EL SERENO — This Eastside neighborhood is home to one of the largest universities in the state, Cal State L.A., and one of the city’s largest green spaces, Ascot Hills Park. But later this month, El Sereno may become best known for zombie apocalypse. Fear the Walking Dead, a prequel to the highly popular The Walking Dead, debuts Aug. 23, with its main characters calling El Sereno home.
In fact, the hillstop campus of Woodrow Wilson High, renamed Paul R. Williams High, is featured prominently in some episodes as the place where the two main characters work. The school’s alumni assocation noted that Principal Luis Lopez’ office served as a set for the AMC program, and there was also filming on streets near the El Sereno school.
A New York Times story sheds some light on the Eastside location of the new show:
The Los Angeles setting also permitted “Fear the Walking Dead” to show a grittier side to the city than typically seen on screen. The creators promise we’ll never see the Hollywood sign or zombies shuffling past the Griffith Observatory.
The main characters live in El Sereno, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Los Angeles and one of its most diverse. The cast mirrors the city’s diversity. Ms. Rodriguez’s character, Travis’s ex-wife, was reimagined as Latina after the actress read for the part, she said. Travis was originally written as Latino, but that was changed to Maori to reflect Mr. Curtis’s heritage.
And “Fear the Walking Dead” pointedly delves into the immigrant experience through Ruben Blades’s character, a barber named Daniel Salazar, who fled El Salvador in the early 1980s. “People who come here have many different reasons,” said Gale Anne Hurd, an executive producer on both “Walking Dead” series. “Quite a few of them are escaping violence in their own countries, want to start over and Los Angeles is a city of rebirth, it’s a city of reinvention.”
But while the show’s main characters may live in El Sereno, expect only limited amount of filming in the neighborhood. Most of the program has been shot in Vancouver, where producing a zombie apocalypse is cheaper than in Los Angeles.
The Eastside Guide Business Directory is designed to help readers find the services and products they need.
The businesses and services in the directory have not been reviewed nor are they endorsed by The Eastsider. Users are responsible for taking care to investigate any offers, products or services provided by businesses listed in the directory.