Hello reddit Universe, I am Gale Anne Hurd. You might know me from such films as Terminators 1 and 2, Aliens and The Abyss. In addition, I produce a tiny show called The Walking Dead, you may have heard of it? You can tune in to Season 5 of The Walking Dead with all new episodes Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.

I am so happy to be here and look forward to a fun and upbeat AMA. Feel free to ask me about Walking Dead, Terminator 30th anniversary and our reunion panel tonight in LA, or anything else. And to be fair to all tuning in, please no spoilers or spoiler requests!

Retweet: https://twitter.com/reddit_AMA/status/522445594766618624

Edit:

Well guys, I am out of here. Have to get prepped for our Terminator 30th reunion panel tonight! Had a great time and thanks for all the interesting questions, sorry if I didn’t have a chance to get to all of them.

Comments: 253 • Responses: 65  • Date: 

I_am_not_Skynet75 karma

Hello Gale    
Being a co-writer of Terminator 
Do you know how Skynet may have won the war?

GaleAnneHurd34 karma

It’s 2014 and they are already winning it, aren’t they? At least that’s what they tell me at the Pentagon!

I_am_not_Skynet44 karma

That information was supposed to be classified Gale.        

GaleAnneHurd28 karma

Oops!

seismicor39 karma

Do you plan on producing another R rated dark science-fiction movie? There is a gap in the market for this type of films.

GaleAnneHurd29 karma

I have a few in development right now and agree with you completely. Fingers crossed that one gets the green light soon: Kickstarter maybe?

unz21 karma

Are you aware of how awesome you are? I've seen your name in the credits of movies I've loved all my life and watched so many times I've memorized them.

GaleAnneHurd28 karma

You know what’s really awesome? To know that I have in some small way inspired other people to pursue their passions and dreams. And thank you <<blushing>>!

DetroitLions9220 karma

I'm sure all of the Walking Dead fans are missing Rick's conveniently spotless & invincible Hyundai. How long until he stumbles upon a Microsoft Surface Pro out there in the woods?

GaleAnneHurd21 karma

Wow, never saw a spotless Hyundai on set. Are you sure you’re talking about THE WALKING DEAD and not REVOLUTION?

we did have a Hyundai but lost it quite a long time ago. Not sure a Surface would work unless there was a solar charger, and he couldn’t connect with anyone since the internet is kaput.

two_off15 karma

Going from The Abyss, through Aliens and Terminator, and onto modern blockbusters, how has your view of Special Effects changed and evolved?

GaleAnneHurd70 karma

I think it’s so important to make sure the VFX are there only to serve the storytelling and the characters, or to create a world, never to call too much attention to themselves. If you are focusing on the VFX then I’ve failed as a storyteller to make my characters the center of the film.

DonnyMC13 karma

Hello, I was just wondering if Beth fans will be happy with her storyline this season on TWD? Thank you.

GaleAnneHurd24 karma

I think you’ll be amazed by Beth’s journey this season, and the challenges she’s going to face. She’s had to grow up so quickly, and I think Daryl really helped her along that path, don’t you?

seismicor12 karma

When can we anticipate The Abyss to be released on Blu-ray? It is time!

GaleAnneHurd15 karma

I agree! I plan to ask Jim tonight at the Terminator 30th anniversary screening if that’s in the works. I’d be the first in line to buy one myself!

Dorian18210 karma

Hi Gale, I’ve been a huge fan of yours for years, as one half of the team who brought us Terminator and Aliens you are undeniably the queen of action movies. My questions are:

  • Do you have a favorite memory from making The Terminator?
  • What was young James Cameron like?

  • Have you had any input on the new Terminator movie?

GaleAnneHurd14 karma

When Jim and I were out in the middle of the desert filming the scene with the pregnant Sarah in the jeep driving and not a car had driven by in hours as we waited for the right light and heat ripples. Then a police officer drove up and told us we had to move, but relented when we said we were a student film and would move our camera off the road. I really owe him!

