As reported several weeks ago, AMC announced that it was unable to complete post-production work on the 16th and final episode of The Walking Dead season 10 due to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and the complete shutdown of all film and TV production.
“I mean, the trick with post-production that a lot of people don’t realize is there’s so many little refinements and last-minute embellishment,” says Greg Nicotero, the show’s makeup effects supervisor and an executive producer, who also directed the episode.
He continues, “You have to do post-production sound, and you have to do music, and then you have to go in and do color timing to make sure that every shot in a scene is color timed the same way so that they look all look like it’s coming from the same scene…There are quality checks that you have to do, to make sure there’s not like a Starbucks cup in the shot, or whatever. There’s a lot of those little fine-tuning elements that all happen within two to three weeks of delivering the episode to the network.
“So we were right on the cusp of just about finishing the episode when everybody had to stop work,” he says. “And it’s not like you can do a lot of that stuff remotely. I looked at all the visual effects stuff that was coming in when we were shooting because there was a lot of VFX for the finale, and everything looked magnificent. It’s just a matter of waiting until we can basically mix all the ingredients. I don’t know when that’s going to be. But I think once people get a chance to go back to work, it’s probably a week and a half or two weeks of fine-tuning.”
Although he doesn’t know when AMC will ultimately air “A Certain Doom,” Nicotero feels confident in how it will turn out: “It’s a great episode,” he teases. “I’m super-proud of it, so I can’t wait for people to see it.”
“The good news is the writers are cranking away,” he says. “So fingers crossed that we’ll have all of our scripts or a lot of the scripts ready to go by the time we start production. Television’s tricky because you got to give the writers’ room time to break the story. Once you get into production and that boat leaves the dock, then you’re sort of holding on for dear life.”
Nicotero concludes, “I think the plan is to try to get as far as we can on the scripts, so once we hit the ground running in production, a lot of the challenges and a lot of the hiccups will have already been refined and ready to go.”
We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.