Director, Producer, Makeup: Creepshow, Walking Dead, Evil Dead

Nic & Norman's logo and swagWe’re thrilled—and just a little bit scared—to announce the return of WonderFest alumni/THE WALKING DEAD exec producer/director Greg Nicotero! Greg’s been in super-high demand for the past ten years due to his creative input and directorial duties on the most successful cable series of all time! We’re happy to have him back among the living to celebrate his leap from long-time (and Oscar and Emmy-winning) FX-makeup-maestro to helming episodes of THE WALKING DEAD, its spin-offs FEAR THE WALKING DEAD, THE WALKING DEAD: DARYL DIXON, THE WALKING DEAD: DEAD CITY, and CREEPSHOW! Greg is a long-time friend of WonderFest—his first time here was way back in 2000!

While we’re at it, we want to give a shout-out to Greg and actor buddy Norman Reedus’s restaurant NIC & NORMAN’S. Their Louisville location opened last summer. The food and atmosphere are terrific. If you have time during your visit in June, give it a try and tell ’em WonderFest sent you!

Here is Greg’s official bio, for anyone not familiar with him and his work:

The best word to describe Greg Nicotero is passion. Over the last 3 decades, his tireless dedication to the art of film-making has never wavered.  Whether it’s producing and directing  a pilot with Ridley Scott or serving as Executive Producer, Director and Make-up Effects Creator on THE WALKING DEAD, heralded as one of the most successful show on television…Greg loves what he does.  What drives him, gives him that spark, was cultivated years ago watching the work of Dick Smith, Ray Harryhausen, Jack Pierce and Tom Savini.  His first true love is Special Make-up Effects.

Born in Pittsburgh, it was his love of Aurora Monster Models, Super 8 horror movies and Famous Monsters Magazine that began his interest in special effects.   He developed a friendship with director George A. Romero that forever changed his life.  After being offered an apprentice job on DAY OF THE DEAD (1984), Nicotero diverted from his then pre-med career to follow his path to Hollywood.   Working next to make-up effects legend Tom Savini and transforming his love for special effects into his “day job”, Greg watched his hobby blossom into a full-fledged career.  Once in Los Angeles, Greg moved from studio to studio, cultivating his skills as an effects coordinator on films like EVIL DEAD 2, MONKEY SHINES and ALIENS.   After getting a call from a close friend needing effects for a low budget horror film, Greg encouraged friends Robert Kurtzman and Howard Berger to open a make-up effects company in 1988.  KNB EFX was born and within 2 years Greg found himself moving from location to location designing and supervising make-up effects films alongside the very film-makers that inspired him including Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter and Wes Craven.

His desire to “rise above the murky waters of 1980’s gore effects”, Greg pushed KNB into broadening their abilities by creating hyper-realistic cadavers, replica heads and articulated animals.  As the company continued to grow, so did Greg’s love for movies and desire to collaborate with the best artists in the field including Frank Darabont, Sam Raimi, Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino.  He provided 2nd unit direction on several features including LAND OF THE DEAD, THE FACULTY,  and THE MIST where we was able to refine his film-making skills even more .

After completing INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, his 6th film with Tarantino, and PREDATORS, his 12th with Rodriguez, Nicotero wrote, directed and produced a short film celebrating the 1950’s newsreel genre with a twist.  His film, THE UNITED MONSTER TALENT AGENCY, depicts a fictional Hollywood agency that uses real monsters to shoot their movies.  The award winning short was very well received and led to his directorial debut on THE WALKING DEAD in season 2.  To date, Greg has directed 9 episodes of the zombie drama while supervising it’s Emmy award winning special make-up effects on location in Atlanta, Georgia.

Greg has been fortunate enough to share these experiences with his wife Shari, an assistant director, and their two children Deven, whose room is filled with Legos, and his artist daughter Alyssa.