Fear the Walking Dead will return for season 6 later this year, but things will be different – both tonally and visually.
Though the fifth season was met with a mixed response, it sounds like the new episodes could be a return to form. Digital Spy spoke with Andrew Strahorn, a director of photography on season 6, and he explained how fans can expect an “evolution” for the upcoming storylines, with the stakes much higher than before.
“There’s a heavier cloud that sits over people’s heads,” he said. “There’s definitely a progression of not only subject matter but tone. It’s a lot more, I would say, to the forefront with the sense of loss and people choosing sides and where they stand going forward in this new world that they’re trying to survive as best as they can.”
Strahorn highlighted the tonal differences between seasons 5 and 6 by giving an insight into the camera work.
“Vistually it’s shifted with regards to the camera moving, as these characters become more aggressive in their nature and their pursuit in discovering what they yearn to discover, whether that be power or control or friendships and alliances,” he said.
“The camera definitely moves a lot more. There’s definitely an exploration of colour, whereas last year was a little bit more muted.
“And so it definitely feels like last year – I think Scott [Gimple] said it best – was the beginning of something. Season 5 was really a big Act One, building up to where we are now.
“And now the stakes are on the table. And now all bets are off. And it’s really coming to a head for all these characters, of where they end up and who they end up with.”
Season 5 ended with Ginny forcing the group to split up into different communities, and Strahorn explained that the first half of season 6 will play out almost like an “anthology” as different characters and perspectives take centre stage.
“The beginning of the season becomes somewhat of an anthology,” he said. “Each character has their own perspective with regards to the way they saw their involvement within the world and within each other’s lives [as well as] the dynamic between the relationships good and bad.
“The minute we get the phone call [to return], the first day back of photography is the episode that I’m doing. [Episode 9] is a culmination of all these central characters now coming together for the very first time this season.
“Everyone’s had this journey and path of change. So that’s going to be a very interesting way of execution and photography in the sense of trying to be impartial of where the story is what the perspective and point of view we’re looking at.
“The complexity of these relationships that were once very tight and unified in fighting the common enemy is now being put to the test. And that to me is a very exciting theme.”
Strahorn added: “When I read the episode I’m going to photograph when we get back, it was definitely like, ‘Holy hell, wow’. Having all these characters that we’ve gotten to know over the last two years now coming to a head – how do these strong personalities, men and women, co-exist?
“Well, it’s like the animal kingdom. Some will win, some will lose. And what happens in that win and loss is really interesting as it starts to develop.”
Fear the Walking Dead returns later this year on AMC in the US, and on AMC UK in the UK.