When audiences are watching The Walking Dead, they’re more often than not too emotionally engaged in the characters and the story to think about what life must be like for the people who live in the area where the show films. But let it be known that things can get pretty horrible for those Georgia residents, and one of the most egregious downsides involves not being able to enter and exit one’s own residence unless it complies with the shooting schedule.
Unlike a movie’s production, which can make citizens’ lives troublesome on a temporary basis, a TV show films for months on end, sometimes without any sizeable breaks. And one Senoia, Georgia resident had quite a lot to share about how the show’s presence has changed the area since it started filming there in Season 3, saying that the people in the gated community standing in for Alexandria had to basically either comply with certain changes or move out.
They had to agree to things like specific exit/entry times at their own homes to work around filming, and allowing bright lights and loud noises at three in the morning. I believe they are legally obligated to wait until the crew okays their leaving so that they don't mess up a scene.
Few things sound like more of a blast than having someone else dictate when you can and can’t go to the store when you desperately need syrup to go with those waffles that you made without checking to see if you had syrup or not. Did I say blast? I meant crime against humanity. And that’s at the breakfast table after a terrible night of sleep that was interrupted by explosions. I can’t imagine having to situate a work schedule around when scenes are being filmed. I mean, they did have to sign an agreement, but still.
Brittany, the Senoia resident who spoke with Cracked about all this, said that there is a constant police presence when the show is in production, as they’re always on alert for people messing with the props and settings. And sometimes just being outside was disallowed.
At one point during filming, I was actually told by a cop directing traffic that I wasn't allowed to be out on my own lawn. When they were filming at the wall of Alexandria, we were really close to where they were shooting. Security had to make sure that nobody walked past the blocked portions of the road, so when we walked out into the yard to see what was up, a security officer told us we couldn't be out there unless we were trying to leave.
I totally understand why this is happening from the show’s perspective. A random person in the background wouldn’t look too good on a show where the world is barely populated. But it would still suck to have to deal with that for months on end.
Brittany also gave a bunch of other changes that have hit the city since The Walking Dead started using it for Woodbury and probably The Hilltop Colony. Since the show takes place in the post-apocalypse, the locations are always in ruins, so that means Senoia gets totally trashed when filming is happening, which is worsened by fans and tourists who invade and take little notice of the damage they cause. As well, Brittany said it’s basically impossible to live there and not get spoiled on everything that’s being filmed, as it’s a lot of what the locals will talk about.
All in all, it sounds like it wouldn’t be that great of a time unless you were a super diehard fan who didn’t give a shit about disturbances and social limitations. Brittany also says that businesses are booming in town, and they all sell “zombie” version of normal groceries, so there’s that.
The Walking Dead airs Thursday nights on AMC.