Coming from working on other shows to become a part of the crew of The Walking Dead has to be a huge adjustment. That challenge was one that stunt coordinator Monte Simons undertook when he joined the team this year.
In a recent interview on AMC’s official website, Monte Simons talked about how challenging the transition to working on The Walking Dead really is.
This show is different in a lot of ways. When I first got involved with the show, I went back and watched the series from the beginning. It’s so unique in that each day you sit down to watch, you’re mentally involved. Your favorite character could die at any moment. It’s not The Cosby Show, it’s not Full House… this is the show that killed Hershel! Scott Gimple and the producers on this show are some of the bravest in Hollywood. [Laughs] It’s not a zombie show — the zombies move the story forward — but it is about people living in extraordinary circumstances and learning to cope with this new society and the lack of protection. They’re basically starting their lives over.
Monte Simons has a history of putting excellent stunts into movies and television shows. His work on Captain America, Thor, and Spiderman 2 really got him a household name among those with stunt knowledge, but he met The Walking Dead executive producer Tom Luce while working on the move Jeepers Creepers 2.
Strangely enough, there was a stunt similar to one he had worked on during Jeepers Creepers 2 that had the two bonding again on the set of The Walking Dead:
We had a similar stunt on The Walking Dead as something that happens in that movie, and we kept looking at each other thinking, “It’s been 13 years and here we are again.” I love good horror and psychological movies.
And the challenge of all the stunts on The Walking Dead are something that Monte Simons really seems to enjoy. Sometimes, even a simple kill can be something that takes a ton of effort to pull off in a realistic manner.
It’s become commonplace to see a walker get stabbed in the head or shot, but each one is its own little work of art. The logistics of a knife being in somebody’s brain and how a hand would hold the knife buried in somebody is all one big choreographed move. Each one of these kills becomes its own little scenario that we have to watch very closely.
The special effects are most likely one of the major reasons that The Walking Dead is as successful as it is. It helps enhance the stories and make the characters more believable. I can’t wait to see what Monte Simons and the rest of the crew of The Walking Dead have in store for fans during season 5 of The Walking Dead.