We had the very special opportunity of interviewing The Walking Dead Escape’s Producer, and founder of Ruckus obstacle courses, Liam Brenner. In this brief interview we asked some of the fan’s dying questions, and get a few juicy spoilers in return.
Behind The Thrills: Are there props/scenes that fans of either the comic book or tv show might recognize in the walk-through?
Liam: The goal of this specific event is to immerse participants in an entirely new The Walking Dead story line that has yet to be explored. In the comic, Rick wakes up from his coma mid-apocalypse and there the story begins. The Walking Dead Escape explores what the world may have looked like while Rick was out of commission at the peak of all the chaos. We couldn’t be more excited to have Greg Nicotero and the KNB EFX makeup team transforming our participants into zombies – what’s more Walking Dead-esque than the Walkers themselves?
Behind The Thrills: What is the biggest challenge in turning a major league ballpark into a mini-apocalypse?
Liam: The biggest challenge is probably in building the course itself. Most obstacle course events take place in the woods, so working with a major league stadium to create an experience like The Walking Dead Escape has been an interesting exercise. We have not been afraid to build a challenging course and Petco Park has been more than accommodating to our vision and our needs – the stuff they are allowing us to do is amazing. The course itself is spacious, spanning four stories with multilevel viewing areas so our spectators can see the entire course from beginning to end – an incredible front row seat to the Apocalypse. Petco Park is the perfect venue and has been a fantastic partner – they’ve pulled out all the stops to help make this experience as real to life as possible.
Behind The Thrills: How closely did you work with Robert Kirkman to be able to bring this vision of the Zombie outbreak to life?
Liam: I have been working on award winning mass participatory events for the last ten years and I also happen to be a bit of an apocalypse junkie, so I’ve had this idea of building a large scale zombie obstacle course for awhile now. The ultimate partner for a project like this is obviously the team behind the Walking Dead, so working together with Robert Kirkman and Skybound to bring the Apocalypse to life has been very exciting. Coming from a race-oriented background and creating an event that’s less race and more experiential can be challenging. Robert and the Skybound team have been involved in all steps since day one and having their support and vision and expertise in all things Walking Dead related has been hugely beneficial.
For more information about The Walking Dead Escape, please visit our most recent article about the entire event.
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