March 7, 2017
Fans Question AMC's Budgeting On 'The Walking Dead' After A Bad CGI Deer Appears

Episode 12 of AMC's The Walking Dead has come under fire by fans, not for a death or a bad story line, but for a CGI deer.

SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses Episode 12 (titled "Say Yes") of AMC's The Walking Dead Season 7. Please proceed with caution if you have not viewed this episode and wish to avoid spoilers.

It was a pivotal scene in Episode 12 of The Walking Dead. Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) were fighting a huge herd of walkers after their plan to close a gap in a fence went horribly wrong. Fans of the show were riveted to their screens as the walkers came dangerously close to the favorite walker-killing duo.

In the midst of this exciting scene, Rick spied a deer and that is when fans became outraged.

AMC's 'The Walking Dead,' Season 7, Episode 12, review, CGI deer
[Image by AMC]

On such a phenomenally successful show, the assumption is that AMC not only has a large production budget but a gifted crew. Instead, the audience was treated to what NME called a "Minecraft deer."

Fans immediately took to social media to voice their displeasure over the CGI deer.

'The Walking Dead,' Season 7 Shiva the tiger versus the CGI deer
[Image by AMC]

Previously, fans have voiced their displeasure over another CGI moment in The Walking Dead. While Shiva the tiger should be a CGI character AMC spent big on in the show, some fans have also criticized the initial presentation of the tiger. Other fans of the show loved the CGI work on Shiva, so this instance of Walking Dead CGI is certainly a mixed bag.

There was a scene from just a few short weeks ago that also got fans riled. When Rick visits the new group, a panoramic green screen shot of the vast junkyard they lived in brought further criticism. Especially when it was noted that AMC may have forgotten to delete an image of a flying object as well as several moving images from on the ground.

AMC's 'The Walking Dead,' Season 7, Episode 10, Is that a UFO behind Rick, CGI deer
[Image by AMC]

So, what is AMC's budget for The Walking Dead and how is it distributed per episode?

It is unclear just how much money AMC allocates per episode of The Walking Dead. We do know that early budgeting was part of the reason AMC split with the show's original showrunner, Frank Darabont. At that stage, according to Mic, the budgeting for Seasons 1 and 2 of The Walking Dead was in the vicinity of $3-3.4 million per episode.

Since then, very little information has been released in regard to budgeting costs per episode beyond that it has expanded since earlier seasons. In 2013, Variety reported that AMC makes approximately $326,000 per packaged spot during The Walking Dead thanks to ad revenue. Complex estimates, with this figure from Variety, AMC could make $11 million per episode in ad revenue alone. Forbes also estimated that Andrew Lincoln, the show's highest earner, makes around $90,000 per episode, which each main character scaling down in pay from there.

None of this shows just how much AMC is issuing in regard to dollars per episode in Season 7. However, it is likely that, on a show that is still the most-watched show on cable despite the current season losing numbers when the season premiered, The Walking Dead should have enough of a budget to create a realistic CGI deer.

As NME points out, Season 7 of The Walking Dead seems to be spending an awful lot of money on making the undead as gruesome as possible and their deaths spectacular. And scenes like the one in which Rick and Michonne behead a herd of walkers with their cars and a length of wire certainly does cost money to put together effectively. So, with this in mind, perhaps AMC just ran out of budgeting funds when it came to the CGI deer in Episode 12.

What did you think of the CGI deer in Episode 12 of AMC's The Walking Dead Season 7? Let us know by commenting below.

Episode 13 (titled "Bury Me Here") of Season 7 of AMC's The Walking Dead airs on Sunday, March 12 at 9 p.m. ET. The official synopsis for Episode 13 is below.

"Things do not go as planned when a group of Kingdommers delivers goods to the Saviors during a routine supply drop-off."
[Featured Image by Gene Page/AMC]