from different backgrounds, madness, death, a bad guy, a good guy, shocking twists & turns...all of the stuff that makes a soap opera!

You know you have to admit that TWD is just a soap opera...with zombies. Now, I'm a fan, don't get me wrong, but it's true. I have to agree with George Romero with this one. The similarities are way too close to really call the difference, if you really examine the episodes of TWD objectively. The characters, with the exception of two, have all been unsympathetic in nature. You really can't get to totally like most of them before they do something that makes you like them less! 

 I  recently read an article where Gale Ann Hurd stated that she didn't want TWD to be a "Run & Gun" TV show because there are a lot of those out there already. However, the very premise that TWD sets up certainly ensures  that it will always end up being a "run & gun" due to the very environment they are in. The difference is that TWD slowly sets up to the one climatic episode that is pure "run & gun" - and those have been the best episodes! TWD is setting itself up into a corner that'll be difficult to get out of. I mean, if every single character could be killed off at any time, who'll fill the slots? Yet again, we get the "Red Shirt Syndrome"! How can the viewer relate to newly introduced characters so often and not lose interest? There has to be a focus, a central character that must remain throughout the entire run for it to even retain viewership. Hell, at least soap operas have their characters "go on trips to Europe" or "get killed in plane crashes", only to have them show back up later! Why? Because viewers can relate to loss, but the loss of main characters will alienate them- so they find ways to bring them back. Loss without loss. TWD does it too. How many times have we heard "If Daryl dies, we riot"? Heh heh- see? Viewer attachment has to be considered regarding the series longevity and, more importantly, it's ability to grow (not expand, grow! The spin-off is another whole blog!) How can the audience measure character growth without having a base-line character in which to gauge the change?

Here's the thing: TWD needs to be more "run & gun"! As I addressed last blog, the episodes of the Governor leading up to the mid-season finale (a "run & gun" episode, BTW) was really unnecessarily dramatic and did not move any part of the TWD TV Canon forward at all! Like I said, it was like someone said "I've got some good zombie gags, let's pad some shit around it!"

Although not all of his movies have been great, at least Romero tries to add some sort of commentary and metaphorical meanings to his "Dead Series". There's a good balance of drama & "run & gun" in each of the installments. That's what I like about it. 

In my opinion, TWD is absolutely a soap opera. No doubt in my mind. The difference to me and will be my main reason to watch it is that it's a soap opera with zombies! That's it. I like zombies. I like people surviving in the ZA. I never thought I'd like a soap opera until "The Walking Dead" came around!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

TWD: Mirror Universe, Alternate Historical Timeline or what?

                 "The Walking Dead" : Mirror Universe or Alternate Historical Timeline?

I've been debating with several of my friends about whether or not TWD is occurring in a  Mirror Universe or an Alternate Historical Timeline. This may seem trivial at first, but when you really delve into certain aspects of the show, it become painfully obvious that something isn't quite right. Suspension of disbelief carries a viewer a long way, if it didn't Science Fiction wouldn't have become the juggernaut that it is today.

The central point of debate began when we heard Robert Kirkman on an episode of "The Talking Dead" say that "in this world, they have no concept of zombies, of the dead coming back to life" (paraphrased). This brings up a notable fact that the characters never, ever call them 'zombies'. Not once. They're called everything else, but never 'zombie'. "Walker", "Biters", "Geeks", "Things", etc are the usual vernacular references.

Now, in our real world, we know and can conceive (however improbable) the idea of dead people returning to life. It's not a new idea, right? So, in the TWD 'world', their civilization has absolutely no preconceived ideas regarding zombies. That can only mean that their world is different from ours, as evidenced by the whole "Zed Word" avoidance.This itself brings up another question: Is the TWD world 'our Earth' but in a alternate timeline or is it an entire Mirror Universe?

If it's an alternate timeline, then it should have split off from our own timeline centuries ago when the idea of the dead returning to life was first referenced- which probably meant that other such ideas (especially Religious & Philosophical ideas) were not developed either. The entire world would have been different by the time of the TWD beginning episode- perhaps almost unrecognizable so.But this theory, as I have pointed out to my TWD debate buddies, cannot be correct due to the fact that Religion has been referenced with such specificity within the TWD TV Canon, that even Herschel quoted the Holy Bible and the fact that Christ promised the resurrection of the dead. Therefore the idea of the dead returning from the beyond was in fact an accepted concept by individuals within the TWD World- effectively putting the entire Alternate Timeline Theory into the trash bin.

However, I favor the Mirror Universe Theory. The theory is a simple one and is not new either, but it solves such problems easier that the Alternate Timeline Theory. Mirror Universes are alternate realities in which every conceivable outcome to every decision ever made has been realized. Many science fiction shows have explored this idea. "Sliders" was a great example of sci-fi TV based entirely on this concept of Parallel Universes.

I believe that since no specific historical facts have been directly referenced in TWD TV Canon in regards to past events that the writers can circumvent this issue altogether. I mean, we've seen, the Flag of the United States- (references to other states & countries) but never any specific past history to put the show into a temporal location in which to compare to ours.We hear about what characters used to do, we hear about certain instances in their lives in the past- but without any other frame of reference historically- the exact year and, more importantly, the past history cannot even be guessed at. The vehicles used in the show range from the 1960's to 2013 models, as I have noticed. Another anachronism is the tank used in the mid-season finale for Season 4. The operator clearly stated that he was serving in the modern US Army and took his tank with him when the outbreak began. So why is he operating a 43 year old tank?  So, the probability that the TWD World is a "mirror universe" outcome is more easily accepted.

The "Mirror Universe" explanation cannot however explain why the concept of "living dead" has been developed (thru religion as per Canon), but the word "zombie" has not? Is it simply that this mirror world just never came up with the word "zombie"? I find that harder to believe than the entire premise of the show!

Why avoid the use of the word "zombie" anyway? The answer may lie in the traditional concept of the "living dead" as created & put forth by George A. Romero. The word "Zombie" was only used twice in all of his "Dead" films; once in the original "Dawn of the Dead" (1979) by actor Ken Foree and the second time by Dennis Hopper in "Land of the Dead" (2005). Hell, even "Shaun of the Dead" made fun of the non-use of the word "zombie" by an entire back & forth dialogue between the main characters after one of them references the creatures as "Zombies" & is subsequently chastised to not use the "Zed word" because it's silly.

So, why are they not called "zombies"? Is the explanation as simple as what Kirkman said about it? If it is, that means a Mirror Earth. If that's true, what else could be different?

It's interesting to think about, that's for sure.

.Let me know your thoughts on the possibilities presented in this blog!


Sunday, December 1, 2013

TWD Mid-Season Finale (S4) Speculations/Opinions

Well, here we are again at the mid-point of the TWD season where we'll be left hanging until the second half airs next year.This season, thus far,has been different than the others. Not necessarily in a bad way, but it seemed to take a detour into the unnecessary back story of the Governor after his meltdown last season.

I say "unnecessary" because it really doesn't move the character forward at all. The theme seems to be "can you come back from having to do things that are against your sense of morality". As far as the Governor is concerned, the entire story of him bonding with his new "family" served no purpose except to prove that he could not "come back" from what he had done, that his nature is concrete in it's propensity for doing evil. We all knew that from the beginning. As an audience, we can't dislike him more than we already do, so why delve into a sub-plot whereas the outcome will effect nothing within the character itself?

Now, a real twist would be to show the Governor "come back", become a rational, loving human being again. Have him return to the prison because he wants to keep his "family" safe- only to be cut down by Michonne before his true intentions could be demonstrated. That would have been a true character development & a huge shocker.

As far as the "new threats" that we, the audience, had been promised has simply turned out to be a resurgence of a strain of influenza caused by the lack of medical infrastructure since the collapse of civilization. Interesting as that is, it was simply a plot device to give our heroes an excuse to get out of the prison and into trouble and to place some of our heroes in dramatic jeopardy of succumbing to the disease.
 Which, by the way, gave us our first 'money shot' of a huge undead horde (about 7,500 according to Greg Nicotero). The "new zombie threat" promised has only presented itself as zombies infected with this superflu. I'm still waiting on the original zombie threat of overwhelming numbers! I mean, we all know that zombies are easily defeated singularly, but their invincibility lies in their sheer numbers.

