SDCC13 Interview: ‘The Walking Dead Escape’ Producer Liam Brenner

The Walking Dead Escape Cover Image

Even with Comic-Con fast approaching, we were able to get some time with Liam Brenner, the producer behind The Walking Dead Escape. For those who didn’t experience it last year, The Walking Dead Escape is an obstacle course built through the levels of Petco Park with a zombie invasion taking hold. Stay tuned to the Flickcast during Comic Con to get our video coverage of the event.

The Flickcast: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us about The Walking Dead Escape. How does one go about becoming the producer of an event like The Walking Dead Escape? Do you have any previous experience with the zombie world?

Liam Brenner: Yes, I’ve narrowly escaped many times and last year’s Escape event was no exception. We know the hospital in San Diego has been abandoned and is now overrun with walkers. We will be setting up the parameter around PetCo Park shortly and Survivors will only have one way out.

FC: As far as we can tell, there has never been a high quality zombie movie or show ever taking place in a stadium. Where would do you draw your inspiration from when working in such a unique location?

LB: Having event partners this year like Skybound, Robert Kirkman’s imprint at Image Comics, AMC and Greg Nicotero certainly helps ‘draw inspiration.’ My team and I are literally working with the best in the business. I mean, Executive Producer, Director and Make-up Effects Designer of AMC’s The Walking Dead Greg Nicotero is transforming our Walkers – the same guy who does all of the Make-up transformation on the show.

The obstacles themselves are our specialty through my company Ruckus Sports. We know what worked last year and with the partners we have on board participants are going to love what they see… it will be like walking through the show.

FC: If you could take The Walking Dead Escape to any other location in the world and budget wasn’t a concern, where would you choose and what is something unique you could only do with the course in that location?

LB: Wow – the sky is the limit. How about an abandoned theme park? Now that would be awesome – Zombies have infested a theme park and there’s no way out! I think our fans will be very excited about the announcement we have this year. Many big cities have zombie “walks” or “crawls” but The Walking Dead Escape is unique in that you actually experience what a Zombie apocalypse is really like.

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FC: The Flickcast got to experience it last year and it was one of the most physical things we endured during the Con. What can we expect different in this year’s course?

LB: If I told you, I’d have to feed you to the zombies! Just know that our partnership with AMC this year is upping the game and you won’t be disappointed. We learned a lot last year and this year is going to be even better!

FC: If one of our readers makes it to the course, what is the one single most important piece of advice you can give them for their survival?

LB: Be smart. Fastest (i.e. “Quarterback”) goes first then the slowest. It takes more to survive the Apocalypse than speed.

FC: If things got out of hand and the outbreak spread outside the confines of the stadium, what do you think the most important pieces of advice someone should follow to survive a full blown zombie apocalypse?

LB: We can’t guarantee things AREN’T going to get out of hand. It’s everyone for themselves. The zombie population is just too great to be able to protect everyone, but we will try our best. I will tell you, the goal of the Survivor is just to make it to the Evacuation Zone without ANY contact with Walkers, as the Government believe infection can indeed be spread just by touch.

FC: Worst case scenario and things really start to fall apart, what is your weapon of choice to weather the storm?

LB: There’s strength in numbers. Buddy up, make sure you have a team of supports to help you through the course to the Evacuation Zone. We ask that Survivors do not “fight back” should you come in contact with a Walker. There is no point – you’re doomed anyways.

FC: What would you do if YOU got bit?

LB: Do the right thing and take myself out.

FC: What do you think it is about zombies that people are so fascinated by above all other kinds of monsters that has made The Walking Dead the success it is?

LB: Zombies have some charm, don’t you think? I personally think that people love “playing a part” and once they are transformed by Greg Nicotero and his team in the make-up room, our Walkers truly BECOME the Zombie. Our Horde Masters and Walkers were second to none last year and next week you’ll see at The Walking Dead Escape my point will be proven again!

FC: Thank you again for taking your time to talk to the Flickcast audience. Any last remarks for them as The Walking Dead Escape gets closer to coming?

LB: This event is not one you’ll want to miss at San Diego Comic-Con – it’s was one of the most talked-about events of the year and you will want to register before your wave is filled up, as it might be the only way out for San Diego’s population. You can register for The Walking Dead Escape at www.thewalkingdeadescape.com. For God’s sake, STAY ALERT! STAY AHEAD! & STAY ALIVE!

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