Welcome back! Once more, it’s Cassidy’s Cheap Tours of the Walking Dead shooting locations. So far I’ve taken through Season 1 and Season 2, which means we’re ready to move on to Season 3, where a whole lot of changes went down.
Note: The Wayback Machine is set for November, 2012, so we can get an idea of what everything looked like at the time Season 3 was filmed and aired.
Season 3 Shooting Locations.
The Group Rests (GPS: 33.33064, -84.62342)
This abandoned house to the northwest of Senoia on Reese Road is where the episode Seed opens, with the Group coming into the house, taking care of walkers and searching for food, while staying one step ahead of the various herds they’ve been avoiding for the last 6 to 8 months. The area around this house gets used a lot more in the future.
Regrouping on the Road (GPS: 33.28772, -84.53688)
We’re back on Crook Road for the scene where everyone stops to figure out where they are and where they can go.
Just as The Farm was the big shooting location of Season 2, Season 3 had a location that was pretty much larger than life. In fact, as Robert Kirkman stated, it was in its own way a character as much as any other in the comic.
Without further ado, allow me to introduce… The Prison.
Rick and Daryl See the Prison (GPS: 33.287552, -84.524689)
Main Gate (GPS: 33.288971, -84.523824)
Hole in the Fence (GPS: 33.288478, -84.523825)
Overturned Prison Bus (GPS: 33.288786, -84.523982)
Inner Gate (GPS: 33.289008, -84.524468)
C Block Entrance (GPS: 33.289194, -84.524898)
Overhead Walkway (GPS: 33.289294, -84.524761)
Back of Prison Yard Enclosure (GPS: 33.289463, -84.524873)
Tyreese and Sasha Enter the Prison (GPS: 33.289570, -84.524164)
Graves (GPS: 33.288571, -84.524914)
Rick and Zombie Lori Kiss (GPS: 33.288210, -84.524933)
Rick Becomes the Best Meme Ever (GPS: 33.289158, -84.524816)
The reality is The Prison–or the West Georgia Correctional Facility, which was its correct name–was constructed on the back property of Raleigh Studios Atlanta, with interiors set up inside the sound stages. It’s the most extensive set built for The Walking Dead and great care was put in to “age” the building in the correct areas. Greg Nicotero told The Huffington Post that AMC spent approximately $1.5 million to build the set and it shows.
Here we can see where everything was laid out. Rick and Daryl see the prison from an abandoned set of tracks that run next to the studio. They go in through a hole and get to the main gate, after which they start clearing out zombies. You’ll recognize the other parts seen during Season 3, including the location of graves that represented those who died here. Tyreese and Sasha and friends did “enter” the prison from the location indicated, though the administrative wing of the prison was done with a buttload of CGI to make it seem there was something else there besides sound stages.
The “Zombie Lori” scene… In the graphic novel, while the Group is on the way north to Washington D.C., Rick has a dream of Lori and while kissing her, she turns into a walker and eats him. With Season 3, however, it played out that after Lori died Rick began seeing Lori around the prison and during the episode Home, Rick sees her standing by the graves then outside the fence standing on a footbridge. As shown in the opening teaser, Lori touches Rick and he feels her, though Michonne, who is watching this, sees only Rick.
The original scene played out a little longer and brought back the image Rick had in the comic. So here it is, the full scene that would have been the opening to Home.
Note: I’ve always loved this scene and wondered why it was never shown. Probably because it really shows how badly Rick was deteriorating mentally. He wasn’t just “wandering Crazytown”, as Glenn put it: he was losing his fucking mind. And I feel sorry for Sarah Wayne Callies, who had to go through all the time getting in walker makeup, only to discover later the scene had been cut. One might suspect Gimple was fucking with her, but we know he’s not like that…
One last thing: at 1:47, if you watch Lori’s left eye, she sheds a tear. Just one more reason I love this scene.
And here’s what Zombie Lori looked like planting a wet one on Rick in the graphic novel.