Yes, we still have the unsolved rat-feeder at the prison, however it may be Bob Stookey. I mean he said he was the last man standing out of the last two camps he had been a part of. Him? The last man standing? Hell, he can't pass a bottle of "Boones Farm" without putting everyone's lives in jeopardy.I think he's too self-destructive. You know, it could be someone else in the prison that believes that staying there is a bad idea so they're creating a situation as to where the group would have to leave.

Carol? Eh, who knows? Robert Kirkman has stated that he wants to introduce characters and then have them disappear, never finding out exactly what their fate was. Maybe Carol is the one. Then again, she might be the central continuing character in the proposed spin-off series of TWD. It's possible, but it's all guess work at this point until an episode airs making it official TWD Canon or an official announcement of some kind.

At mid-season, we are where we should have been at or around episode 3, with the old Governor outside the Prison with the tank bargaining with Rick using the lives of Herschel & Michonne .My guess is that Herschel is beheaded and Michonne taken prisoner so the Governor can exact his original plan of revenge upon her (which Andrea almost got in the dentist chair last season).

Hopefully, this mid-season episode will bring it all back together and give us what we want in one tight package.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Clouds & New Planets - NASA Discovery!!

NASA maps the clouds of an alien world!

Image courtesy of JPL Pasadena, Ca.

The Kepler/Spitzer Telescopes:

Astronomers using data from NASA's Kepler and Spitzer space telescopes have created the first cloud map of a planet beyond our solar system, a sizzling, Jupiter-like world known as Kepler-7b.

"By observing this planet with Spitzer and Kepler for more than three years, we were able to produce a very low-resolution 'map' of this giant, gaseous planet," said Brice-Olivier Demory of Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. Demory is lead author of a paper accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. "We wouldn't expect to see oceans or continents on this type of world, but we detected a clear, reflective signature that we interpreted as clouds."

The List of Extra-Solar Planets Orbiting Other Suns Now Close To 1000!!!


Another discovery is of  Kepler-62f, a super-Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of a star smaller and cooler than the sun, located about 1,200 light-years from Earth in the constellation Lyra. The 'habitable zone' is that distance from a Main Sequence Star (like our sun) in which a rocky planet orbits (like our planet). There's been many such discoveries over the years.

"Alpha Centauri Bb" is a well known planet about 4.3 light years from our sun, Sol. It orbits too close to it's star to have life.

"Tau Ceti e" is about 11 light years from our Sun & it orbits just at the edge of the habitable zone.

"Gliese 581 d" is about 20 light years from our Sun. This planets orbits within the habitable zone!

"Gliese 581 Cc" lies 22 light years from Earth and lies within the habitable zone around it's star. This planet is considered the greatest possibility habitability of all the exo-planets discovered so far!

The list keeps growing every week. The discoveries being made at NASA & JPL are historical, to say the least.

Friday, September 27, 2013

"Waters of Mars" - NASA Discovery!

On September 26th, 2013; NASA stated that the Mar Rover 'Curiosity' had made a significant & historical discovery in Gale Crater by finding water in the soil.

While studying soils near Aeolis Palus in the Gale Crater, 'Curiosity' sampled part of what appeared to be an "alluvian fan" area. An alluvian fan is that area where a stream 'fans' out over a wider area. Generally, on Earth, alluvian fans have deposited pebbles and similar rocks in a pattern.

Below is a comparative picture showing the river bed alluvial fan section on Mars & one from Earth. The findings from the rover confirm that about 2% of the planet is water, which is incredible!

The pic above shows pebbles deposited from a once active stream, Mars (left) & Earth (right).
The "Hottah" outcrop - an ancient streambed as viewed by the rover on the 14th of this month.

There was once water on Mars! Not just water, but flowing streams of water! This brings the theory that life existed on mars in eons past into new light, wouldn't you say? What would Edgar Rice Burroughs would be thinking right now, if he were alive?!

This, to me, is an incredible discovery! This is right up there with the newly discovered extra-solar planets! Keep watching the NASA website for new information regarding this discovery!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"Primordial Fear"

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown." - H.P. Lovecraft


        What is fear, beyond it's definition? Can the emotion of fear be quantized, measured? What is the origin of fear? Why do humans have so much of it on so many different levels?
        Fear is defined (in words) as "an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat." It sounds simple enough, but does this definition suffice? Of course not, as each individual has specific fears about certain things. However, there are fears that are shared with every single human on this world. Fears that are either inherited, learned or are passed along through endless collective memories from ancestors long forgotten. Can these primordial fears be distilled into a basic descriptive origin or, at least, an articulate and understandable definition? I believe that they can to an extent.
        Lovecraft had pin-point accuracy in the aforementioned quote. I will go one step further and offer the addition that the "unknown" that he refers to is, partially, death. Well, I can sum up by using the term 'primordial fear'.

     This term can't be applied to the two fears that we are born with, according to modern science: fear of falling and fear of sudden, loud noises. We'll deal with these two later on. I'm focusing on true primordial fears that have been with us since the rise of man. The earliest and most ancient of fears.

      Primordial fear are fears that have been around since the dawn of mankind on Earth. So, when we try and relate to those early humans, what fears did they have? Surely, a fear of darkness, starvation, being alone, death...these are but some of what they could be. What is notable that most of the examples that I can think of are learned fears. Without direct knowledge, we can only hypothesize regarding what the earliest humans learned first, but all of the scenarios all come back to a centralized fear...a fear of death. Darkness yielded predators, predators meant death. Being alone leads to feeling vulnerable, which leads to a fear of death. See, these associated fears, as I call them, are the pathways back to the central fear of death. What is death? (no theological or biological implications or thoughts here, that's another paragraph below!) Death is the ultimate unknown for an individual. Early man simply observed his fellow human to die (in whatever manner) and simply cease to function and in the fullness of time, fully cease to exist through physical deterioration of the body. A skull & crossbones represent death in modern culture to this very day. The primordial fear of death was established, the core fear - a fear of the unknown.

     Generations upon generations of humans have existed with this fear, this unknown fear. However, death itself can be interpreted as a transition to another existence could it not? Therefore, the fear of not knowing what lies beyond death is truly at the core of that primordial fear that all men share, not death itself. Those earliest of proto-hominids engrained in us the most ancient and powerful fears, fears so strong that they are stamped forever upon the modern human mind - immovable.

      This raises the question as to why evolution has chosen simply two of those primordial fears to be 'hard-wired' into a newborns brain? I think they are associated fears as well. Falling, for an infant, is something potentially harmful and unnatural at first- something to be feared, but the infant knows not why. Fear of falling is a fear of death. People fall to their deaths quite often in a myriad of circumstances; whether a trip & fall cracks open the skull or a fall off of a cliff - it doesn't matter. Loud noise, I believe is also an associated fear of death as the infant cannot determine if the startling noise is harmful or not. Both of these fears can easily be associated with death and therefore, the 'unknown'. I think nature knows that those two fears are exactly what infants need to survive, the others can be learned through exposure.

      As we grow older and our experiences teaches us the various pitfalls of life, we develop our own set of individualized fears. We learn that fear can be temporarily suspended, but it will always return in some form or fashion. We still have the fear of the unknown that keeps us alert and alive in dangerous circumstances. That oldest piece of intuition, fear, given to us by our ancestors can be attributed to our oldest and arguably greatest instinct: survival. Without the fear of the unknown, we would have no instincts to survive.

     As a society we have grown both technologically, philosophically and socially to try and keep the fear of the unknown away through developing ways to learn more about everything. Technology tries to find ways of keeping death at bay through medical knowledge, religion keeps the ideals that death is but a transcendence, socially we even keep each other connected and informed thru computers so not a shred of things go unknown. Our governments compile data about everything & everyone on the planet. We reach outward to space to explore, so we will know that is there. We explore and investigate everything that is unknown so it will be known and therefore; not a threat. Countries, entire cultures, wage war on each other because they don't know how they could live together as one people. The world is in chaos because there is that fear of the unknown. The more advanced we become, that ancient fear remains with us. It simply manifests itself in different ways.

