THE WALKING DEAD Magazine Debuts with Showrunner Interview
This article is reprinted with permission of Titan Publishing and Skybound. Overseeing the organization, operation and smooth running of such an expansive and intense TV series as The Walking Dead would give us the mother of all headaches – like a horde of voracious walkers banging at our door at 2am – but not so for Glen Mazzara. The veteran executive producer and showrunner has never been happier, it seems, and his enthusiasm for the impending broadcast of season three is about as infectious as a zombie virus. He tells The Walking Dead Magazine why he’s so excited.
Variant“What’s exciting to me about being a showrunner on The Walking Dead is that I get to work on the entire season at once,” Mazzara tells TWDM across a fizzing phone line from his Los Angeles office. “I work on multiple episodes and I get to see each department do their best work.
Relating what a typical day at the office may include, Mazzara explains, “I read a script, or an outline, or some pitches in the morning. I will give notes to the writers. Sometimes I’ll have to polish some material or write some material myself. I usually do that late at night. I am very involved in the post-production process. I’ll go into editing and give notes on particular scenes of story structure for episodes that were recently cut. I’ll go back and look at tweaks on previously cut material. I’ll have to sign-off on visual effects and listen to music cues.
Variant“I feel like the show is very similar to The Shield in that it feels authentic, it feels gritty and it’s an ensemble piece. It’s a heightened reality, stakes are very high, and it also pushes the envelope in terms of content. It’s violent, visceral, low tech and, hopefully, keeps people on the edge of their seat. But it’s also about character moments, actions and it’s not a big piece about conspiracies or revelations. I primarily worked on cop shows, and there’s been a gazillion cop shows so it’s difficult to keep those shows fresh. What’s fresh about The Walking Dead is that we can use ideas from other plates of genres and when you incorporate them, and add zombies, it feels very fresh.”
Season three of The Walking Dead incorporates two very important storylines from the comic book – the prison and the town of Woodbury – forming the backbone plot for the year. It was actually Mazzara who pushed up the introduction of the prison at the end of season two. “I think what fans really love about the comic book is the story of the prison, the story of the antagonist Governor and the introduction of Michonne. All of that is the meat on the bones, so I had to ask myself why are we saving that? Why are we not getting into that when it’s the heart of the matter? It’s very fertile ground. Both Woodbury and the prison are characters. We want to meet those characters over the source of the entire season and we want them to change with both victories and losses.
VariantThe Governor is very much a part of Rick’s story and Rick is very much a part of The Governor’s story, so there’s a complete story to be told this season about the entire world of The Walking Dead. We’ve moved away from that initial outbreak – where do we go? What is safe? Who do we trust?”
Check out the rest of this interview with AMC executive producer and showrunner Glen Mazzara in issue #1 of The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine, available on newsstands and comic book stores in the U.S. on October 23, in the U.K. on November 8 and Australia & New Zealand on December 18. Digital editions will be available globally on the iPad, Nook and Kindle Fire from October 23.
For more on The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine visit the magazine website, www.TitanMagazines.com/WalkingDead. Readers can also join the magazine on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/WalkingDeadMag and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/WalkingDeadMagazine to keep up to date with news and special offers and www.Skybound.com, the source for all news on The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman and all Skybound titles.