No different than he is now: a genius and a visionary.

Nope, not a word.

King_catnip10 karma

Hello Gale, big fan of the walking dead here :)... Quick question who is your favorite character of the walking dead, or who do you feel more attached too?

GaleAnneHurd22 karma

I probably feel most attached to Carol because her journey has been one of the most compelling.

bobaf9 karma

What are your favorite pizza toppings?

GaleAnneHurd15 karma

Burrata, prosciutto, mushrooms, black olives

theArnoldFans19 karma

Gale, What did you think of the original Terminator casting when O.J. Simpson and Lance Henriksen were to play the T:800? Were you pushing for Arnold /u/GovSchwarzenegger to play the cyborg or were you hoping O.J. landed the role instead?

GaleAnneHurd17 karma

Jim and I never considered OJ for a second. He was brought up by one of the financiers. I’m so glad that Lance was in the film and that I’ve been able to work with him so often throughout my (and his) career

robinsky18 karma

How long have you been a supporter of Arsenal FC?

GaleAnneHurd13 karma

Since 2006, back when they were contenders for the Champions League title. Do you think my supporting them is responsible for their decline since? Hope not!

Janitor33338 karma

Hey, I'm a big fan of yours, I love your work, so here are my questions to you.

  • Are you looking forward for your visit with James Cameron tonight?
  • Does James Cameron have a presence about him in real life?
  • How was Jim as a lover?
  • What do you think of Avatar?

GaleAnneHurd17 karma

Jim and I remain pals, but what I’m most looking forward to is finding out what he remembers most about making The Terminator 30 years ago. Man, do I feel old!!! I must have been like 5 years old when I produced that film, right?

Absolutely, Jim can walk into a room without saying a word, and I guarantee you’ll know he’s there!

CharlesDulaney28 karma

What has been your favorite episode of The Walking Dead? (that's aired so far! hahaha)

GaleAnneHurd15 karma

It’s a tie: I love the first episode, Days Gone Bye, and last season’s The Grove, but there are so many others (including this Sunday’s Season 5 premiere) that are vying for that spot, too.

Dinka20148 karma

Who would win a hand to hand combat between Sarah Connor and Ellen Ripley???

GaleAnneHurd12 karma

Wow, I would pay to see that MMA fight, wouldn’t you? I’d have to say Sarah Connor because she’s really trained herself to survive the coming apocalypse. But Ripley would probably try to reason with her to avoid the fight in the first place.

ayy_lma07 karma

[deleted]

GaleAnneHurd13 karma

Each one is a bit different, but I can say that I love Sigourney’s performance in each one of them. She is fantastic in everything she does.

Dollarama7 karma

Hi thanks for the ama! What do you think of all the If Daryl dies we riot type fans? Did you expect Normans character to break out and connect with the fans as much as it has

GaleAnneHurd13 karma

Once we cast Norman Reedus and he made the role his own, it was clear that he was going to be a fan favorite even before episodes started airing. I love the fan commitment to their favorite characters, and Daryl’s in particular make it absolutely clear what they think!

MikuxLuka4017 karma

May I ask, how did you go from making futuristic robot battles, to rural zombie survival? What flipped your interest?

GaleAnneHurd19 karma

I love them both, thankfully I didn’t have a Sophie’s Choice situation where I had to decide only to do one thing. What I loved about The Walking Dead is similar to The Terminator in that both are about ordinary people surviving in extraordinary worlds.

robinsky17 karma

Which do you prefer, producing or screenwriting?

GaleAnneHurd15 karma

Producing.

seismicor8 karma

What's the best thing about producing?

GaleAnneHurd15 karma

The opening day of a film that you’ve spent 10 to 20 years getting to the screen and realizing audiences love it. Makes all the hard work worthwhile. And connecting with the fans makes me feel really really lucky to be able to do what I do. Having your hobby also be your profession is the absolute best. I highly recommend it!

