Walking Dead companion series Fear The Walking Dead started earlier in the zombie apocalypse, but fans wondered how long before the two became indistinguishable. That day may come in Season 4, as Fear’s reboot now includes The Walking Dead’s own director of photography.
Entertainment Weekly reports that Lennie James won’t be the only Walking Dead mainstay pivoting to Fear, as photography director Michael E. Satrazemis will also join the revamped fourth season (without leaving the mothership series behind). For those uncertain of the job, a director of photography presides over camera and light crews, picking everything from camera to film stock, filters and more to create a signature look. Satrazemis essentially defines the grainy and grim look of The Walking Dead, and has even directed twelve of its 100+ episodes.
That said, Fear The Walking Dead Season 4 may lean more into a western aesthetic than The Walking Dead’s Atlanta greens, as the series itself relocates production from Mexico to Texas. Says Satrazemis:
We’re switching things up a bunch this season, and really brought in a new look and a new atmosphere. We’re upping the story now and I’m really happy with what’s going on right now. I feel like it’s its own very unique show from The Walking Dead, even with Morgan coming over. It’s a different vibe from the first three seasons … We’re going composition forward. When Ian and Andrew brought me in, that was one of the first conversations: ‘What do you think we could do to keep making this powerful?’ We went back to the old Western vibe with big and wide frames, and holding frames. We’ve slowed the cutting pattern down and really kind of play a lot of that Western vibe.
More and more, it seems Fear The Walking Dead is rebooting as an alternative to the series proper. The fourth season left showrunner Dave Erickson behind for Once Upon a Time alum Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg (and an EP credit for Scott Gimple), while the timeline between both series has been bridged to allow Lennie James’ Morgan to cross over. The flagship series has garnered a stream of negative press in recent months, particularly as original cast members make unexpected departures, and ratings have begun sagging toward Season 1 levels. It’s not unreasonable to see attention shifting over to Fear, which has no path from Robert Kirkman’s long-established comics to follow.
We’ll find out more when Season 4 premieres on April 15, immediately following The Walking Dead Season 8 finale. Watch the teaser below and stay tuned.
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