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Old August 11 2011, 12:43 PM   #16
watermelony2k
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Re: "The Walking Dead" Season 2 Updates

Roger Wilco wrote: View Post
I don't get it. What's the point of developing original shows like Walking Dead if you don't give the showrunners the freedom and budget they need to do it well?
AMC's actions are even more confounding when you consider the fact that The Walking Dead has been the most widely viewed and successful show that AMC ever had, starting at 5.3 million viewers with its premiere rising to above 6 million viewers for its finale. It's rare for a show's ratings to grow over time -- they usually drop.

Why fire the show director and slash the show's budget by $250,000 per episode?

At least the show's new commander-in-chief had been brought aboard for season 2 for quite a while now, and Robert Kirkman is still also an executive producer. All is not lost yet.
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Old August 11 2011, 01:11 PM   #17
Vendikarr
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Re: "The Walking Dead" Season 2 Updates

AMC probably believes the series will not show continued growth in the ratings, and a budget cut is one way of maximizing profits.

Releasing Darabont probably saved them most of the 250k right there. Even producer salaries are factored into the cost of a series.
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Old August 11 2011, 01:18 PM   #18
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Re: "The Walking Dead" Season 2 Updates

But isn't $3.4 million per episode extremely cheap anyway for a show like that with DVD potential and possible broadcasts outside the US?
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Old August 11 2011, 01:23 PM   #19
Vendikarr
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Re: "The Walking Dead" Season 2 Updates

Roger Wilco wrote: View Post
But isn't $3.4 million per episode extremely cheap anyway for a show like that with DVD potential and possible broadcasts outside the US?
Most genre series are produced with a 1.5 to 3 million per episode budget. 3.4 million is on the high side.
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Last edited by Vendiklaus; August 11 2011 at 10:01 PM.
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Old August 11 2011, 10:01 PM   #20
RJDiogenes
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Re: "The Walking Dead" Season 2 Updates

Wow, that is high. Did they build a full-scale model of Atlanta or what?
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Old August 11 2011, 10:02 PM   #21
Temis the Vorta
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Re: "The Walking Dead" Season 2 Updates

The craft services bill for the zombies is astronomical.

Kurt Sutter is bitching again and it isn't even his show!
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Old August 12 2011, 05:33 AM   #22
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Re: "The Walking Dead" Season 2 Updates

I find this article from The Holywood Reporter to be extremely frustrating and troubling:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/new...d-fired-221449

Within a space of months, AMC has become embroiled in messy public fights with the creators of its top three shows -- Mad Men, Breaking Bad and now Walking Dead. The battles have been about money, but in this case, at least, it was more of a slow burn than a sudden flare-up. Sources say last fall, even before the first episode of the show had aired, AMC let it be known that it would effectively slash the show's second-season budget per episode by about $650,000, from $3.4 million to $2.75 million. AMC cut the budget and pocketed a tax credit previusly applied to the show.
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Old August 12 2011, 06:00 AM   #23
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Re: "The Walking Dead" Season 2 Updates

AMC is making quite a profit so this is greed pure and simple. It's also bad management policy. They were clearly trying to become the next HBO and are now failing wildly.
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Old August 12 2011, 06:44 AM   #24
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Re: "The Walking Dead" Season 2 Updates

It sounds as if AMC's executives are great at being entrepreneurs (getting/picking new ideas, getting those ideas started) but terrible at being administrators (long-term planning, the grind of actually dealing with talent/employees). It's a common problem in business, actually.

I'm sure many will think AMC's previous executive choices were luck (talent falling into their hands), but being an entrepreneur is a very different skill-set from being an administrator. It wouldn't surprise me if these guys really are great at picking new shows and getting them going. They just need to hire better people for everything that comes afterwards.
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Old August 12 2011, 07:22 AM   #25
CorporalCaptain
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Re: "The Walking Dead" Season 2 Updates

Brikar99 wrote: View Post
I find this article from The Holywood Reporter to be extremely frustrating and troubling:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/new...d-fired-221449
Also from that article is this.
But this source says that AMC had its own ideas about how to make the show more cheaply. The show shoots for eight days per episode, and the network suggested that half should be indoors. "Four days inside and four days out? That's not Walking Dead," says this insider. "This is not a show that takes place around the dinner table." That was just one of what this person describes as "silly notes" from AMC. Couldn't the audience hear the zombies sometimes and not see them, to save on makeup? The source says Darabont fought "a constant battle to keep the show big in scope and style."
If true, this Attack of the Bean Counters is the kind that has cluelessly killed many projects.