HipHopHershel7 karma

Hey Gale! :D My questions are: How does film production differ from TV production? Also, what's the funniest moment that's ever happened on set of any production?

GaleAnneHurd8 karma

I’d have to say that a film is a sprint and TV production is a marathon, with weekly sprints to get each episode filmed. How amazing that in the time that it takes to make a 2.5 hour summer blockbuster, we’ve filmed 16 hours of TV?

Funniest moment would have to be when Jim Cameron was doing stunts in our one and only picture car for The Terminator and crashed it. It was funny until I had to put my producer hat on and come up with plan B.

Myrdoc6 karma

As a person living in Utah, I have to ask... do you ever go to the Sundance film festival? If so, when the next one happens, can we go skiing and talk about movies all day? :)

Also, do you think there's a glimmer of hope that the Alien universe can be salvaged with a good Alien 5? Or is that franchise dead?

GaleAnneHurd9 karma

Yes, I’ve even worked on a film, THE WATERDANCE, that won the Audience Award and Waldo Salt Screenplay award at Sundance, and served on the jury another year. But when I’m at Sundance, you won’t find me skiing (and I LOVE to ski, mind you)– I’m the kind of person who tries to watch 5 movies every day!

Never say never, right? I live in hope.

HoneyVortex6 karma

What's your favorite Corman film?

GaleAnneHurd5 karma

THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM.

FistedYourSister6 karma

Hello Gale! I love The Walking Dead and Terminator/Aliens.

  • What’s your favorite movie and why?

GaleAnneHurd15 karma

JAWS, because it showed how fantastic a horror film can be when it focuses on character and is made by a masterful director and producers

i-like-ike6 karma

Hi Gale - the women in the movies/shows you produce all tend to be strong women... Connors, Ripley, and of course the women of the Walking Dead. Is this coincidence or is this something you look for when you decide to produce something? Also, I want to be cast in Walking Angels - the Walking Dead spinoff that takes place in LA!

GaleAnneHurd12 karma

I love stories in which the women go on a journey from one place emotionally to another, and that’s the case for the women in most of my films and on The Walking Dead. They are all quite different, but they are ordinary people thrust into extraordinarily dangerous circumstances and find the courage within themselves to survive, and even thrive.

tinylebanesechef5 karma

Hey Gale, looking at the list of movies you've been involved with I have come to realize that you have been apart of some of my favorites. I'm a transplant so I actually got to see Terminator as a dubbed experience.

My question is what first inspired you to work in film altogether, I see from your wiki page that you have a degree in economics? I too got a degree and now work in the seemingly opposite direction, you're officially my woman crush :)

GaleAnneHurd3 karma

Ha! I have a feeling I’m a bit old for you (after all, it is The Terminator’s 30th anniversary this month)! I took a year abroad when I was at University and studied film and broadcasting in England. I didn’t even realize until then that it was possible to pursue a career in entertainment. I had a great advisor, Julian Blaustein, who had produced BROKEN ARROW, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, and many more classic films, and he encouraged me to pursue film as a career.

ChuckEye5 karma

I just noticed that Van Ling now sports some visual effects credits for Walking Dead. That brings it up to 10 projects you've done together. Did you bring him into the fold?

GaleAnneHurd2 karma

Absolutely, Van is and always will be one of my ‘go-to’ people from the time he showed up on the Fox lot on Halloween in his homemade Power Loader costume!

RottenBioHazard5 karma

What were your most memorable moments from each of the franchises in which you worked on?

GaleAnneHurd14 karma

The first day of production on THE TERMINATOR when I realized it was really happening. Up until that point, I assumed it would fall apart at the last minute. Like most things do when you’re just starting out!

On The Walking Dead, it was watching Andy Lincoln’s first audition and realizing we had our Rick Grimes.

iwanttoseethestars5 karma

Hey Gale. Just some quick questions for you.