And what do we mean by Rick Becomes the Best Meme Ever? Well… you know the scene, where Carl comes out of C Block right after Maggie appears with Judith and all his body language is telling Rick that Lori is dead. Rick becomes despondent and begins crying–
Only the Internet being what it is, some people looked at the scene–which, to be honest, doesn’t really show a despondent Rick as much as it shows Andrew Lincoln trying to look upset–and thought, “You know, this will make a funny meme.” And so it came to pass that now when I watch that particular scene–as I did the other night–I start giggling because I’m thinking about all the memes that have been built around this scene–
Like the one I made here:
Best. Meme. Ever.
Note: In this graphic novel the Prison was known as the Meriwether County Correctional Facility and appeared this way. It was supposed to be located about an hour south of Atlanta and 23 miles from Woodbury.
Case General Store (GPS: 33.22628, -84.56965)
Sportsman’s Deer Cooler (GPS: 33.22724, -84.57154)
These locations are close to each other. The general store is where we first really get a good look at Michonne (her first appearance at the end of Season 2 was made by a member of the crew whose face is never seen) and the deer cooler is where she goes to meet up with a sick Andrea. The store was passed by Rick and Glenn back in the Season 2 episode Nebraska as they were out looking for Herschel. Remember this location: it becomes important.
Andrea and Michonne See A Helicopter Go Down (GPS: 33.22668, -84.5559)
Andrea and Michonne are walking along Line Creek Road, way south of Senoia, when they see the smoke from a downed helicopter.
Helicopter Crash Site (GPS: 33.30262, -84.53538)
The actual crash site, which brings out the Woodbury goons for the first time, is just a bit to the north of Senoia and almost due north through the woods from The Farm.
Main Street and Center of Town (GPS: 33.30044, -84.55419)
Governor’s House (GPS: 33.30029, -84.5539)
Milton’s Laboratory/Glenn and Maggie Torture Chamber (GPS: 33.30042, -84.55527)
Here it is and with this set, we’ve gone Peak Senoia, as most of the business area of the town was Woodbury. The main street was taken over and is a major Walking Dead fan site these days. The Governor’s House was really a false front and today there’s a couple of new buildings in the area. Milton’s lab/Glenn and Maggie’s torture chamber are still there, however, and it shows up in a much later season. Note: The slightly grayed out area was the part of the town completely taken over for the show.
And just to the south of those rail cars you saw Rick and Company sneaking around in a few episodes–say, that’s a nice new housing development. Be a shame if something… happened to it.
The Governor Meets The Military (GPS: 33.23707, -84.5627)
Just off Rising Star Road, which is to the south of Senoia, is the empty lot where the Governor went to meet the military dudes who’d lost their copter. Of course, once they met The Gov they lost their lives, starting the first of a whole shitload of lies The Governor told to justify his shit.
Woodbury Walker Pit (GPS: 33.33565, -84.62408)
This was the location of the walker pit where Merle and the others would go off to get fresh walkers. This is just to the north of the Rest House seen at the start of the Season 3.
Daryl And Maggie Make A Run (GPS: 33.39548, -84.73171)
This is the site of the day care Daryl and Maggie come across while looking for formula for Judith. As you can see, the building is located in a rather built-up area and not in the middle of nowhere as implied on the show.
The Arena (GPS: 33.39548, -84.73171)
And over on the other side of Newnan, GA, are the building used for the Woodbury Arena, where all kinds of fun and family entertainment is found–assuming you like watching people fight to the death. This is off Perry Street and is private property, so get pictures but don’t get arrested.
Glenn and Maggie Go Shopping (GPS: 33.1105, -84.59328)
Here’s where, on GA 85 just a few miles to the northwest of Gay, Glenn and Maggie go on a supply run for formula and other things and encounter Merle, who kidnaps them and hauls them back to Woodbury so Rick and The Governor can begin their psychotic pissing contest. This location was the farthest south Season 3 filmed.
Rescuing Glenn and Maggie Parking Spot/Rendezvous Point (GPS: 33.23816, -84.56041)
This is the location on Dead Oak Road where Rick and Company parked so they could make their way on foot through the woods towards Woodbury. As you can see it’s just down the street from the location where The Governor meet the military dudes.
Cabin By the Lake (GPS: 33.3008, -84.53409)
On the way to Woodbury the Gang are chased by walkers to a cabin, where Michonne is forced to kill someone who is about to get them killed, forcing Rick to look shocked because, damn, he’d never kill anyone the way she did. Sure, Rick. This site is just down the path from the helicopter crash site location.