AMC's star could fall as fast as it rose.
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Old August 12 2011, 07:49 AM   #26
Snaploud
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Re: "The Walking Dead" Season 2 Updates

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Brikar99 wrote: View Post
I find this article from The Holywood Reporter to be extremely frustrating and troubling:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/new...d-fired-221449
Also from that article is this.
But this source says that AMC had its own ideas about how to make the show more cheaply. The show shoots for eight days per episode, and the network suggested that half should be indoors. "Four days inside and four days out? That's not Walking Dead," says this insider. "This is not a show that takes place around the dinner table." That was just one of what this person describes as "silly notes" from AMC. Couldn't the audience hear the zombies sometimes and not see them, to save on makeup? The source says Darabont fought "a constant battle to keep the show big in scope and style."
If true, this Attack of the Bean Counters is the kind that has cluelessly killed many projects.

AMC's star could fall as fast as it rose.
Those suggestions aren't really all that terrible (especially if they're just on-the-cuff questions rather than a directives from above). There are certainly creative ways to spend a couple episodes in closed sets. Hell, these guys are trying to survive a zombie outbreak. It's perfectly reasonable to have them hiding in enclosed spaces occasionally or arguing with other survivors over how to best protect their hiding places.

Most SF/F shows depend upon having a few bottle episodes in order to save money for the big smash-em-up episodes. I get that they're trying to make every episode special, but bottle episodes can be special in the right hands (check out Babylon 5's "Intersections in Real Time" as an example).

Sure, it might have been excessive to put half the episodes indoors, but that's (hopefully) just a starting point for some discussions.

Edit: Also, I've read the comics, and there are certainly plot-lines that lend themselves to long-term (even indoor) sets. They could even plan ahead (assuming the script-writers can get ahead of the filming a bit) and have a few outdoor scenes in-the-can for the periods without out-door filming.

Last edited by Snaploud; August 12 2011 at 08:06 AM.
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Old August 12 2011, 09:39 AM   #27
RJDiogenes
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Re: "The Walking Dead" Season 2 Updates

Most of Dawn Of The Dead took place indoors.

While I certainly agree that suit-and-tie interference in creative matters is a bad thing, and reflexively came down on the side of the producers, that is a pretty high budget for a cable TV show. Why is it that high? Because of all the location shooting? In any case, I don't think it's really unreasonable for them to want to keep the budget under three million dollars when other shows manage on half that.
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Old August 12 2011, 01:25 PM   #28
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Re: "The Walking Dead" Season 2 Updates

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
The craft services bill for the zombies is astronomical.
I would have thought they'd just write it off under "extras".
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Old August 12 2011, 01:25 PM   #29
PsychoPere
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Re: "The Walking Dead" Season 2 Updates

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
[...] that is a pretty high budget for a cable TV show. Why is it that high? Because of all the location shooting? [...]
I can't imagine it's just location shooting. As the HR article points out, the show has been receiving a 30% tax credit for shooting in Georgia - money that, with season two, AMC has decided to hold onto rather than use for the show.
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Old August 12 2011, 03:33 PM   #30
Vendikarr
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Re: "The Walking Dead" Season 2 Updates

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
Most of Dawn Of The Dead took place indoors.

While I certainly agree that suit-and-tie interference in creative matters is a bad thing, and reflexively came down on the side of the producers, that is a pretty high budget for a cable TV show. Why is it that high? Because of all the location shooting? In any case, I don't think it's really unreasonable for them to want to keep the budget under three million dollars when other shows manage on half that.
Location shooting can be pretty expensive. Back in the day, NBC had a series called Earth 2. Putting aside complaints of quality, it was doing average in the ratings. But it's budget was high, because most of the series was shot outdoors.

When decision time came, it didn't make the cut due to its expense.
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