By Aaron Pomerantz
Last Updated 12/5/2016 at 10:20 PM
Tel Aviv, Kikar Atarim: The city is kind of excited today as word spread that Blockbuster Television Hit “The Walking Dead” will film an episode in our very own Atarim Square because “we don’t need to change anything“. Atarim Square, which used to be named Namir Square after the Former Mayor until the place got so gross that the Mayor’s widow asked that his name be removed (really!), is a natural choice. Executive Assistant to the Producer Ryan P. explained.
“We wanted a locale that conveyed a total loss of hope. Like ‘The Road by Cormac McCarthy’ levels of bleak hopelessness. And then we found Atarim Square. Boom!” Yet despite the natural fit, there were a few early setbacks. “We had to bring a clean up crew in to tidy up a bit just to make it more realistic. It was that disgusting. I mean, the Walking Dead depicts an apocalyptic plague outbreak. But that place is just gross.“
Ryan continued to explain the process of setting up the shoot. “We were concerned that we would need special permits because I guess it’s a Palestinian Heritage Site or something, but fortunately, everything worked out. And if we want to shoot a second episode, we even have a right of return!”
In fact, Atarim Square’s location paid unexpected benefits for the production team, as Ryan explained to us. “We were even able to use some of the dancers at the Shomre-Shabbat strip club next door as extras for Negan’s harem.”
But even though things seemed to run smoothly, planning and choreographing a feature television show thousands of miles from home on short notice can be tough. Yet paradoxically, Atarim Square’s chaotic craptastickness somehow found a way to help. Lead Set Designer Melissa K. explained. “So at the last minute, the writers told us we needed to build a set for where Tara had hidden a decrepit boat in an abandoned shopping center. And we were freaking out. Like, in 2 hours, where are we going to finds a decrepit boat to put in an abandoned shopping center??? And then one of the techs told us that…hey…. did you see the decrepit boat lying around in the abandoned shopping center? Baruch HaShem.”
While Atarim Square’s unique funk helped some aspects of the production, other aspects suffered. In fact, paramedics needed to be called after actors playing Zombie Walkers passed out from the intense and overwhelming smell of dried pee and had to be revived with smelling salts.
After the paramedics left, some of the sound techs were unconvinced that the overwhelming stench was just pee, so they walked down to the nearest Lotto kiosk to place bets on exactly what the street liquid was made of.
The Daily Freier will keep its loyal readers apprised as to when the episode will air, and where we will have a viewing party.
- No Daily Freier reporters were harmed in the taking of these photos.