Henry County News 12:58 p.m. Monday, June 6, 2011
Zombies take over Henry County highway
Ga. 20 near Atlanta Motor Speedway is closed for filming of “The Walking Dead”
By Mike Morris
A zombie alert has been posted for a stretch of Ga. 20 in southern Henry County. That’s right, a zombie alert.
A stretch of Ga. 20 in Henry County is being used for a scene in the TV show “The Walking Dead.” Here, a wreck is being staged on Monday for the movie.
Traffic is being detoured off the highway in both directions at East Main Street near the Atlanta Motor Speedway for the filming of the AMC television series, “The Walking Dead.”
The detour, which began on Sunday, will be in place through 9 p.m. on Thursday, according to Kimberly Larson, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.
“We had to put the detour in place for them to be able to stage all the scenes that they needed to throughout that area,” Larson said.
She said that there are message boards, signs, barrels and cones set up to channel motorists through the detour area. The DOT had issued a press release saying the highway would be closed for road work, but Lawson said that was just to deter people from showing up to watch filming.
Chris Lucas in the AM 750 and now 95.5 FM News/Talk WSB Traffic Center said he flew over the detour during the Monday morning commute, and the closure of Ga. 20 was causing no backups.
But Channel 2 Action News reporter Carol Sbarge talked with one motorist who was not happy about the road closure.
“It’s a big inconvenience,” Demond Williams told her. “I live right off of 20 so for me to go to McDonough, where I work, I have to go all the way around through Clayton, which is extra gas.”
“The Walking Dead,” which is filming its second season, is about a sheriff who wakes up in an empty hospital after weeks in a coma, finding himself alone after the world as he knows it was ravaged by a zombie epidemic.
The show is based on Robert Kirkman’s comic book series.
Shot on location in Atlanta, the show’s second season is set to debut in October.
Movie and television filming is a sight metro Atlantans should be becoming used to by now.
Georgia now ranks in the top five states for film and TV production; more than 274 projects have been shot in the state since July 2010, the Associated Press reported.
In addition to “The Walking Dead,” projects filmed in the state include “X-Men: First Class,” a remake of “Footloose,” “The Change-Up” starring Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman, “Wanderlust” with Jennifer Anniston and Paul Rudd, MTV’s “Teen Wolf” and the Discovery Channel’s “Auction Kings,” AP reported.
The economic impact of the filming is estimated at $2.1 billion.
AMC’s “The Walking Dead” has taken television audiences by storm. Based on the
hugely successful comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie
Adlard, “The Walking Dead” has called Atlanta home, and many of Netherworld
Haunted House’s Netherspawn particpate in the production.
We would like to offer readers an opportunity to meet some of these talented
folks, and find out what it’s like to work on a horror-genre dream project.
We’re starting out with the effervescent Pamela Smith!
What is your current position at Netherworld
My current position at Netherworld is a shock actress Vampire Bride!
How did you become attached to “The Walking Dead”, and what role do your play in
I was selected along with a veteran group of Netherworld actors and actresses by my
boss at “Netherworld”, Ben Armstrong! I received an invitation to
submit to the casting and be selected from hundreds of others to attend Zombie
School and be groomed for zombiehood by Greg Niccotero of “The Walking Dead” I
was chosen to be one of the “undead zombies”. So I was fortunate to have worked
quite a bit during the production, because somehow I never got shot in the
head….and everyone knows that once a zombie gets shot in the head they can’t
make a comeback from that type of injury.
Were you a fan of the popular comic book series “The Walking Dead”is based upon
before joining the project?
I was most definitely a fan of the comic book series before joining the project,
so to see it literally come to life and be a part of it on the big screen was a
huge priveledge for me – and a dream come true.
Zombie entertainment has a HUGE following right now – to what do you attribute
the popularity of the undead in film and literature?
For me personally, I have always been captivated by the unknown and the
mysterious lifelessness of the undead, and what may happen next…I would guess
lots of other followers feel the same.
One would imagine that working on any television or film project in Atlanta
could be fairly uncomfortable, as the summer’s heat and humidity descend, but
one so heavily dependant upon makeup and prosthetics must be doubly so. How do
you remain comfortable on-set during filming, and what does a mass congregation
of slack-jawed brain-eaters do to unwind while awaiting their next scene?
I mentioned earlier that I am a Netherworld actress…so I would like to say
that having experience with the horrifiying and nightmarish makeup, wardrobe,
and atmosphere for long hours for nearly 30 days straight has prepared me to be
able to withstand the variety of different set locations and conditions of the
set of “The Walking Dead”. When on set I would prepare mentally daily by keeping
my goal of putting on a good performance every time the director would say
“action”, and thanks to the PAs on set I did manageto keep myself well hydrated
(which is very crucial during the extreme heat and humidity). For me, unwinding
means staying in character and thinking about the next scene and what I should
do with my character to make my zombified transformation more menacing and
frightening. Sometimes there are strange interactions and encounters with other
Obviously you can’t reveal anything about the upcoming second season of “The
Walking Dead”, but can you at least hint at what fans can expect in terms of
shock and entertainment value next?
That’s right – I can’t reveal anything and I won’t… you will have to stay on
the lookout for the shocking second season of “The Walking Dead” to find out
what will happen next. I will have my DVR ready and you should too!
Any words of advice or encouragement for aspiring entertainers or film
enthusiasts who might wish to pursue on-screen acting and filmmaking?
If it is your passion, do your homework, surround yourself with like-minded
folks, and then go for it!
Thank you for taking the time to speak with us – we’ll be keeping our eyes
peeled to spot you on television in “The Walking Dead” (with fingers crossed
that you never receive that deadly headshot!).