Greg Nicotero – Executive Producer / Special Effects Makeup Supervisor
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, where he developed his love of monsters and special effects into a lifelong career. This has included some memorable moments in recent screen history, including an epic buffalo hunt in Dances with Wolves, a drug overdose gone bad in Pulp Fiction and shambling flesh-eating undead in The Walking Dead.
During a 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 a 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 films like 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 to 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 also directed 25 episodes of The Walking Dead, including the monumental 100th Episode Season 8 Premiere and the finales for the past five years, while executive producing and supervising the show’s multiple Emmy®-award winning special makeup effects in Atlanta, Georgia.