During Season 2 of "The Walking Dead," I heard fans at conventions and in comic book stores complaining about the lack of zombies due to budget cuts. Of course, the influx of walkers in the season finale should have placated many of these distraught fans. With production moving into the prison for Season 3, some basic rules of filming, and some scenes from the comics, allow for more zombies.
Indoor Vs. Outdoor Photography
When shooting indoors, the creators are in near-complete control over the filming environment. Light is created by the cinematographer and is able to be controlled simply by moving a fixture or by increasing or decreasing the power of the lighting used. Controlling the environment is not something easily done outside.
While filming during the day, the director has to worry about the placement of the sun. If the sun is directly overhead, there can be too much light exposure and wash out the picture. If the sun is physically in the shot, there is a strong chance that there will be a lens flare and overpower everything else in the frame. If the sun is behind the camera, excess shadows can be cast. Often, the amount of quality time when filming can be done outside can lengthen the days of production.
There was much more filming done indoors during the second season of "The Walking Dead" when compared to the first season. Hershel's house, the barn, the general store, and the bar in town allowed for longer continuous shooting so it reduced the days needed for shooting and would eliminate the amount of sound editing needed to try to reduce the background sound from the wind, birds, and other outdoor distractions. With the budgetary cuts in the second season, the number of zombies had to be reduced significantly.
If you read the comic book version of "The Walking Dead," you would know that many of the scenes in the prison happen indoors. The outdoor scenes usually happen on the side of the prison with the characters standing close to the walled areas. The indoor shots will help to free up some of the money and time needed during filming. At the same time, since many of the outdoor scenes happen close to the walling, the director can benefit from having the sun blocked by the building for at least a few extra hours during the morning reducing the chances for flares and washouts.
Where Will the Money Go?
While some of the extra money saved will be soaked up by the contracts of new actors (playing Michonne, The Governor, the Woodbury survivors, etc.), extra zombies are very possible. The comic gave interesting examples of walkers infesting the inside of the prison in areas like the basketball court and the hallways. They also lined up the fencing around the facility and gave the memorable moments of using screwdrivers to poke at them. Fans who were upset last season by the lack of zombies could easily be placated this season.
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