The cinematographer for Friday Night Lights and Firefly explains how you make daylight terrifying, compares The Walking Dead with Westerns and describes how Walkers are more dangerous than Reavers.
Q: How did you get involved with The Walking Dead?
A: Gosh, I don’t even know. I’ve never worked with Frank Darabont before; I think they just looked at a bunch of reels and resumes and called me up. That was it.
Q: Had you ever had a desire to shoot a zombie series?
A: No, but you know I came up through the camera department in horror movies — I crewed on Re-Animator, From Beyond, all those Empire Pictures movies. So I’m used to things like that.
Q: Horror movies usually take place at night. This series takes place mostly during the day. What are the challenges to that?
A: I think the challenges are to just get the idea that there’s something to be afraid of around every corner. Because it’s daylight you’re not normally scared — we’re scared at night. But the levels of this are brilliantly laid out by Frank: The rooftop is a little safer than street level, street level is really terrifying, and below street level gets safer. So the scary places start to be the safe places, and the safe places start to be the scary places.