First of all, I'm a huge Walking Dead fan. I think the characters are all really well-written, three-dimensional figures. Which character can you relate to the most?

What's your favorite part of working with the show?

For someone interested in the genre, and perhaps in a future in acting (even if only for fun or for small projects...not on the scale of TWD perhaps), what things should they be doing to get themselves in the door? What are you looking for?

Thanks for taking the time to do an AMA. :)

GaleAnneHurd4 karma

I’d say Carol because she seemed like the least well equipped to survive the zombie apocalypse and now she’s one of the most committed survivors.

Being on set with the cast and crew!

Chrismish5 karma

Is there going to be an episode of nothing but beth sing-a-longs?

GaleAnneHurd12 karma

How did you know? That’s our bottle episode for this season, and we’ll make sure there are songbooks on-line so that everyone can follow along. Karaoke, anyone?

Papaburgundy195 karma

My absolute favorite show is The Walking Dead so it is awesome that you're here doing this. With that said, who's the biggest prankster in the cast?

GaleAnneHurd10 karma

Norman and Steven tie for that distinction.

jgab67134 karma

What questions do you ask yourself before deciding to take on certain projects? More specifically, what went through your mind before producing The Walking Dead?

GaleAnneHurd3 karma

Am I willing to give up almost everything else in my life to bring this to fruition, because that’s what you have to do when a project is given a green light. On THE WALKING DEAD, the question was more about how not to screw up such a brilliant comic book series. If we hadn’t felt confident we could do it right, it wouldn’t have proceeded into production.

strscarlett4 karma

What do you look for in content that you decide to produce? And what project has embodied that the most?

GaleAnneHurd7 karma

I respond to the characters first and foremost and then how they motivate the story and the world they’re in. That’s really what grabs me. I’d have to say THE WALKING DEAD most embodies that because the characters have come so far from who they were in the very first episode.

seismicor4 karma

Any favourite story including: A. Arnold. B. Stan Winston?

GaleAnneHurd14 karma

Stan Winston is so dearly missed…what a tragic loss. One day on set Stan was trying to convince Arnold to let a stunt person wear the Terminator prosthetics instead of Arnold. You would have thought he’d waved a red flag in front of a bull…Arnold put Stan in a headlock (playfully) and said, “Do you REALLY want to do that? I don’t think so.” I bet you can guess who won that battle!

ayy_lma06 karma

[deleted]

GaleAnneHurd10 karma

Most certainly. So sad!

NvrLandsPrincess4 karma

Gale, I have a question. If you were to take a character from any of the movies you have helped produced into the zombie apocolypse whom would it be and why?

Thank you!

GaleAnneHurd8 karma

I’d take The Terminator from T2 since he’d be my best hope for survival.

Katey56784 karma

As a producer, what do you think it is about The Walking Dead that makes it so hugely popular, even to people who haven't read the comics?

Love the show, the season 5 intro was sickly awesome it made my boyfriend start screaming at me to turn it off. Loved it!

GaleAnneHurd3 karma

I think we can all relate to a world where we wonder exactly what the characters are facing at any moment. It’s the world we live in, but taken to the extreme. Don’t you feel as if something bad may happen? Ebola? A hurricane if you live near the coast? Earthquakes, tornados, global financial collapse, you name it. With social media, we are all more connected than ever and it feels as if we are dancing on the edge of the abyss. With The Walking Dead we can examine who people are when faced with basic survival and death at any moment, without fearing that the zombie apocalypse is ever going to happen to us.

Thank you! We have quite a lot more where that came from ;-)

69gamer4 karma

What did Mr. Schwarzenegger smell like? Also, did you ever get the chance to hold on to his bicep and have him lift you up and down? Those were great movies. Props!

GaleAnneHurd4 karma

Cigars!!!

Jpvicente4 karma

How long does it take to make a zombie make up in the walking dead?

