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Let's face it: Nobody likes going through security at the airport.
But for Greg Nicotero, the Emmy-winning makeup effects artist and co-executive producer of AMC's hit series The Walking Dead, that whole take-off-your-shoes-so-that-they-can-then-be-sent-through-the-X-ray-machine bit can sometimes get extra exciting.
Greg Nicotero surveys some of the concept art, zombie masks and costumes that Universal Orlando officials used when they were creating the "Walking Dead: Dead Inside" maze for this year's Halloween Horror Nights. Photo by Jim Hill
"Typically, I'm going to the airport right from work," Nicotero
explained. "And it's only as I'm putting my shoes on the conveyor belt
that I then notice that they're flecked with fake blood. Which makes it
look like I'm some guy who's trying to flee the country after I've
Thankfully for Greg (who's spent an awful lot of time at the airport
this past six months, what with having to travel back and forth between
LA and Atlanta as Nicotero rode herd on the makeup effects for Season 3
of Walking Dead -- which is being shot in and around Senoia, Ga. -- not to mention consulting on that Walking Dead-themed obstacle course which AMC set up at San Diego Comic-Con back in July and working with Universal Studios officials in both Hollywood and Orlando on those "Walking Dead: Dead Inside" mazes that are being presented at this year's Halloween Horror Nights), the TSA hasn't shown all that much interest in his footware.
Greg Nicotero on set during production of "The Walking Dead" as he touches up a zombie's make-up and then tries not to get any of that fake blood on his shoes.Copyright 2010 - 2012 AMC Network Entertainment LLC. All rights reserved
"They're far more concerned with whether I still have loose change in
my pocket before I got through their scanner," Greg laughed during a
recent interview. "The fact that my shoes make it look like I may have
just killed someone prior to arriving at the airport is really none of
their concern. But making sure that I don't have any metal on me before I
go through their X-ray machine, that's important."
Which -- I know -- sounds kind of absurd. But these days, Nicotero's whole world is filled to the brim with absurd.
Greg's the sort of guy who really likes to throw himself into his work.So that gruesome zombie that you see staring down at you from all of those Halloween Horror Nights billboards currently on display in Hollywood & Orlando? That's Mr. Nicotero under all that gruesome make-up. The Walking Dead copyright 2012 AMC Film Holdings / Copyright NBC Universal. Allrights reserved
"I mean, when I started working with Gale Anne Hurd and Frank Darabont on The Walking Dead, I never once dreamed that someday there'd be these Walking Dead
calendars that would feature my zombie makeups which people would then
hang up in their kitchens," Greg marveled. "Or -- for that matter --
when I'd tell some guy that I work on The Walking Dead, he'd then say 'That's my wife's favorite show. Wait here. I want to introduce you to her.' "
Trust me folks, Mr. Nicotero's tales of "The Walking Dead" story gets even weirder from this point forward. But you want to read the rest of my profile of this master make-up artist,
you're either going to have to click on the headline above or go straight to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-hill/walking-dead-amc_b_1968726.html?utm_hp_ref=entertainment&ir=Entertainment.