Never the same zombie twice, Helmeczy enjoys walker roles

Zombie Apocalypse Monthly

If you saw her on the street, you probably wouldn’t recognize Michelle Helmeczy, but fans of AMC’s The Walking Dead have seen her dozens of times. Helmeczy is a frequent zombie on AMC’s popular post-apocalyptic drama, having appeared on-screen at least a dozen times.

Although some of those performances have been as background walkers seen in the distance, Helmeczy has also made numerous appearances as “hero walkers,” the named walkers who receive the most elaborate make-up effects.

“I have been named as, or seen as: the Nightgown Zombie, School Hallway Zombie, Wood Fence Walker, Chain Fence Walker, Cabin-Guy Eater, Horse Eater, Crowd Runner, Woods Walker, Burning Barn Walker,” she said. “There might be more.”

Acting was an interest Helmeczy had when she graduated from high school in Florida, and she pursued it (and modeling) briefly 3ZombieMe2before life took her in other directions that included marriage and motherhood. As chance would…

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Terminal Shooting Schedule Obsession

Yes, I know. I’ve probably whittled on about it far too much, but I can’t help it. I am intrinsically connected to the movie Terminator 2 whether I like it or not. I could probably give you T-1000 reasons why (see what I did there?), but I won’t. And my continual search for information which would lead to editing the movie into the order the scenes were actually shot in (rather than storyline edit) continues unabated*.

I want to do this purely for an exercise in Production. Which scenes were shot when?

To see what I’ve managed to put together so far, click the following link. You can scroll left and right along the timeline, and click on individual “events” to open them up for more photos and details:

My (unofficial) Terminator 2 Shooting Schedule Timeline

*UPDATE: As a movie memorabilia collector, I ended up finding an original production-used Shooting Schedule for Terminator 2. I have updated the timeline with a bit more information that I know to be accurate and correct!

A Review: The Making of Terminator 2 Judgment Day

I’ve accumulated dozens of behind-the-scenes books about film production, several of them about the making of “Terminator 2” (I’m a huge fan of Terminator 2!). This book, “The Making Of Terminator 2 Judgment Day“, is different from others I own as it appears written during the production of the movie as opposed to several years later.  It also contains several unseen on-set photos showing before, during and after filming.

Making of Terminator 2

There are a handful of diary-style entries in the book giving the reader an instant idea of what was happening that day, as if you were standing on-set yourself. A poignant example is an entry dated 16th January 1991 (page 101), where a dream sequence involving Sarah and Kyle Reese inside Room 19 at Pescadero State Hospital discuss the future war and how weak Sarah really is (originally cut from the theatrical release, now included in the Special Edition). Actor Michael Biehn stands in a dreamy fog and says “There’s not much time left in the world, Sarah”. As it turned out on that day over in the Gulf, Operation Desert Storm had begun. This set a sombre mood across the entire crew, with the very real threat of a new and very real war brewing on the horizon. Watch the film again, and you’ll see Biehn really meant his line.

There are also some photos in this book that I haven’t seen in others, such as behind-the-scenes of some of the miniature shoots by Fantasy II and 4-Ward Productions for the Future War shots and the Nuclear Dream shots. There’s also photos showing the action and scenes being shot but also included are the cameras and crew. A true capture of the film-making process.

There’s a question I’ve always wanted to ask James Cameron, which is;

Did you deliberately shoot certain scenes early with Edward Furlong , so as to have him appear as young as possible on-screen?

It appears that several times in the movie Furlong looks younger in vulnerable situations, and older in places where he displays a Leadership role. But was that deliberate?

***See update at the end of the blog!***

To explain a bit further, most movies are not shot the way they appear in the final film, ie “in sequence”, normally due to time and money.  (A note to add here; Stanley Kubrick shot The Shining in sequence and they over-ran in shooting time and way over budget). This book partially answers my question. The writers give several dates and clues along the way, giving the reader the ability to work out some of the shooting order.

Although the book doesn’t specifically answer my question, it did allow me to put together a timeline of the production schedule of where and when scenes were shot, and in what order. If you’re interested to know the shot order of Princapal Photography for Terminator 2, you can visually see it on this timeline over at Tiki-Toki.

Despite the negligible cons I’ve pointed out It’s still a book any budding film maker should have. It does give good insight into the Production for this feature, and there’s information in here on Terminator 2 that I hadn’t come across in similar books.

I’ve given it 4 out of 5 (Amazon review) based purely on the couple of times where information I’d just read appeared reworded and given again in another section. The photos are also mainly black and white, which is a shame. The book is also relatively short at 128 pages and abruptly concludes with what feels like a book-ended interview with James Cameron.

If you’re a fan of Terminator 2, a fan of James Cameron or purely interested in the production process of feature films I do highly recommend this book, regardless of the 4 star rating.

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Here’s a look at the teaser trailer (shot in five days by the legendary Stan Winston  on a strict budget of $150’000 as requested by James Cameron. It was shot using the original endoskeleton from the first Terminator movie);

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**Update; Jan 2014** I now own a unique collection of original paperwork for T2, including the Shooting Schedule (plus all revisions) and the call sheets for every day of shooting. It answers my question regarding the order in which the film was shot!