     This can all be attributed to the fear of the unknown.

     Lovecraft was right. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

TWD Weirdo-of-the-Week #2 (9-5-2013)

Wow! Yet another entry into the "TWD Weirdo-of-the-Year Competition"! It's hard to believe that someone could possibly top some of the things that have been happening so far during this filming season, but we have another contestant!

A big "TWD Weirdo Welcome" to 'bigflo1127' (Ebay user name)! See, 'bigflo' has actually tried to enter the competition before about two months ago by interrupting a movie tour locally in which he was not a part of. Oh, he screamed & yelled and threatened to buy bolt cutters to break into certain locations. At the time, there was a lot of contestants, so I let it slide.

However, his attempt this time to garner the "Weirdo-of-the-Week" got my attention. An Ebay listing for a "walker" shirt appeared and 'bigflo1127' described that he and his son had found the prop clothing near the small bridge near the prison while touring. He even provided a picture of his son standing just outside of the prison set at Raleigh Studios! As we all know, there ARE NO tours of those studios and he certainly trespassed there to get in as far as he did- with his SON, nonetheless! So, I hereby enter "bigflo1127" into the competition for the following reasons: 1) He caused a terrible scene, disrupting a tour, 2)- He trespassed onto Studio Property, 3)- He obviously stole a prop & 4)- He took his son along for the criminal ride!

Kudos, ASSHAT! Not only for giving us someone to laugh at, but for possibly screwing up your sons view of right & wrong! Here's one of the pics from the description:
I wonder if he stole the sign too! Click the Link below to see the actual listing!!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

TWD: Where will it be going? (Possible Spoilers)

As usual, I've been thinking a lot lately about where TWD could be taking us when it begins airing Season 4 in October. There are so many possibilities that a totally accurate prediction is quite improbable.

We do know that a central focus is on Carls decent into a much darker place. It wouldn't surprise me one bit that whoever it is baiting the walkers to the prison by feeding them is Carl himself, in an attempt to force the group to leave the prison. It seems a logical progression as we know that Carl disapproves of Rick's decision to bring the remaining survivors of Woodbury back to the prison.

The addition of new characters will only add to the confusion in the first few episodes as to who the real culprit is. Stookey is probably the one who convinces the group to send a search team to Ft. Benning (if that is even the case). We know that there are some scenes that were shot at Ft. Benning, however these could have been flashbacks. The battle involving the tank will be an interesting one, very flashy. We know that someone (most likely the Governor) drives a large truck through the gates of Woodbury and destroys Woodbury Town Hall- but the exact circumstances are unknown or too sketchy to relay at this point.

Generalities abound as we know that the walkers themselves are more aggressive and a little smarter. The estimated count of actual walkers seen during the Plant Yates shoot runs about 200 make-ups. While the shoot in Turin, I counted about 35-40. Earlier this week, in Senoia, I saw numerous walker make-ups including an armless walker that looked especially cool.   Digital additions are most likely going to be used to increase their numbers. It's about time for the TWD crew to do a "money shot" of thousands of walkers in a single shot. I mean, c'mon!

 There was a fly-over of an old, Huey military chopper directly over the filming location. I find it hard to believe that it could have been anything but a part of the production. I did notice that there was a FLIR unit on the nose and another device as well, which could have been an aerial camera for reverse angle shots as it circled the building. Maybe, maybe not. There was lettering on the tail of the chopper, but even magnification of the photos are unreadable. The side door was open, which could also have been a camera, but it's unclear.

Anyway, I'll post some more as time permits.

Later Gators! - Nash

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Goofing Around Senoia & TWD (8-22-13)

Hi All!

With my crazy schedule lately, I have been neglecting my TWD buddies. So, @picklesandpdots and I decided to run down to where TWD is currently filming. I'm glad I did as I finally got to see my buddies and we just goofed around for a few hours! I mean, we did see a lot of zombies- the best one I saw had both arms torn off. The area where we had chosen to hang out was the best as we could see the large crowd on the opposing street being told to move back. There was only 6 of us over at our viewing location and probably had the best view of the walkers, cast & crew as they went back & forth to Craft Services.

We saw Danai Guirara, Chandler Riggs, Eulyn C.Womble  and a few regular "walker" actors that looked like they were just arriving. We didn't stay but a few hours to check it out and fellowship with our fellow fans.

Something funny did happen, although I do not know if it's related or not. A low flying, old, olice drab green, military Huey helicopter flew a circle around the building where the shooting was taking place. They did one circle and flew away. Maybe it was part of the shoot, maybe it wasn't. Looked like it had a FLIR mounted under the nose, so it could have been the GSP doing marijuana fly overs- it is about that time of year for them to be doing that. Maybe they got curious, I dunno. It does seem kinda odd though.

The large brick building in the background is where filming was taking place.
This is to the right of the last picture, it's Craft Services.
Anyway, we had to leave early and of course, after we left we received word that Chandler Riggs came out and met with the small group! Lol! Well, life gets in the way sometimes ya know!
Alright folks, that's all I'm saying today...except "boots"...drop the 'tude, you ain't all that with them big old legs....LMFAO!
Later Gators

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Update on Current Projects 8/17/13

Hi Everyone!

I've been so busy lately, I've not had the time to blog much. I figured it was the right time to post a short update on what's been taking up most of my time.

Well, I finally scored the Adobe Master Collection CS6, which include After Effects! I've been focusing on learning more about AE, as a majority of my projects tend to lean towards the visual side of things.

I began sorting through my older short stories, scripts & storyboards to see if there was anything that I could develop into a short movie that would take full advantage of After Effects, but it needed to be simple. Most of the things I have written and storyboarded were too complicated for an initial effort, so I began searching for something to adapt to suit a smaller enterprise.

Being a huge H.P. Lovecraft fan, I decided to use his material. So, I started scouring  his writings to find something that met my criteria:

1)- Could be adapted to remain faithful.
2)- Short enough to remain within my capabilities to film/edit/SFX, etc.
3)- Can be completed within an almost non-existent budget.
4)- A Lovecraft story no one else had tried to adapt to film yet.

I found the perfect piece, "The Thing in the Moonlight". Not only does it meet all criteria with absolute perfection, but it's got creatures! A good-old monster story!

I began by creating conceptual artwork for both creatures featured in the short story and have now finalized the designs. Sketches, concepts, notes and re-reading the story about 150 times resulted in many hours of work...but it's fun! I did Tweet a single conceptual creature concept so get a reaction and it was all favorable. Once I have the time to scan them all, I'll post them on a Blog update.

Currently, I am one-half completed with the initial script and have completed story boarding the shots of what has been written thus far. I'm hoping to shoot something that will fall in or around 7-12 minutes long when finished. I will have to cast 2 main characters & their younger selves along with 1 central character. I've actually scouted some locations and will have to contact a man in our area to have access to a turn of the 20th century trolley...but other than that, it's all After Effects. With the exception of two practical creatures that will be crafted.

So, the problem I am having is the same issues that every Lovecraft adaptation has ever had: "How is it possible to interpret his writings into a visual format without destroying the original material or losing it's 'Lovecraftian' tones?".

Well, with this short story, what you read is exactly what you will get...almost. I've crafted a wraparound story that should link the body and ideas of the short story, while keeping it intact. That's really the only way to go with the choice I've made. To simply film what is written would not work- it wouldn't make sense. However, there are mentioned characters who, in an expanded capacity, would provide a common link to the "nightmare" itself. Hopefully, what I've chosen to do with it will translate to the screen. I honestly think it will.

Anyway, that's what I've been up to. It really is just like Troma Team owner Lloyd Kaufman said: "Go Make Your Own Damn Movie!".

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"TWD Weird-O of the Week"

It's that time, again folks! That's right, it's time for "TWD Weird-O of the Week"! This edition had so many contestants that it was almost overwhelming, but I was able to snatch from the sea of nauseating self-proclaimed super-nuts a bona fide outstanding achiever!

So, without further delay, this weeks winner is.....

Melody Lynch, 32, of Saucier, Mississippi!

Congratulations, Melody! The pure craziness in your endeavor to find "your man", Norman Reedus, was unmatched this week!

I will admit that the competition was tough as several people had been arrested and/or caught destroying /trespassing on private property once used by TWD; but only Melody had the pure, true TWD fan-desire to not only try & track down Norman Reedus, but also involve her family, her children, commit a burglary and be sent to a mental health facility all within one single trip to the area!

Again, congratulations, Melody and we hope you get better soon.

Until next time, so long and get ready for another episode of "TWD Weird-O of the Week"! I'm sure they'll be plenty!

Source:  article written by Kristen B. Reed  @KristenBReed (Twitter)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Goodbye Woodbury? A short update & speculations.

Hello everyone!

As we all know by now, yesterday (7-16-2013) was a location filming day in downtown Senoia, Georgia. So far, for season 4, this is the only time that downtown Senoia has been used.

Here are some things I can relay to you all regarding the filming.

Over the weekend prior, crew members were loading propane cylinders, trimming trees and generally prepping the area. This lasted until Monday. The propane, most likely, was for use by the crews pyro-technicians for flame/fire effects. I know this, as I was told the week prior that there was to be a scene where (possibly the Governor, but unconfirmed) was going to drive a vehicle through the gates and into the Woodbury Town Hall, resulting in an explosion. The propane, coupled with what was observable during the shooting (which wasn't much) seems to confirm this as a reasonably believable scenario. No great explosion was heard (smoke & a poof), but that stands to reason as to explode that set where it stood would pose great damages to both the Masonic Hall & Fox Hollow buildings. Most likely, it'll be enhanced through the normal CGI additions and possible large-scale model demolition.

After filming, the "Woodbury Town Hall" sign had been removed and the faux-Hall was completely covered in tarps to prevent viewing.

Anyway, I'm hearing some neat things for the near future and hopefully, some information that might help fill in the gaps of what has already been observed to help put together a more clarified understanding of what they're filming.


Stay tuned- Nash

Saturday, July 13, 2013

How TWD will jump the shark? Fences....

NOTE: I am no expert in television production. I am a fan with a little knowledge and a helluva lot of questions! Make no mistake, I am a fan of TWD.

                                                HOW TWD WILL JUMP THE SHARK

Oh fandom, you are a cruel (and double bladed) mistress! Hey, we all know TWD is riding high on popularity and ratings, but a fair question to ask is: "For how long?"

I know, I know- execs have been oft-quoted as saying ten years or more, however there are many factors to consider the series lifespan. Let's take a genuine look at some of the factors that may influence it's longevity.

 No TV show lasts forever. That's a proven fact. The reality is that TWD does, indeed, have a shelf life to an audience. Notice I said "to an audience" and not "to it's audience". There is a difference, ya know and I intend to explore the effect of TWD's fan-base on the show itself. More on that later.

It's a generally accepted rule of thumb that a TV series usually runs it's course over a span of roughly 7 seasons. The factors that determine this are numerous; budget, failing creativity, actors ambitions,  audience retention, syndication possibilities, etc. It's not an absolute number, but 7 is the magic number where torque & horsepower are equal and there can be no improvement. That didn't stop "Bonanza", "M.A.S.H" or "The Simpson's", did it? However, TWD has a couple of things against it in regards to budget, audience retention and syndication possibilities. It's a whole different animal when compared to the other long-running series that were just mentioned.

Budget: It's been the source of some problems since season 1! This, mostly likely is the least possible reason for TWD to not make a long haul. However, the budgets have been cut every season (according to my research) to some degree. This could be simply allocation of budgetary necessities, depending upon the arc of the seasons and script requirements. I mean Season 1 was epic in scope with tons of CGI, while season 2 was more character oriented- season 3 seemed to have a slight mixture of both. Location shooting is costly, very costly. Time is money out on a location. If the writers are constrained by budget, then the stories aren't interesting enough which ceases to keep audiences tuned in and eventually you have walking dead with dried oatmeal & ketchup as make-up. (Lucio Fulci, anyone?)

 Failing creativity is a more potent enemy to the series. I mean realistically, the series is a Romero movie with recurring characters. The premise is not new, nor are the predicaments the characters face. The zombie genre has been done, re-done, re-imagined, re-made, re-booted and basically used up- unless the creative team can keep things evolving, without totally re-tooling the premise of the zombies themselves in the TWD context- which is established. The characters are going to come and go as we have seen, so what is the focus of the series in the long run? The introduction of new characters just for fodder is too predictable (Star Trek's red shirts are a prime example) and the continual killing off of major characters will alienate the audience and severely limit creative possibilities. How many situations can each character be placed in that has not been already demonstrated with another character? How many variations can the writers creatively write before it becomes old-hat, just a different face? Character interactions are a major plus for the series, but the fan base is not ready for a soap opera that is based in the zombie apocalypse. The audience is polarized right now- all one has to do is look at social media sites and watch the feeds daily to get the feel of it. The core group are horror fans, specifically living dead sub-genre fans, and they like action and blood. The audience wants blood and that is it's next weakness: syndication possibilities.

 If TWD was ever sold into syndication, exactly how would the episodes be edited for content; would that effect it's audience retention? Who wants to see a watered down version of something that the fans themselves already consider to be watered down? Syndication is an option (The Sopranos, anyone?), but look at the result of such cuts- a pale image of the original. This could broaden the fan-base, but the demographics would be radically different due to it's compromised content.

Audience retention could be a big factor as well. If Daryl Dixon dies, they have alienated a complete section of it's audience: women. If Rick is killed, who is the focus of the series? Audiences will only watch if there is something interesting to watch. Audiences are made of up individual people who, in turn, can be grouped into demographics, which means advertising sales. Can TWD creatively juggle the killing of main characters within the demographics to continually provide advertisers with their target audience? It's all about the numbers, folks.

The actors individual ambitions are also a factor here. Do you expect Andrew Lincoln to really want to play Rick Grimes for 20 years? Hell no! There's other things he wants to do and that will play a part in the series longevity as well. The same goes for every series regular on the show. No matter what we, the audience wants, it's ultimately up to the individual actor (and the money being offered) to decide whether or not he/she wishes to continue working on a series portraying the same character. If there's character development, an actor will generally stay; but how in the hell can you develop characters in the long run in the TWD premise? It's not possible, they may be around for a while, but they can't stay forever.

All of this leads back to two things: budget & fan-base. The fan base is becoming distinctly polarized.
I'm quite sure that the production of TWD will not remain in the Senoia, Georgia area for too much longer. They may continue to use Raleigh Studios there, but they also have studios in Hollywood, Playa Vista, Baton Rouge, etc. The Senoia areas are becoming flooded by TWD tourism that is a great thing for the local economy, but it's becoming a huge problem with private property owners who are being burglarized, stolen from, property damaged, etc by rabid fans. At every location, TWD crew have crowds watching them film, prying eyes in every directions, this can hamper location choices immensely. So, they look for new locations. The word on the street is after this season TWD production may move further east towards Savannah or Augusta. That's just rumor, who really knows what will happen?

The fan base is also responsible (not as a whole, but in a factionary component) for changes in the production itself. Raleigh Studios are having problems with trespassers & property damage, so up go the fences.(People are being arrested!) Now, location crews are becoming more & more strict regarding security. As before, property owners of prior locations are being violated in both material goods and property damages- so up go the new fences. This small faction is cutting the collective throats of the full fan base! The production, without willing local property owners, will have to go elsewhere to find suitable locations. How much do you think property owners are willing to put up with? The production as well, how much do you think they will put up with in regards to certain fan actions that will ultimately cost THEM money. They want to make it, not lose it.

Really, how long do you think this cyclical spiral will last before it implodes?

Here's the irony: just like the fictional universe it portrays- the tv show has to put up fences to keep out the hordes and keep on the move to survive.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

TWD Filming Update: 7/10/13

Hi Everyone!

Today, I decided to go out to the filming location located in Turin, Georgia (a small town just west of Senoia) to see what was up - despite awful weather.

A couple of us local fans gathered near base camp and was, as usual, instructed by security that there would be no pictures allowed and they kept a close eye on us as well. (A big 'Thank You' to those fans who think they can do whatever they want to that has basically caused security to tighten.)

