Emmy-Winning Make-Up Effects Artist Greg Nicotero Named Co-Executive Producer of THE WALKING DEAD; Will Direct an Episode This Season

     September 15, 2011

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After Frank Darabont stepped down as showrunner of AMC’s hit zombie drama series The Walking Dead, it was unclear who would step up to take the reigns of the show. Now AMC has given us the official answer with a press release announcing that the series’ Emmy-winning make-up effects artist Greg Nicotero will step up to take the job, and he’s also snagged a first-look deal for new projects at AMC in the process. However, Nicotero will be listed as a co-executive producer with Darabont still receiving his own executive producer credits despite leaving the series. Nicotero will also be directing an episode this season.

Nicotero has been doing make-up for over 25 years, but he’s also been a consulting producer on The Walking Dead as well. As for his experience as a director and showrunner, Joel Stillerman, AMC’s SVP of original programming, production and digital content says, “Greg’s talent extends well beyond the word of special effects make-up. He is also a truly talented director, and has an incredibly comprehensive understanding and appreciation for great storytelling. Hit the jump for the full press release.

Here’s the official press release:

New York, NY- September 15, 2011 – AMC announced today that Emmy Award-winning make-up effects artist Greg Nicotero has been a named co-executive producer of “The Walking Dead.” Nicotero has also inked a first-look deal with the network, which gives him the opportunity to bring his own passion projects to AMC. At Saturday’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards, Nicotero won Best Prosthetic Make-up for AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”  Nicotero directs a series of webisodes this season and is also set to direct an episode.

“Greg’s talent extends well beyond the word of special fx makeup,” said Joel Stillerman, AMC’s SVP of original programming, production and digital content.  “He is also a truly talented director, and has an incredibly comprehensive understanding and appreciation for great storytelling. His knowledge and respect for the genre is unparalleled, and we are looking forward to expanding our relationship with him with an eye towards developing more great original series.”

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Nicotero, who co-owns KNB EFX GROUP, one of Hollywood’s most successful Make-up Effects Studios, premiered his film THE UNITED MONSTER TALENT AGENCY on AMC’S Fearfest last Halloween.  He began his career on DAY OF THE DEAD in 1985 and as of this year has been involved in nearly 800 feature films including those of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. He is repped by Ken Linzer, UTA and Chris Pollack at Generate.

Greg’s masterful work on “The Walking Dead” continues this season on amctv.com. Beginning on October 3rd, fans are able to watch the six-episode web series. Produced by Generate, and conceived and directed by Nicotero and written by John Esposito, the webisodes tell an “origin” story of a woman’s struggle to survive and to protect her family as the world begins to fall apart.  Fans have the opportunity to explore the back story of one of the most celebrated “walkers” last season. It focuses on “Bicycle Girl,” the infamous zombie from season one, who was shot by Rick Grimes in the pilot episode. Fans learn about this woman’s life before the apocalypse, and watch her story unfold into what becomes her ultimate demise into zombie-hood.

Nicotero says, “Working on “The Walking Dead” with such a fantastic cast and crew has been an amazing opportunity, and to have our contribution to the show celebrated is a tremendous compliment.  I have always felt like the show had a cinematic feel and everyone involved is dedicated to making this show something special.  To be able to branch out and to develop not only the web series but also genre material is something I have always wanted to do; given the people I have had the pleasure of working with over the last 23 years.”

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