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ADAM DAVIDSON, Co-Executive Producer / Director (101, 102, 103)

What are audiences going to discover immediately about Fear the Walking Dead?

Audiences are going to discover it is completely different, new characters, different time. We get to experience the fall which we didn’t in the original. Hopefully they find interesting, grounded characters that feel real. They are teachers and students being faced with the unimaginable. The humanity of this story is hopefully what will come out for audiences week to week.

What was one of the most important things you wanted to establish with Fear?

From my standpoint, there are a few things that come to mind in a visual sense and in creating a world. This was looking at the biggest city in America and focusing on lives we don’t usually see. These are working middle class families who live in East LA and I like to say that these are the people that make Los Angeles run. People will root and care for these people and they live in a world that is flawed. Things are broken. I grew up in LA and there is the glitzy, glamorous Hollywood LA that is shown in the media and then the one I grew up knowing – the one with the cracks in the asphalt, the broken glass, the graffiti and the trash. To me that was interesting. It’s not that this outbreak happens in a perfect world; it happens in a world that is recognizable. Life has a certain struggle to it, and all of the sudden… there are zombies.

What was important about establishing the foundation?

What I love about the writing and the script is that they set out to tell the fall of LA through the microcosm of following this one family, and I think that was a very intimate and clever way to tell the larger story against the backdrop of the city. And they’re not a “typical” family; it’s a blended family but it’s a real family.

In establishing the cast, what was important?

What was on the forefront of our minds is that our family is just on the cusp of discovering this incident that is now affecting the entire world, and we never want them to know too much or be ahead of themselves. Hopefully fans will enjoy the fact that they know more than our characters and that has a certain tension to it. It’s the same thing in a scary movie where there is a built-in dread and anxiety that these characters don’t know yet what they’re getting into. They think it’s a bad flu or a virus or something that will pass over, and they should because I think it’s human instinct to believe that everything’s going to be okay. This isn’t a traditional horror movie; it’s a realistic family show with “oh my god — a zombie just walked in.” Our characters are taking us through this world. We’re never leading them or showing something ahead of their discovery of it and hopefully it makes people feel like they’re really there. Ideally the goal was to make it feel as real as possible. What would it be like? What is the true human response to all this?

What is the timeline in Fear and how does that affect the family dynamics?

For me, from episode one through three we’re telling a little more than 24 hours, so it’s a rocket ship ride towards the collapse and it’s not all clear. We don’t know what’s going on, we’re trying to explain it, understand it, and yet we’re still dealing with the emotions that already exist in the relationships. Those issues are still being worked on in the middle of the world falling apart.

What is one of the most intriguing themes/events for you that are explored in the first few episodes?

Nobody truly knows what we would be like when facing certain situations. Do we rise to a level that exceeds our expectations about who we are as people, or do we sink to our basic, most selfish, most greedy, nihilistic levels? And that for me is the most interesting part of the world of The Walking Dead. It’s these moral questions that come up. What would I do? How would I behave? Would I do what’s right? Would I be evil if I hurt a walker? At what point do I stop seeing them as humans and only recognize them as something else even though they still look human? What if the virus went away tomorrow – would I be arrested? Would I go to jail? And some of our characters are really caught in this moral conflict, especially Travis. He’s an educator, a teacher, he believes in the book and the written word and that man should raise himself to a higher ideal. So Travis’ first instinct would be to help, not fight. Then you have Daniel Salazar who has buried his past — and suddenly in the midst of the apocalypse these things are necessary for survival. These two men are at odds in this way and will have to figure it out, as will the rest of our blended family. Every scene we keep trying to peel the onion and find the humanity and find those moments that we all recognize that have nothing to do with the world collapsing but have to do with fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, all of these very real, blended relationships and who they were as individuals before the collapse.

What is your hope for Fear the Walking Dead?

My biggest hope is that people see this, because it’s very easy to think of this show as “that zombie show” but it isn’t. Of course we have the walkers but it’s about the question of who is the real monster, really. You have to be much more afraid of the living than the dead.
Interviews
Cast Interviews Interview - Kim DickensInterview - Cliff CurtisInterview - Frank DillaneInterview - Alycia Debnam-CareyInterview - Lorenzo James HenrieInterview - Elizabeth RodriguezInterview - Ruben BladesInterview - Mercedes MasonSeason 1 Cast InterviewsCliff Curtis - The New Frontier
Crew Interviews Interview - Dave EricksonInterview - Robert KirkmanInterview - Gale Anne HurdInterview - Greg NicoteroInterview - David AlpertInterview - Adam Davidson
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