Greg Nicotero – Executive Producer / Director / Special FX Make-Up Designer
With more than three decades of work in the film industry, Greg Nicotero still remembers his first days working with Tom Savini and George A. Romero on Day of the Dead. This unexpected detour redirected Nicotero into the world of horror/fantasy special makeup effects that has included some memorable moments in recent screen history. Whether it was an epic buffalo hunt in Dances with Wolves, a drug overdose gone bad in Pulp Fiction, or shambling flesh-eating undead in The Walking Dead, Nicotero has developed his love of monsters and special effects into a lifelong career.
During his journey from Pennsylvania to Los Angeles, Nicotero’s love of genre films such as Alien, John Carpenter’s The Thing, and Dawn of the Dead provided tremendous inspiration. Studying the effects work of Dick Smith, Rick Baker, and Rob Bottin ignited his interest in creature effects.
In 1988, after freelancing on such films as Evil Dead 2 and Aliens, Nicotero encouraged friends to join him in opening a special makeup effects studio – and thus KNB EFX Group was born. Within two years, he found himself moving from location to location designing and supervising makeup effects on films alongside the very filmmakers who inspired him, such as John Landis, Sam Raimi, and Wes Craven.
Nicotero’s sense of design and developing filmmaking skills led to his company’s creation of hyper-realistic cadavers, replica heads, and articulated animal puppets for more than 800 feature films and television programs. He prides himself on his 100% dedication and passion for everything monsters. In 2003, he began working as a director, providing second-unit direction on several feature films, including Land of the Dead, The Faculty, and The Mist.
Today, Nicotero continues his collaboration with AMC on Preacher, while serving as executive producer and makeup effects designer on Fear the Walking Dead. During The Walking Dead’s hiatus, Nicotero supervised FX on the Robert Rodriguez/James Cameron film Alita: Battle Angel and the upcoming alien invasion film Captive State.
To date, Nicotero has directed 22 episodes of The Walking Dead, including this season’s monumental 100th episode Season 8 Premiere and the finales for the past four years, while executive producing and supervising its multiple Emmy® Award-winning special makeup effects in Atlanta, Georgia.