Anyway, I was able to see several hero zombies being made up and costumed by Mrs.Womble under a tent near base camp. Very cool looking ones, too. After enduring a heavy thunderstorm, soaking wet (we forgot our umbrellas), Greg Nicotero paid a short visit to the small group of fans who had waited patiently in the rain!

See video here:

There were several observances I think are important to note. We saw the stunt double (we assume) for David Morrissey's Governor character. Dressed as him, wearing a wig. Further, Martinez (actor Jose Pablo Cantillo) and Bowman (actor Travis Love) were also on set as well. Here's a cool kicker: earlier in the day a car drove onto set (nobody else was paying attention), I told my sister "Hey! That was Daniel Thomas May (Allen)." Now, a couple hours later- he drives back out and I get a real hard look at him- it was May. I recently saw him on a recent episode of "Your Pretty Face is Going To Hell" on [adult swim], and I feel confident in my identification of him. Now, whether he was there for filming or just visiting (he lives close) is anyone's guess.

We also saw them preparing clothes in the wardrobe that appeared to be the Governors shirts. Morrissey has been spotted in the area and that's been pretty much established and common knowledge among the local fan group- no surprises there.

Other, notables (and pure speculation on my part): We saw a young, white female actress kinda dressed like Penny, a 'normal' Penny- not undead (many of us thought anyway). Maybe it was nothing, maybe it was something related- who knows? She was on set and part of what was going on- that much was clear. The best part, was watching the (estimated) 30 + hero walkers parade right in front of us to the wardrobe department! Man, that was an awesome sight! These walkers looked more aggressive to me (their orbital sockets seemed more pronounced and had an almost "angry" expression to the bony protrusions.) One walker had a substantial wound on his neck on his right side, a female walker had almost her whole lower jaw removed. The others, as best we could tell were 'hero', complete make-up zombies. Now, I wasn't there all day - only about 5 hours. I'm sure the other fans that remained will have more information and pictures.

                                                     My daughter and Mr. Greg Nicotero!

As per Season 4 protocols, we were not able to see any of the filming action. I'm sure photos exist, as a matter of fact I'm absolutely certain of it, as many were sneaking pics while no one was looking! Following our groups local code, I won't be posting any pics that might be labeled as 'spoilers' out of respect for the cast & crew.

There's more on the way, please be patient and as always- I appreciate you taking time to read my blog. Together we can build an appropriate fan base that will encourage filming to remain in our area and not move towards Augusta or Savannah. Please be respectful and do the right thing!

-Deadite Joe

Saturday, July 6, 2013

How crazy TWD fans will absolutely ruin the locations for us all.

I knew it was coming. Well, now it has.

Thanks to some crazy TWD fans who visit certain locations, they're ( property owners) going to start fencing off the areas and not let anyone onto the property. That's right. No more location visits for anyone- thanks to a small percentage of fans. It's happening real soon.

People are breaking into buildings, even stealing items from those buildings (that's Burglary!) and even removing sheet metal from certain locations in the Haralson area as mementos! Actually using tin snips and cutting pieces of metal off of the buildings! Stealing machinery from the mill!

For cripes sake, this kinda stuff needs to stop. I, for one, hopes the property owners act to protect their property and seal it off. Hell, I would! I would let folks onto my property if they respected it, but as soon as some crazy fan decided to steal- I'd lock it down.

There is no reason for this behavior at all! Please, if you come and visit these locations (especially the private property ones), respect the owners and the property!

Someone even stole a piece of machinery to the Esco Mill...that's a functioning feed mill, you idiots!

So a great big "thank you" to those who've burglarized, trespassed and stole from these property owners- you've ruined it for all future fans. Great job, ass-hats.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

"The Zombie Autopsies: Secret Notebooks from the Apocalypse"


Here's the scoop, dead-heads: if you've not read Dr. Steven Schlozman's book "The Zombie Autopsies" then you're way behind the curve. Go buy it, read it & get caught up before you're left behind!

Currently, Dr. Schlozman has been working with legendary director George A. Romero in adapting his novel into a screenplay. I continue to follow Dr. Schlozman as he continually lectures on psychology and the living dead all around the world, a lot of times with "World War Z" author, Max Brooks.


Steven Schlozman, M.D., is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Lecturer in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He earned his Medical Degree at the Brown-Dartmouth Program in Medicine, and completed his training in general psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and his Child Psychiatry Residency at the MGH/McLean Program in Child Psychiatry.

The book is an incredible read. It delves into the zombie apocalypse as a viral infection. The descriptions and the narrative are in perfect form for a zombie novel! I really love this book!

If you've not read "The Zombie Autopsies: Secret Notebooks from the Apocalypse" - you need to!

Go get the latest news from the official site at , or follow Dr.Schlozman on Twitter or on Facebook!!

Friday, June 28, 2013

"World War Z" - A Short Movie Review **Spoilers**

Ok, I've finally had the time to go & check out "World War Z" starring Brad Pitt and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised with the film!

Having read the Max Brooks' novel, I was curious as to how it could have been properly adapted into a motion picture narrative. The answer: it doesn't! This movie is related to the novel in name only & some concepts. That being said, I still think this movie is a great addition to the genre.

Despite all of the hoo-haa about "slow" zombies & "running" zombies, in this case it really doesn't matter. The film sets a fast pace and furthers the tired-genre by infusing new, titillating ideas regarding the zombie outbreak. This is very break new ground in this genre.

I really liked the concept of the zombies being ferociously attracted to living humans as food. So ferocious, in fact, they swarm like ants and will do anything to get to the food source. Mindless, constantly biting, crawling, running over each other to get to the next meal. This film displays this characteristic in spades. The breach of the walls of Jerusalem is a spectacle to be seen and is the defining moment of this one characteristic of the zombies during the course of the film. To see hundreds of thousands of living dead in such volume as they appear like a tidal wave in the alleyways and streets of the ancient city. Never have the walking dead been portrayed as such and with such conviction & realism.

Also, the viral infection spreads incredibly fast; somewhere in the area of about 12 seconds from initial bite, to death, to reanimation, to zombie. That's fast. The scenes of pandemonium in the streets during the onset of the outbreak (from the protagonists initial view of it) is thrilling and scary. At times, the scene is so chaotic, I couldn't tell who was a zombie and who was alive!

That's about as far as it goes into the explanation of it all. It shows plenty of attacks that imply that the victim is being eaten, but it is never truly shown. In the way the movie is constructed, it doesn't have to. It shows that the viral infection is spread through bites, but not necessarily through bodily fluids. Amputation of an extremity is shown as an effective method for stopping the spread of the virus, if caught in time. The films also states that destroying the infected can only be effectively accomplished by destroying the brain or severing the head from the body.

I only had one small problem with the story, it bothered me as a fan of the genre in general. The protagonist, during his dangerous globe trotting to find "patient zero", discovers that the zombies do not attack living humans who have a disease or virus; effectively the zombies can sense who is sick and they don't bother those humans. That's a great plot device, using another virus to use as camouflage to the zombies so they don't attack you. As Pitt put it : "Like water flowing around a rock."  Interesting concept, but this is what gets me: that implies that the living dead have the ability or extra-sensory ability to determine what human is sick and what human is healthy enough to eat. Where'd that power come from? I mean, we know when we get sick ourselves (most of the time)& other people can kind of tell if your sick with certain things- but it doesn't seems to work for this film. I mean, these things are so fast, what gives them this ability to sense that in such a short time? They are just dead humans after all, I didn't really see any examples of superhuman abilities portrayed by the zombies other than this trait. They're just wild, biting, gnashing, hunger-driven, animal-like dead people who would stop at nothing to get to the food...then, all of a sudden, they have this ability? Eh, suspension of disbelief saves the day! It is a zombie flick, you know!

Hey, it's a great film and I suggest any genre fan to go and check it out for themselves. I think it is very well done, written and visually constructed. A very entertaining movie and definitely a mile-stone for the living dead genre of horror.


Monday, June 17, 2013

TWD & Fans: A Love/Hate Relationship

Well, it's been another one of those days regarding TWD production & locations, especially on Twitter. Currently, I have about 803 followers. Some I know personally & have met in person, but a vast majority I do not know at all. Ready for some good, old-fashioned internet drama? Good. Here it comes...

