WARNING: Possible spoilers for 'The Walking Dead' TV and comic series ahead. Proceed with caution.
I think we can all agree that Sunday's episode of The Walking Dead was absolutely spectacular, with a rich blend of savage violence and heartfelt emotion. But among it all, the top moment had to be the absolutely gut-wrenching scene when Carl Grimes was shot by Ron Anderson. Relive the tension of that scene below:
That final moment of the scene was lifted straight from the comic series, and I think you'll agree that special effects meister — and the director of the episode — Greg Nicotero went above and beyond when recreating the goriness for TV.
But how exactly did he bring that comic panel to life in such spectacular fashion? Luckily for us, Nictero and Chandler Riggs (Carl Grimes) explained to The Hollywood Reporter how exactly the special effects team managed the feat.
Nicotero is the first to admit that the injury itself was very challenging, telling THR:
"It was one of the trickier aspects of the episode, we wanted to follow the graphic novel in terms of the extent of the injury because in the comics, Carl's wound is very important in terms of how he moves forward."
In the comic series, Carl being injured is a transformative moment for the teen, who quickly becomes hardened and fiercely protective of his community.
In order to make Carl's injury as realistically as possible, Nicotero reveals that it was achieved using a head cast of Riggs and a sculpted dummy head with the wound incorporated into it.
Nicotero told THR that although he and his team did use the comic books as reference, he had to make the wound a little bit more realistic, saying:
"We used the graphic novel as reference but if you look at the wound in the comic (at top), he would never survive that bullet hole. So we had to make sure it was something we believed Carl would be able to survive the impact of. It was as if the bullet hit that part of the skull that's just above the cheekbone and ricocheted outward and sent bone fragments into his eye."
He also added that although it may have looked like Carl in Rick's arms as he ran to the infirmary, it was actually the dummy — pretty realistic, huh?
In order to make the shot as dramatic as possible, Nicotero says that in addition to the gory-looking dummy, they also put prosthetics on Riggs's face. He explains that to get the big reveal shot, he used the same technique as on another popular AMC show:
"For actual reveal, we did what we did on 'Breaking Bad': We put a prosthetic on Chandler's face, shot the puppet head of Chandler with the wound and added the hole and depth of the wound to the puppet head onto Chandler digitally. What we did with Gus Fring on 'Breaking Bad,' when he got blown up, we had a prosthetic on him and added the depth that you can't get on a real human being onto the head."
Wow, so much work; A dummy with a head mold, prosthetics and digital effects. But obviously the proof is in the chocolate pudding, and all in all the scene was brilliant.
For 16-year-old Riggs, it seems like the midseason premiere turned him into a pro at having molds made of his body parts, having also needed to have one of his arm for the dramatic moment when Rick hacks off Jessie's arm to save Carl. Speaking about the process, Riggs said:
"They molded our arms so they could chop off a hand in the actual shot. Then they molded my face so they could make a mannequin. That was a really weird process because your face is encased in this stuff and you can't move at all but you can breathe and but you can't see."
He also went on to say that that he didn't actually have any makeup on for the initial scene, but rather it was all added later:
"It was only a prosthetic over my eye when Rick was bringing Carl into infirmary. It was a prosthetic that took 30 minutes to apply and dress. It was a lot of fun for me but not for anyone else, I think!"
But while the actual makeup application process might not have been a lot of fun for anyone except Riggs, the finished result certainly excited audiences. I mean, come one — just check out that gore!
The next episode of 'The Walking Dead' airs February 21 on AMC.
Were you impressed by the goriness of Carl's eye injury in the midseason premiere?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter