|Dispatches From the Set – John Sanders (Props Master)
The Walking Dead’s Props Master John Sanders talks about the strangest items he’s found for the show and the new method of killing walkers that he’s got in store for Season 4.
Q: As the guy in charge of all the props, what are some staples that bear your mark?
A: The new crossbow for Daryl — I altered that one for the show. I took Norman [Reedus] to a bow range for him to shoot. I was kind of showing off with the guys there, and I was showing him some of the top-end crossbows. I let him shoot the Stryker 380, and once he shot that he had me take pictures of him and had me send them to the producers, and immediately it got in the works that we wanted him to have it. Michonne’s sword I actually helped design between Season 2 and Season 3. I used some friends of mine at United Cutlery to help me. I knew it was a huge piece in the show, so I wanted to make something really iconic and add some elements that are really closer to my heart. The triple goddess and the trinity of life; those things are important to me in my life, and close to my wife.
Q: Do you find the actors getting attached to their character’s weapons?
A: Andy [Lincoln] is very specific about the Python. He wants that gun on him every second of the day, when he can have it. He stays on set most of the time, so we pretty much let him walk around with that gun, and keep that in-character feel all day long. Norman always carries his knife all day long, same thing. And when he has the crossbow or the motorcycle, he likes to be in character, also. Michael Rooker when he died really wanted his bayonet prosthetic. Everybody wants a little memento, especially big character things, but we can’t really let them go.
Q: There are certain situations where you use rubber guns and knives. Does that mean there are particular situations when you use real knives and real guns?
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