So, let's get something straight: I don't like it one bit when someone calls my character or my actions into question; especially by someone with  obviously dubious motives & character. More than that, I absolutely abhor someone who uses another for their own personal gain. I'm not a hateful man, but sadly, I have grown to dislike a few of the local fans around here. They're obnoxious, of inferior social skills, incapable of any deductive reasoning or problem solving- most of all; they're assholes. There's 4 of them and they know who they are. Like any virus, these types of fans have spread well beyond the walls of confinement and out into the world....and they all want to come right here, to my back yard, my computer and right into the palm of my hand to my phone. TWD is not that important to me anymore.

This whole "anonymous internet bravery" is something of a mystery to me, as I am an honest man and I put what I think right out there. If I'm wrong, I'll accept the responsibility & move on. I don't use people. I ain't perfect, that's for damn sure; but I still believe in following the law, treating people with respect and making good decisions based upon facts, not conjecture.

 "By eliminating the impossible, whatever remains; however improbable; must be the truth" - Sherlock Holmes.

It's so easy to post negative things about someone (even simply alluding to it seems to be enough, really); attention-seeking individuals use it as both a diversionary tactic & an attention grabbing tactic. Sad, but true. This is what is currently happening in TWD Fandom. Fans trying to make a name for themselves or their websites. TWD junkies flock to their favorite dealer to get their fix on an regular basis now. The dealers eat up the attention & the money. Count me out. I'm not like that. What I post is, or would be very soon, public knowledge anyway. Inevitable discovery, I say. I wanted to be a relater of information to those fans who could otherwise be unable to come to Georgia and watch filming.

When season 4 began filming, we (our local group of fans) were so excited! I mean, Season 2 & 3 were great to go & watch, get autographs, pictures, etc. Well, we should have known that it wouldn't last forever...and it didn't. AMC tightened everything up and now, it seems, that those days are indeed over with. There's no use travelling for hours, or even days, to try & watch them film. The information is too sketchy at first to be reliable and too late, when it's confirmable. We live right here on top of Ground Zero and we can't see crap!

 I will accept my share of responsibility for this by stating that I should have never posted the photos & videos from the set of "Clear". I got caught up in the excitement and I did it. It won't happen again and here's why:

Keith (last name redacted) told me something one day while we were sitting around Senoia that really stuck with me. "These folks (AMC, Valhalla, Raleigh Studios,cast & crew) work hard to bring their viewers a quality program. A program filled with unexpected twists & turns, a program worthy of the fans attention." I thought about it and I realized that I had undermined their work, their long hours of conceptualizing sets, building them, writing the scripts, meetings, organizing- just thinking of the pure logistics alone is beyond me! I felt bad about what I did, but what is done cannot be undone.

So, I began to focus on fan interactions with the cast & crew, instead of the actual filming itself. It satisfied my fan curiosity & it gave other fans a "window" in which to see things they may not ever get the chance to see otherwise. Almost 'documentary style', just by a regular guy fan. That's all I am - a regular guy. A fan. Nothing more.

Then, I was talked into joining "Twitter". Bad mistake in hindsight. It was exciting at first, connecting with friends, making new friends and meeting new fans. Then, the bottom drops out. Somehow, I've been placed into this category of fans that have the reputation of being a crazy fan who'll do anything to get a picture or video. Nothing could be further from the truth. Hell, in our local group, I'm the shyest one! I don't like bothering people. I sure as hell ain't going to do anything illegal or trespass to get information, pics or video.

Twitterers began inundating me with questions...questions that, by some stretch of their imaginations, they thought I could answer! I can't recommend hotels, I won't show you all the locations from Season 3,  I can't tell you where Reedus is right now, I can't give Lincoln a message for you, etc. Now, in all this, there's some local fans who are trying their best to become something of a fan icon or gain notoriety amoung fans. These are the fans who are doing the most damage.

 It's not me telling people where they might be filming at next that does the real damage, but the girl who "has a friend at the studio who tells her everything". It's the fan who spreads rumors about AMC sending out letters to people regarding "Cease & Desist Orders". It's the fan who keeps on & on about how much of a fan they are and they would do anything to see filming. It's those fans who've tried to get into the studio to see the prison set, or jump the fence at the car lot, tailing vehicles leaving the studios, or stayed in a vacant house for hours trying to literally stalk Reedus! THOSE are they fans who have ruined any future location viewing.

And to the Intern who's reading this, I apologize with the most sincerity. Because of all this, you're having to read all of my Tweets, my YouTube and now... this Blog entry.

I'm just Joe...a regular guy. I'll still watch TWD though.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

TWD Filming Update (6/6/13)

Dolly Nixon Road, Luther Bailey Road & Garrison Chase

There's only a couple of things to report on today, but I feel it necessary to catch everyone up a little. I'm still getting people asking about Plant Yates and it seems the information has been lagging behind and not getting out quick enough. Filming is definitely completed at the power plant.

TWD filmed, as we talked about in the previous blog, yesterday on Dolly Nixon Road, Luther Bailey Road and in Garrison Chase Subdivision. They were in and out pretty quick.

@boldtkeith was kind enough to conduct a drive by of the location early that morning and as usual for this season, the area was pretty locked off. There was no way for fans to sit & watch filming.

However, I am confident that some residents within the subdivision took pictures! I've only seen one posted and I'm not sure who posted it, as it was a re post from a Facebook source. Also, the picture was not water marked or otherwise contained any indications of proprietary ownership. So, here it is:

So, there you have it. It's a picture of Reedus at the craft services table. I'm actually more interested in what's in the back of the production truck covered in the tarp!

Hey, over the next few days & weeks, I am sure that more photos will crop up. I mean, the probability of someone taking a photo is actually pretty high, wouldn't you say?

We're checking on some information regarding upcoming possible filming locations as I write. For some reason, the date of the 10th seems to be cropping up a lot, but no specifics. As for today, they were back in Raleigh Studios. It's been a slow day, other than the picture, so this will be a short update folks. As always, I'll blog about any news that can be confirmed before filming as quickly as humanly possible!


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

TWD Filming Update (6/4/13) Plant Yates, Garrison Chase, etc

Georgia Power Plant Yates Filming:

Today was the day for some awesome filming at Georgia Powers' Plant Yates facility. I would like to start out by saying that this information was very hard to come by and involved several different sources that cannot be named. Regardless, I'll relate certain details that I feel will satisfy the fans and keep the 'cease & desist orders' at bay.

The last thing I want to do is bring down the heat on fans and sources from the 'powers that be'. So far, this season has been the hardest to watch and meet cast members on set. It's frustrating, I know, but our local group has it's own protocols about being non-intrusive and doing things the legal way. (Please see my prior blog regarding the legal issues for further information regarding this subject.)

OK, here's what most of you want to hear: there are in existence pictures taken today of filming. These pictures, as I will describe below, were taken at great risk and I do not feel releasing them would be the right thing to do for the simple reason as it has the potential of ruining someone's life. Plus, for various reasons regarding the studio & production company's stance on such photos.  You can call "bullshit" all you want to, but I assure you - it's the right thing for me to do.

Alright, here it is:

"There was two charter buses of 'walkers' brought in to the location. These 'walkers' will be made to look as a greater number". (My guess is digital additions, obviously.) The number of 'walkers' was estimated "at about 100". Confirmed actors today were "Tyreese" (Chad Coleman), "Michonne" (Danai Gurira), and more than likely, "Bob Stookey" (Lawrence Gilliard, Jr). There may have been other cast there to film, but these were the actors that sources could identify. The reason I said 'more than likely' regarding Bob Stookey is that the source stated the "new guy in the group" was filming today and it was a black male. Kind of looks like Gilliard to me.

There was no way for the source to tell what the situations that the characters were in. The source was very limited by the Georgia Power security, who were charged the duty of watching the power plants employees!

