Students are set to have the chance to meet one of the brains behind the flesh-eating undead when Matthew Goodwin, second assistant director for “The Walking Dead,” visits campus this week. Fans will be able to get a behind-the-scenes look at the process of television production.
Goodwin is set to speak on his background in filmography, the process of filming an episode of “The Walking Dead” and will also provide commentary following a screening of an episode of the show.
In a post-apocalyptic world dominated by zombies, “The Walking Dead” revolves around the character of Rick Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln, a sheriff’s deputy who searches for his family and in doing so, finds other human survivors. The show’s character then set out to make a new life in the new environment.
“The Walking Dead” has been Goodwin’s most recent job, and one that he was thrilled to receive.
“At first I was wondering how on earth I had been given that opportunity,” Goodwin said. “They took a chance on me. I didn’t have a whole lot of experience as a key second assistant director, but through work ethic and reputation, I had proven that I was someone that could be trusted and someone that wasn’t actually much of a risk.”
The camaraderie behind the scenes of the show has made the experience especially gratifying, Goodwin said.
“On ‘The Walking Dead,’ this family atmosphere is far above any other that I’ve been a part of,” he said. “The actors are really incredible, talented, kind, loving people that appreciate the crew members. Andrew Lincoln is an absolute epitome of what a leading actor should be in his respect for crew members and appreciation for what everyone’s doing.”
During his visit to the campus, Goodwin said he wants to provide students interested in the film industry with a realistic idea of what to expect, as well as tips for what they can do to get themselves into the business. He also said he would like to provide advice to those who still might be undecided about a career.
“I really want to encourage people that have interests that don’t quite know what their path is or what they want to do with their lives that really as a college senior, it’s really OK not to know exactly where you’re going,” Goodwin said. “I think I have the greatest and the coolest job in the world and it’s not something I even knew existed when I was in college. I hope that I can put some people’s minds at ease who are kind of questioning whether they’re on the right track.”
Goodwin, a graduate of DePaul University, was originally studying journalism when he found he had a stronger interest in filmography.
“I sort of discovered I didn’t want to tell other people’s stories, I wanted to tell my own stories,” he said.
Since his time making short films in college, Goodwin has expanded his résumé by working on the crew of notable films and television programs such as “Flight,” “Wanted,” “Gran Torino” and “Lost.”
Bennet Stuffel, a first-year in psychology, said he is a fan of “The Walking Dead” and would be interested to hear Goodwin speak on what it takes to put together an episode.
“I think it’d be cool to go to,” Stuffel said. “They kind of made it their own little thing. They kind of started their style with ‘The Walking Dead’ and (made) a zombie TV show (like) it’s kind of a movie every single time. I think it’s interesting how they do it.”
Stephen Belden, a third-year in film studies, plans on attending the event to gain more knowledge about the show’s production as well as to hear Goodwin share anecdotes about what happens off-screen.
“It’s really cool to hear the behind-the-scenes industry aspect of the making of it, especially for a film student who wants to get on sets and pretty much do exactly that,” Belden said.
The free event is set to be held Thursday from 3:55 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in room 1009 of Smith Laboratory.
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