The French Crew of Daryl Dixon Took Their Time With Production

The first season of Daryl Dixon, a Walking Dead spinoff featuring Norman Reedus’ incredibly popular character, was primarily filmed in France. This is a far cry from the Senoia, Georgia locale where The Walking Dead had been filmed for nearly a decade. When the team landed in Europe, they quickly found out that the French had a different way of filming.

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“It’s wild to work in France because in Georgia, we were like, bang, bang, bang, bang. We had like three or four cameras going at the same time, it was insane,” Reedus said at the panel on Friday. “But in France, they would do one take and then they’ll stop and roll the cigarette, talk about it.” Reedus paused for effect here, the panel audience laughing.

“And I’m like, What are we waiting on? And then and then I found out… what they were saying and he was telling this cameraman and it was like, ‘What story are we telling with this camera movement?’ And I responded like, ‘Just keep talking about it. Take your time,’ and you can see the shots are so beautiful and the crew are so excited to be working on the show. It’s really refreshing.”

“[Another] part of what was cool about filming in France was the way we were able to juxtapose a certain kind of culture, a certain kind of history, including the language, against the apocalypse,” explained showrunner David Zabel, “in a way that you can’t do in the back roads of Georgia.”

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Later, in the press room, Zabel said, “You have to be careful about the locations in France.” There were a lot more rules and regulations, and because of the nature of the historic status of some of the buildings they shot in, a lot of workaround had to be developed. Greg Nicotero, executive producer, remarked, “when you have an abbey that’s centuries old, you can’t just pour fake blood on the ground.”

This piece was written during the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike. Without the labor of the actors currently on strike, the show being covered here wouldn’t exist.

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