The filming on Dolly Nixon Road, Luther Bailey Road and Garrison Chase Filming:(6/4,6/5)

Lots of confusion on this filming location. Letters to the residents say one date, the actual signs put up in the area says another, then- a report that the filming on/off Dolly Nixon Road was completed and they're gone lots of contradictory information. (I confirmed visually both the letters & the actuals signs as having different dates myself). I've got a source whose going to check the area early in the AM and check for:

(1)- If they are filming in those locations.
(2)- If there is any practical viewing areas for fans.
(3)- Relay reliable information regarding these sites for dissemination to the fans.

If they are filming and it's in an area where fans might be able to see or, at least meet, the cast - I will pass along the information as soon as possible. This whole Garrison Chase thing is kind of confusing, even to people who live right there- they're getting contradictory information. Maybe it's a re-schedule, maybe it's done already, maybe it was moved, maybe it was postponed, there's too many variables and conjecture to consider this a viable fan site, until we have 'eyes on' there and can relate real-time, accurate information.

Also, I'm trying my best to confirm rumors regarding filming between the 10th & the 14th of this month, but I have nothing I feel confident about sharing as it has no corroboration...yet. This type of research & investigation takes up a lot of time and resources by each member of our group. Sometimes, it just doesn't work out the way you wanted it to. It gets frustrating at times, but there is always a payoff sooner or later. As evidence, I offer my entire Youtube Channel. Those videos and interactions occurred over a period of months. The whole Morgan thing was pure luck! BTW, I should have never spoiled Morgan's return in retrospect. I posted his pictures on 9/12/12 - before season 3 even aired.

The point is, they've really just started filming and there's a long time to go before they're done. They have stepped up security, but they literally cannot hide forever and they certainly can't hide from everybody! To be successful in seeing or meeting the cast, you've got to be persistent without being a nuisance. You have to be sure of any information you spread around. A few fans do not do this, they spread speculation wildly and then it gets distorted and misconstrued. A few try to make themselves look like they know more than they do. Our group doesn't do that. We work to bring good, solid information and advice regarding the filming. No body should drive a number of hours, only to arrive to find that the information they received was incorrect.

Again, I hope you all understand the reasons.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

TWD Filming Update (6-2-2013) Plant Yates

Yesterday, I went and scouted the Georgia Power plan Yates area. As we all know now, TWD will be filming there tomorrow Monday (6/3) thru Tuesday (6/4). There's some good news and bad news. Lets start with the good news.

The good news is that I was able to drive the entire length of Dyer Road (the location of Plant Yates) and even went around Wagers Mill Road to scout the backside. I saw the signs up for the cast & crew and even saw the production tents located well within the power plants perimeter. I was able to take some video and edit it together to give a driving perspective to the area, which can be found on my Youtube Channel here:

Here's the bad news: the way Dyer Road connects to Wagers Mill Road is almost a straight line with Plant Yates located almost dead center of it. When they close Dyer Road, it will be at both ends and guarded by Coweta County Deputies. The road will only be open for GP employees & TWD cast & crew.

Here's a few screen grabs from the video to help illustrate.

The picture above is of the entrance to Dyer Road off of Hwy 16 (Alt 27)

 The picture above is of the entrance to Dyer Road off of Wagers Mill Road.

 Even if someone makes it past the deputies, you will then have to deal with Georgia Power Police, who are armed and do not play around regarding the security of a power plant. Also, if one was to make it past the deputies and drive by the plant, the production is located very far away near one of the main corporate buildings. See the white tents on the ground near the base of the stack? That's the TWD production team. This view will not be attainable during filming.

A Coweta County Deputy Sheriff guards the alternate plant maintenance entrance road that the TWD Crew will use to get to the actual location. See those yellow signs on the post near the Georgia Power sign? Those are TWD Production markers for cast, crew & extras. This area will also be inaccessible during filming.

There's no where to park your vehicle and watch or wait for cast & crew that's even remotely advisable. The one church on Dyer Road will be used by crew and it's in the closed section of the road anyway.

There is across Hwy 16 (Alt 27) from Dyer Road, near the Chattahoochee Bridge a small boat ramp & walking trail. However, it's located lower than the highway and Dyer Road is not visible in any way. I guess fans could huddle up there and hang out to socialize, but there's no way to observe anything. I wouldn't advise parking there and walking over a busy highway to Dyer Road, just to be turned around by Deputies. I mean, even if he let you stand there- it's still about 1/2 mile to the filming location and you couldn't observe anything.

I mean, you never know what could happen, but for my time - I'll pass on this location. I've got intel regarding TWD filming from next Tuesday thru Friday at two locations in Coweta County that should be more easily accessed.

As soon as I can confirm and scout, I'll pass the word along through my twitter account! Have a great weekend!


Saturday, June 1, 2013

TWD FIlming Update (6/1/13)

Well, it's obvious that the production team sure learned a lesson from last years filming! So far, getting close to the actual filming has been tough. Luckily, we're still very early into the filming of Season 4 and I'm sure they'll be in locations out in the county where they'll be more open to fans and autograph seekers.

Although there has been a lot of buzz around three certain locations in Coweta County (the old Newnan Hospital, Coweta High School and Plant Yates), there's only been one confirmation.

A local newspaper ran a small article stating that a road leading to the power plant would be used for filming TWD on 6-3-13 and possibly 6-4-13. Lucky for me, that's nearly on my back door step! However, there's a slight drawback: the way the road runs is not very agreeable with viewing from areas that would be accessible to the public. As with every excursion, we'll have to go & see what we can do & see when we get there.

My sister, @picklesandpdots, and I have different theories about why & how they could be using Dyer Road (Plant Yates). See, not only does Dyer Road lead directly to the front gate of the Power Plant (which would be visually interesting with the condensers & stacks), but Dyer also connects into Wagers Mill Road. In that area there are a couple of old houses (as kids we referred to them as the old creepy mansions) that would make interesting backdrops as well.

So, depending on where on Dyer Road they film (which also dictates where 'Base Camp' would be set up) there are places that could be used by the public to watch or possibly get autographs. Of course, this is just speculation and nothing will be known until I get down there and see myself.

Plant Yates sits just off Hwy 16 at the Coweta County/Carroll County lines at the Chattahoochee River. On the Coweta County side of the bridge, there is a large boat ramp and parking area for people going to the river. If the production team doesn't use this as "Base Camp" then, it would be great for fans because of it's proximity, but unsafe walk across a fairly busy two-lane highway.

I'm going to approach from a different angle and maybe this try, I'll be able to hit pay dirt.

Anyway, if you're planning on coming out please be mindful that it's partially on Georgia Power Property and they have their own fully armed police and high levels of security. If you're one of those stalker fans that think they can just waltz around on foot and go wherever- you might want to re-think that strategy. Trespassing or attempting to get around a gate on power plant property will get you locked up with a quickness. That's a well known fact locally.

Anywho, I'll be out there sometime Monday morning riding in my Jeep- so if anyone sees me, be sure to give me a shout & we can all hang together (hopefully)!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Zombie Eschatology : 101 (My Version)


APOCALYPSE: (Courtesy of Wikipedia):

An apocalypse (Ancient Greek: ἀποκάλυψις apocálypsis, from ἀπό and καλύπτω meaning 'un-covering'), translated literally from Greek, is a disclosure of knowledge, hidden from humanity in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception, i.e., a lifting of the veil or revelation, although this sense did not enter English until the 14th century. In religious contexts it is usually a disclosure of something hidden. In the Revelation of John (Greek Ἀποκάλυψις Ἰωάννου, Apocalypsis Ioannou), the last book of the New Testament, the revelation which John receives is that of the ultimate victory of good over evil and the end of the present age, and that is the primary meaning of the term, one that dates to 1175. Today, it is commonly used in reference to any prophetic revelation or so-called End Time scenario, or to the end of the world in general.

ESCHATOLOGY: (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

/ˌɛskəˈtɒləi/ (from the Greek ἔσχατος/ἐσχάτη/ἔσχατον, eschatos/eschatē/eschaton meaning "last" and -logy meaning "the study of", first used in English around 1550) is a part of theology, physics, philosophy, and futurology concerned with what are believed to be the final events of history, the ultimate destiny of humanity — commonly referred to as the "end of the world" or "end time".

PART ONE: Zombies: Apocalyptic Supernature or Virulent Biological Event?