Glenn Stomps a Walker (GPS: 33.28773, -84.53685)
And we’re back to Crook Road for Glenn to lose his shit while moving a truck and stomping a walking into pulp.
Daryl and Merle Rescue Survivors (GPS: 33.22806, -84.43945)
On Line Creek Road, midway between Senoia and Griffin, you’ll find the bridge where Daryl and Merle rescues the family who had left Woodbury earlier and probably became Walker Chow(tm) some time later. Remember this location ’cause you’re gonna see it again.
The Clear Run:
Rick, Michonne, and Carl Pass a Hitchhiker (GPS: 33.22736, -84.90133)
Rick, Michonne, and Carl Get Stuck (GPS: 33.23055, -84.9185)
In the episode Clear Rick decides to make a run back to his home town to loot what’s left in the King Country Sheriff Department’s gun locker. On the way there they pass a hitchhiker who they don’t pick up and a littler further down the same road–which happens to be Coweta Heard Road–they get stuck on the side of the road and have to work their way out. Trivia: The last location remains, until today, the furthest west The Walking Dead has filmed.
The Clear Locations:
Rick, Michonne, and Carl Enter Town (GPS: 33.23353, -84.83421)
Rick, Michonne, and Carl Park (GPS: 33.23434, -84.83469)
Rick, Michonne, and Carl Find Morgan (GPS: 33.23451, -84.8354)
Morgan’s Apartment (GPS: 33.23446, -84.83548)
Baby Story (GPS: 33.23508, -84.83636)
Michonne and Carl Look For a Photo (GPS: 33.23464, -84.83494)
Morgan Burns Walkers; the “Away With You” Sign (GPS: 33.23372, -84.83479)
Grantville, GA, stood in for Rick’s home town, and in reality the town tried to get people to buy it for something like $2 million a few years ago. A couple of things: one, if you watch when Rick, Michonne, and Carl enter town they actually driving out of town. And bar where Carl went looking for the photo of his family is right across the street from Morgan’s Apartment.
The location where Morgan burns the walkers has the familiar “Away With You” sign that was seen in the opening credits for a couple of seasons. You get a better look at it here.
Rick Meets The Governor:
Rick and Daryl Scout the Meeting Site (GPS: 33.23353, -84.83421)
The Meeting Location (GPS: 33.23353, -84.83421)
We’re back here once again, just down the street from Cash General Store, for the meeting site between Rick and The Governor. The silos Rick and Daryl check out–and where Daryl and Martinez have a zombie killing pissing contest later–is across two streets from the actual building used for the meeting location.
And as we can see from Google Streetview, Rick, Michonne, and Daryl are still looking for The Governor (Image taken 5/2016).
Andrea Leaves For the Prison (GPS: 33.301242, -84.554829)
This is the stop where Andrea spoke with Tyreese and Sasha before jumping the wall and taking off for the prison. As you may be able to tell, she’s running away from the Prison set location.
Andrea Hides In the Woods (GPS: 33.26215, -84.83965)
Running down a road, Andrea hears a car coming and dashes off into the woods to hide from The Governor. This is on Mike Powers Road, only a few miles north of the Clear locations.
Andrea Hiding Spot (GPS: 33.26215, -84.83965)
This is where Andrea lays down in the field trying to hide from The Governor, only to have him drive up on her. The house from the beginning of Season 3 is in the lower left-hand corner.
Andrea Hides From The Governor (GPS: 33.26215, -84.83965)
Finally, Andrea hides out in a building trying to escape and eventually kill The Governor, but alas, the son of a bitch has plot armor and can’t be killed. This is just down the street from the Clear shooting locations and even closer to a location that is used next season.
1. Merle and Michonne Walk to Woodbury (GPS: 33.34161, -84.83043)
2. Merle and Michonne Walk to Woodbury (GPS: 33.34055, -84.83693)
After Merle kidnaps Michonne with the intention of delivering her to The Governor, they start out walking down the road to Woodbury. Both scenes of them walking and dealing with a zombie were filmed close together in a housing development to the southwest of Newnan High School, where Shane and Otis had a date at a FEMA trailer.
