The big annual business conference I go to was in Atlanta this year. For a fan of The Walking Dead, what else is there to do in Atlanta besides trying to visit as many filming locations as possible? My buddy found an app that overlays shooting locations onto Google Maps and works with your GPS to guide you to each of the spots. I dare say he was even more enthusiastic about it than I was, and it turns out that many of the locations were fairly close to our hotel (the Omni Hotel/CNN Center).
It was on a lunch break when my coworkers and I decided we’d like to see Terminus. It looked like it was just out of walking range, so the same aforementioned buddy flagged down a cab and asked him to take us to Terminus. This went as you’d expect it to go when asking a cab driver who barely spoke English to take us to a fictional location for a TV show that he didn’t watch. The buddy was undaunted, however, and navigated with his phone. Eventually we started driving past some buildings that looked very familiar. Then we crested a small hill and came around a corner to see this.
Fans of the show will immediately recognize this as it looks almost exactly like it did in the Season 4 and 5 episodes. There were five of us on this particular sojourn. Three of us casually walked out to see what we could see. The buddy ran off down the hill, past the No Trespassing signs, into the heart of this dilapidated site. The fifth guy was slow to exit the cab. Suddenly the driver became chatty while he waited for us and informed the fifth person that this was no place to hang around. He told us to be careful, not wander too far, and return quickly. I’m not sure we followed any of that advice. This was the first of many sketchy situations we put ourselves in.
You can still see, in the shots above, where the Terminus letters were once painted. Did they pick this building because it has the right number of windows, or did they pick the name because it has the right number of letters?
On the way back from Terminus, we had the cab drop us off a few blocks from the hotel. The plan was to hit as many downtown sites as possible. We did see a number of shooting locations from the show, but none were really iconic. We found the street where Rick got stuck in the tank and Glenn had to get him out. I have a picture of that, but really, it’s just a downtown street in a city. This next one, however, might be a bit more recognizable. This is the alley where Glenn and Rick fled after the tank. It really is right down the street from where the tank scenes were shot. We also found the ladder they climbed up to safety. It’s in this same alley, but visible from the other side. I figured one image of an alley was enough to share, though, so we’ll move on.
Hopefully this next one is recognizable to any fan of The Walking Dead. It is, of course, the freeway where Rick rides into Atlanta on his horse. If you pull up the cover for Season 1, you can see that there was some movie magic applied here, but mostly it’s the same scene.
You have to stand on the Jackson Street Bridge to get this shot. That is a fairly busy overpass that isn’t all that easy to get to. My memories of getting this shot are mostly consumed with thoughts of our insane Uber driver. Although the ride was way more exciting that it should have been, we did get there, and he waited for us to take some pictures.
Getting the above shot was kind of my white whale on this trip. Once I had it, I finally relaxed a bit (as much as I ever do). We saw many other shooting locations around Atlanta, but most just look like normal city places that even fans of the show might not get too excited about. Also, most of the places we went were not in particularly good parts of town. I might not have been so tense if I didn’t have the camera gear on my person at the time, but what would have been the point? Because I can’t resist including just one more, here is the building where Rick, riding through the streets on his horse, sees a helicopter flying in the distance.
BONUS MATERIAL: Toward the end of a particularly bad (scary, unsafe, ill-advised) walk we (enthusiastic buddy and I) found ourselves traversing the same foot-bridge Rick uses when he first enters the city. My personal-safety meter was at DEF-CON 5 at the time, so we didn’t realize we were missing a photo op, but I did notice what looked like a shanty town assembled below the bridge. As I was thinking it looked a little too perfect for an actual shanty town, I saw that it was, in fact, being put together by people who looked like they live in a regular town. Since I wanted to salvage something from this walk I went ahead and assumed this would be the site of a future filming location. Even if something will be filmed there eventually, we have no way of knowing if it’s related to The Walking Dead. But just in case, you saw it here first.
I have other Walking Dead location pictures that I will probably never post because they’re just not that interesting. However, I also have some non-Walking Dead images from Atlanta that will probably make their way here very soon.