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'Creepshow' making-of book delivers horror-themed 'Where's Waldo?' in exclusive first look
SYFY WIRE sits down with showrunner Greg Nicotero to discuss this deep dive into the hit Shudder anthology.
If you ever thought Where's Waldo? needed more monsters, blood splatters and visceral body horror, then Titan Books has just the thing for you in Shudder’s Creepshow: From Script to Scream. On sale next week, the book takes a deep dive into the production of the hit horror anthology series that's overseen by makeup effects wizard Greg Nicotero (one of his very first film jobs was on 1987's Creepshow 2).
We have an exclusive first look inside the publication with a highly-detailed collage-type piece depicting the show's various creatures and crew members. The illustration was drawn by artist Matthew Lineham, whom Nicotero first met during his time on The Walking Dead when the former created a "Where's Negan?" homage to Waldo.
"I wanted to do this sort of bird’s-eye view. If you were in the rafters of the soundstage of Creepshow, looking down, what it would be like to see all the different crew people and all the different directors and sets and monsters?" Nicotero tells SYFY WIRE. "It was very much inspired by like the old Mad Magazine. At one point I said, ‘Hey, maybe it should be a foldout. It could be the Creep’s face and then when you unfold it, like in Mad Magazine, it turns into this big, amazing piece of art.’ So I was really excited about it. I pitched it to everybody at AMC and there was like a 30-second silent response on the other end, and then they're like, ‘Yeah, that sounds great!’"
Check it out below:
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Nicotero says the book, written by Dennis L. Prince, was born out of a childhood obsession with tracking down reading material that chronicled the production of his favorite films and television shows. "I grew up [in the] ‘70s and it was really a challenge to find any photos. We didn't have the internet, it was before Fangoria magazine existed," he continues. "There weren't really a lot of opportunities to find behind-the-scenes photos or making-of books. It was just challenging. But they were out there, especially books on special effects. There were books that I just loved and I read them over and over and over again."
He wanted to capture the same magic here, not only shining a spotlight on the special effects, but also on "the production design, the director of photography, visual effects, the music, the props, and Easter eggs," he reveals. "I really wanted the book to feel like it was much more of a journal — almost of what it would be like to make these shows."
Having worked under the legendary director and prosthetic makeup artist Tom Savini early on in his career, Nicotero learned the valuable lesson of taking pictures and recording BTS footage during every production he worked on. This came in handy amidst the strict regulations of the COVID-19 pandemic, which limited the amount of crew members on a set at one time. "I had to rely on my photos and a lot of photos [from] the people that worked on the show," he says. "I really had to rely on a lot of people to document everything. Collectively, we all did a pretty good job. I think we were all just excited to be working on Creepshow, so everybody wanted to preserve the memory of it."
Fittingly enough, the book features a foreword by Stephen King, who penned the screenplay for the George Romero-directed Creepshow film from 1982 that started it all. Both King and his son, Joe Hill, have been directly involved with the TV series, allowing a number of their short stories to be adapted for the screen. "I feel like if George and Steve were Level 1, Joe Hill and I would be Level 2, where it's paying it forward a little bit," Nicotero adds.
The first three seasons of Creepshow are now streaming on Shudder along with a pair of specials (one animated and one holiday-themed) and the two movies. A fourth season was green-lit earlier this year and wrapped production over the summer.
"We moved production to Vancouver. I had a great crew and a bunch of really, really talented actors. I loved the people that I got to collaborate with," Nicotero concludes. "And when I finish this call today, I'm doing a visual effects call. We start delivering finished episodes in like the next week, so everything's gonna be shuffled off to AMC, and then we're going to figure out when our airdate is."
Shudder’s Creepshow: From Script to Scream goes on sale from Titan Books next Tuesday, Dec. 20. Click here to pre-order a copy.
Looking for more horror films that will make your spine tingle and blood curdle? You can currently catch Scott Derrickson's The Black Phone and Jordan Peele's NOPE on Peacock.