Susan Karlin takes a look at the Walking Dead spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead, in Fast Company. "'We stay true to the mythology and universe of the original, but our show is its own show for its own reasons,'" says co-executive producer Adam Davidson, who directed the pilot and two episodes, and helped set the vision for the series. "'This series is closer to everyday life—this is you and I suddenly being faced with the apocalypse.'"
For the look of the show, "Davidson took advantage of less-familiar elements of L.A.—like using its hills instead of the flat suburban sprawl that often identify the city. "I wanted to keep L.A. as a character," he says. "I’d played football in high school and remembered a high school in El Sereno called Woodrow Wilson High that had a field overlooking downtown. It turned out to be the right look. El Sereno is a beautiful neighborhood that’s racially and ethnically mixed, with working class families, that’s still safe—good people who make L.A. run."
"In hiring a director of photography, Davidson took a page from the outsider status he and Erickson brought to the production. 'I didn’t bring in a DP who was schooled in the genre of zombies,' he says. 'I wanted to bring in a foreigner. Since I was from L.A., I wanted an outside eye, who could evoke a world, but also give characters the freedom to act. I didn’t want my actors to worry about landing on a mark. I wanted to get to the truth of the scene...He found that eye in Scottish cinematographer Michael McDonough, best known for the 2010 film Winter’s Bone. 'What I loved about that movie, was that it looked like natural lighting. Things felt real, and yet there as an eerie quality, but not in the conventional Hollywood movie way, like shafts of light and smoke.'"
Watch a promo for the series here: