Why TWD Director Removed The Cameras During Chandler Riggs' Final Episode

Why TWD Director Removed The Cameras During Chandler Riggs’ Final Episode

By Brock Swinson | Monday Monday Staff -    2018-03-05

Greg Nicotero said he was dreading the final moments with Carl Grimes on The Walking Dead. “It’s always challenging, when we lose characters. With Chandler, I’ve known him since day one. He was ten years old. The first episode that I ever directed was a big episode for Chandler, where Dale dies,” he said.

The Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMC

Ironically, a lot of people blamed the death of Dale on the young boy. In an old interview with Chris Hardwick, a 12-year-old Chandler Riggs jokingly denied it being his fault. Now, Nicotero got to work together again, but this was the end of the great Carl Grimes.

“I channel a lot of my relationship with my son as to how to really interact with Chandler. I felt like he and I had a great direction when we work together,” added the director on Talking Dead.

Greg Nicotero On Carl Grimes’ Final Moments

The Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMC

“As weird as it sounds, I think when an actor finds out they’re going to die on the show, they go through those seven stages when they have a loss in their real lives… “ said Nicotero about the death scenes on the show.

“As filmmakers, we go through the same thing. You don’t want to look them in the eye because you feel awkward and strange about it. But I really wanted to give Chandler a tremendous amount of space to do what he does really well,” he added.

By pulling the camera away, the actors could simply perform.

Giving The Actors Space To Perform

The Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMC

“So we kept the set closed for a lot of stuff in the church. The tunnel was a set we built and I wanted to give Chandler, Andy, and Danai an opportunity to not be aware of the camera, but to let the emotion play out. You have to gauge that out,” he added.

Nicotero added, “You don’t want to start with everybody just completely losing their minds. You have to sort of build to that. It’s tricky and he did a great job.” Throughout the course of the episode, the tension continued to build.

At various points, Carl Grimes was able to say goodbye to each character. In the end, he took his own life and allowed for Rick and Michonne to grieve outside.

What was your favorite part of this epic episode?

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Brock Swinson


Brock Swinson is the author of 'How Hollywood Screenwriters Annihilate Writer's Block,' which includes advice from Aaron Sorkin, William Monahan, and Cary Fukunaga. Get it for free or listen to interviews at the "Creative Principles with Brock Swinson" podcast on the website above.

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