I've coined the term "Apocalyptic Supernature" to assist in differentiating my opinions regarding the fictional undead outbreak and it's many different theories of origins. I define apocalyptic supernature as that part of zombie mythological eschatology that presents the idea that the origin of the event is something of a supernatural or religious nature.
Of course the majority of other theories can be categorized into, basically, biological anomalies usually based around some form of viral infection, radiation or engineered bio-weapon. These I incorporate into "Viral Theory".
 I'll be using movie & TV references only in this short article as to avoid some 'armchair biologist' from pointing out some odd real fact and totally derailing the purpose of talking about fictional zombies! Further, I'll be dealing with human undead only, as going into undead animals will also derail the discussion.
So, what defines a zombie? Well, it's actions of course, so let's distill down the essence of what a zombie is so we can better eliminate what it is not. (Again, I've noted the most frequently used depictions to ascertain these characteristics and not individual movies or TV series.)

Zombie Characteristics:
1- They're dead. 
2- They're recently deceased.
3- They feed on human flesh and animals.
4- They have very limited intellect & virtually no reasoning abilities.
5- They seem have simple motorized instinct, with some residual memories of life.
6- They cannot communicate with each other.
7- They can shamble quickly, but cannot run due to deterioration of the muscular-skeletal system.
8- A bite can expedite death & conversion to the undead.
9- They can be stopped by various methods en masse, i.e. firebombing a horde, but generally destroying the brain or separating it from it's body will stop the individual zombie. (I'll get around to living heads later.)
10- Anyone who dies will come back as a zombie, bitten or not.
So, we have now set the basic, most used 'rules' in media for depicting the undead. Lets take a look at each individually now and see what adds up.
1- They're dead.
     Yep, zombies are dead people alright. An infected living human may exhibit symptomatic signs of zombie behavior, but they're simply infected humans. So, despite some very good movies being made depicting infected humans, they are not considered zombies for the simple fact that they are not dead. This zombie fact definitely supports the supernatural idea within the modern myth.
2- They're recently deceased.
     Zombies digging themselves up from their graves doesn't seem plausible or realistic, although many movies have depicted this scenario. Civil War zombies? Roman Centurion zombies? I would think that the bodies of such old corpses would literally be dust, especially the soft tissues and it would not be realistic or even believable that they would or could dig themselves up. This aspect of the zombie mythos could be a supportive idea for the bio-weapon or engineered viral theories of re-animation - as it affects those who die recently and are unburied.
3- They feed on living human flesh and animals.
       These zombies love to eat living flesh. Think about that for a moment. Living flesh. They do not eat each other or cold, dead flesh. Only the living have a target on their backs. This lends some credibility to the supernatural origins theory in that it pits the dead directly against living. How could a virus, be so philosophically specific in it's intentions?
4- They have very limited intellect & virtually no reasoning abilities.
     Zombies seem to display only the lowest intellectual capacities. They infrequently use objects such as rocks as bludgeons, but not to any degree that we would consider intelligent usage. They show no outward sign of problem solving capabilities, no sign of purpose (other than feeding), or any humanistic sign of intellectual progression at all- only de-evolution, both mental & social. This idea could go for either school of thought both apocalyptic supernature or biological.
5- They seem have simple motorized instinct, with some residual memories of life.
     This idea is directly connected to number four, in as much as it regards the use of the brain in connection with the central nervous system. However, residual memories would simply be mimicking normal human behavior and not a conscious individual thought. These creatures wander aimlessly, or lie dormant in various locations until their senses detect something that might indicate their instinctive drive to feed. Why these creatures appear to sit down, lie down, walk around in certain places is not known. This idea could also support either theory as well.
6- They cannot communicate with each other.

     The vast majority of depictions within the genre do not depict individual communication, either verbal or non-verbal, between the undead. With this said, they do have the capability of basic, guttural utterances -usually moaning. I've noted that the moaning can and most of the time does, reflect some sort of instinctual excitement within the undead individual. Example: a single, wandering zombie usually does not make a sound, however, once food is detected- the moan begins and can escalate almost into a louder verbalization approaching a scream. This is fascinating, as it may be indicative of some sort of emotional response. I mean, a hungry dog will growl to protect food, right? Isn't that a type of emotional, albeit instinctual, response? This raises more questions than it answers if much thought is put into it.
7- They can shamble quickly, but cannot run due to deterioration of the muscular-skeletal system.

     The general accepted theory concerning living dead locomotion is that the undead person cannot run as a living human would. I accept that for many reasons. The first of which is that the dead individual is constantly deteriorating, even if it seems the genre has imposed an unwritten rule that the decay has been slowed greatly. The deterioration alone ensure that dried muscles & tendons cannot perform efficiently. Further, no genre movie has ever addressed as to whether or not a zombie can derive any sustenance from what it ingests. If there is no metabolism present (which is obviously the case), then no nourishment can be processed and no energy provided to organs, muscles & tissues. This also connects into number 9, as we will see, that the primary motivational force within the creature is the brain and not the internal organs themselves. If there is no breaking down of the food, then in time the zombie will simply burst open. Which brings up the questions as to why zombies are always very skinny, despite the fact that if they gorge- they should at least be bloated up! This lends credence to the supernatural explanation, because even if a virus does re-start the brain- the brain alone cannot make organs, muscles & tissues move in such a behavioral manner. There must be another force at work in conjunction with a viral explanation at the very least, wouldn't you say?

8- A bite can expedite death & conversion to the undead.

   Ah, this is a doozey! I noticed this in every genre film that I've ever seen, if you get bitten by a zombie, you will die soon & turn into one yourself. That sounds like an infection spreading and lends validity to the viral theory. However, in most depictions, anyone who dies for any reason will turn. The exception being, of course, a person whose brain is damaged beyond re-animation was the cause of their death. Which is odd, as that suggests that everyone is infected with the re-animation virus before death. If that is the case, there can never be a cure. What is to be cured...death? No, the best case in that scenario is that the living could rid themselves of the virus which would prevent them from turning upon their death. What good is that? It certainly helps those in the immediate vicinity, but it doesn't do squat for the entire problem. The hordes will still be there, whether or not you're cured and you can't cure rotten & dead- even in this fictitious universe without sounding unrealistic.

9- They can be stopped by various methods en masse, i.e. firebombing a horde, but generally destroying the brain or separating it from it's body will stop the individual zombie. (I'll get around to living heads later.)

     The generally depicted and favored method for 'putting down' the undead is destroying the brain. OK, that suggests that the brain is the central control mechanism of this lifeless meat puppet, obviously. This raises the question that if it's a virus that reanimates, then it must only restart the brain and not the body or body parts individually. If it reanimates everything, then the undead subject could be dismembered and the parts would still move at the least. However, it's not generally depicted that way- "Head=Dead". So, when we see a zombies head chopped off and it continues to bite, but the body lies still- what does that mean to the viral theory? That scenario suggests that the brain alone is affected by the virus and the brain controls the decaying body.
10- Anyone who dies will come back as a zombie, bitten or not.

     Another staple of the zombie genre is that everyone that dies will turn into a zombie (except of course if you destroy the brain before turning). So, we can refer back to numbers 2 & 8. The most compelling genre rule, if you ask me. I, in turn, ask "why"? Why does everyone who dies return as a mindless creature? I've always preferred the Apocalyptic Supernature Theory, as it most easily explains the "why", without delving into some sort of techno-babble pseudo-science, which is just as silly as the supernatural explanation. See, with the Viral Theory, the very name suggests "cure". There's a cure. It's suggests a natural phenomena, something that mankind can wrap his intellect around and solve it. I don't like that. I like knowing that mankind doesn't have all the answers and there are things that happen for reasons that are unfathomable. Of course, a virus doesn't need a reason to exist but it does - but a virus has an origin, a biological origin. A definite starting point. The A.S Theory doesn't have or need that definite point- it simply starts. To me, that's more frightening.

As usual, these opinions are my own and we all know what opinions are like, don't we? I sat down and simply wrote this in one sitting, without note or research. If I have unwittingly left out something important or if you have a take on anything I have written about- please share it with me. I would love to connect!