Merle Hotwires a Car (GPS: 33.34055, -84.83693)
Merle finally finds a car and hotwires it, setting off the alarm and drawing in walkers that puts Michonne in danger. This was filmed off US 29 South and Oaklawn Circle, not far from the Coweta County Fair Grounds.
Merle Drives Michonne (GPS: 33.28867, -84.53679)
Say it once, say it twice, three times a charm! We’re back on Crook Road for the scene of Merle and Michonne driving down the road.
Merle Lets Michonne Go (GPS: 33.33654, -84.7837)
For the scene where Merle releases Michonne the crew went up US 29 a bit, turned around, and filmed the scene not far from where the car was found. Based upon the scene, the car actually driven back towards where it was found.
Daryl Finds Michonne (GPS: 33.34153, -84.83072)
After being release Michonne is dispatching a walker’s head when Daryl finds her. Naturally, this is in the same area where we saw Merle and Michonne walking the first time.
Merle Has a Drink (GPS: 33.2919, -84.54174)
Merle is drinking some fine whiskey before cranking up the jams and leading away a few walkers for an important meeting. This happens in front the Southern Country Steakhouse on Chestlehurst Road, which happens to be the road leading to Raleigh Studios Atlanta.
Merle Draws Walkers to Meeting, Tries to Shoot The Governor (GPS: 33.225594, -84.57043)
Merle’s End (GPS: 33.225850, -84.570180)
Merle draws a bunch of walkers to the site where The Governor was going to take Michonne and he tries to shoot The Governor, but that plot armor is in place. Inside the nearby building is where Merle meets his first end, with Daryl to finally take him down outside.
The Governor Has a Meltdown (GPS: 33.225594, -84.57043)
All good things come to an end, but there’s nothing good about The Governor and when his forces are driven from the Prison, he loses his shit and kills everyone. This happens out on Gray Girls Road, south of Senoia and about a mile east of the meeting site between Rick and The Governor.
There you are: all the Season 3 film sites. And I have a few things I want to say:
Season 3 saw a big change in the show, mostly because they began following one of the important story arcs from the graphic novel. It saw the deaths of four of the Atlanta Survivors–T-Dog, Lori, Merle, and Andrea–and it made significant changes to the original story line by making The Governor far less psychotic than he actually was, and by killing off Lori and Andrea, both of whom didn’t die in the graphic novel until far later.
Season 3 is also somewhat infuriating for me for the changes made to both Lori and Andrea. Lori in the comic wasn’t nearly the pain in the ass she was throughout Season 2 and into Season 3 and I feel she was killed early so we could bring Crazy Rick into Season 3 instead of in Season 5, which is where he should have appeared. And Andrea–well, her actions throughout most of Season 3 were one bad one after another, due in large part to Scott Gimple deciding he wanted to keep Melissa McBride instead of Laurie Holden and basically swapped the way the characters Carol and Andrea acted. (There is evidence that this also happened because Gimple didn’t like Holden and had wanted to kill her off at the end of Season 2, but kept her only to help Michonne’s story.) No matter: every time I watch Season 3 I have to cringe a little when I remember how much of an asskicker Andrea was in the comic and the sort of treatment she was given on the show.
The one thing Season 3 didn’t bring was the sense of hopelessness that the graphic novel brought at this point in the story. Unlike the TV show, the Walking Dead characters never visited the CDC and it was here, at the Prison, where they first leaned one only needed to die to turn. Before that moment it was thought you needed to be bitten by a zombie to become a zombie, but after this revelation, the feeling that life would ever be the same dissolved and the survivors became resigned that no matter how many monsters they killed, they would become monsters themselves one day.
It was after Rick returned from digging up Shane and shooting him in the head to put him down for good (Shane was buried before he turned and reanimated underground) that Rick told everyone one the truth. And it was in this speech that we learned why the GN was give its title:
Season 3 is behind us, which means Season 4 is ahead. I’m going to end this with a song from Season 3, one of the best used for a closing scene. And yes: I know Beth does the singing at The Prison. But for once, let it be sung as it’s meant to be sung.