GaleAnneHurd9 karma

The hero zombies can take up to 2 hours, while the deep background walkers are done in 20 minutes or so.

gangrenepanda4 karma

What does it take to produce a film from a producer's point of view from start to finish ? And were you on set when they were shooting the raw footage in terminator 2 for the T-1000?

GaleAnneHurd3 karma

Films can take from as little time as 2 years to twenty or more to get made, there really isn’t a formula. There are so many moving parts, starting with a great script to finding the right director, cast and then getting the financing together. Makes me wonder how any film ever gets made! Yes, for some of the plate shots, but not all of them.

CanuckintheMuck4 karma

I really appreciate your work. The Ghost and the Darkness and The Relic were both big films for me as a kid. They created a sense of suspense and tension I had never experienced before. They are also films that we don't hear much about anymore, I'd be grateful if you had any stories concerning their production or how they came to be?

GaleAnneHurd6 karma

I read the book MANEATERS OF TSAVO, written by the engineer who helped build the railway in Kenya upon which the movie is based. It blew me away and I felt like the animal kingdom was fighting for its survival, with the two lions their last chance to keep darkest Africa from being exploited…so part of my sympathy is with the lions! On The Relic, it was great working with Stan Winston again as well as the director, Peter Hyams. It’s funny that you mention both films, because when we were filming at night in Chicago’s Field Museum, I stumbled upon the exhibit which featured the real lions (stuffed, mind you, but still incredibly menacing in a dark museum at 2 am) of Tsavo who killed hundreds of people!

drocks273 karma

What are you currently reading?

rjg2143 karma

Hi Gale, I am the biggest fan of The Walking Dead! I wanted to know what we can expect this season?! It looks like it's going to be the best season ever!

GaleAnneHurd6 karma

That’s what we’re aiming for: it’s utterly relentless, kick-ass and totally heart-breaking. You know, like the Zombie Apocalypse…

Barom3tric3 karma

Thank you so much for being a part of bringing characters like Ripley and Sarah Connor to the screen. It seems like all the stuff you're involved in are favourite things of mine! Of the various movies you've worked on preTWD, which one was the most rewarding? pivotal? catalytic?

The Walking Dead is amazing, my most favourite show ever, S5 premiere was spectacularly awesome... How did you join the show? Will the story ever include areas/characters/plots outside of Atlanta?

GaleAnneHurd5 karma

The Terminator, because it was the first and without it, I wouldn’t have had a career.

AlteregoX3 karma

Hi Gale!

I'm a female writer and director pursuing a career in fashion and feature length films.

What do you believe are the biggest wastes of time and mistakes producers and directors make?

What are your favorite books and resources that I could learn from to become one of the best (like you)?

GaleAnneHurd12 karma

Not doing their homework, thinking they can start at the top. You need to learn the steps to the dance before you can go on America’s Got Talent. Same is true for film and tv careers!

Breaking and Entering by April Fitzsimmons is a great book!

ShelleyGeeBee3 karma

When did Carol have time to wash her face? :)

GaleAnneHurd4 karma

Guess she must have brought wet wipes with her.

kylemchamb3 karma

Hey Gale!

I want to start as a PA somewhere in film. I just moved to NYC and I have been applying at a few places. I feel that meeting people is the best way to get a job. Do you have any suggestions for a young aspiring writer/director to get his foot in the door and willing to start from the bottom at a great show or film production?

GaleAnneHurd3 karma

Work on student films in any capacity and work your way up.

aelmer28213 karma

Gale-

good afternoon and congratulations ( if what my local news said is true) on over 170 million views for the season premier! Your films and shows have inspired at this point going on 3 generations of dark sci-fi/horror fans, does that ever feel overwhelming?

GaleAnneHurd5 karma

Umm, I think your decimal point is off, or theirs is. The figure is 17.3 million in the US which is still amazing, and we are so grateful for the love. Not sure what the total figure is world-wide though!

c3ll4r_d00r3 karma

What has been your favourite experience so far, out of anything at all, whilst producing The Walking Dead?

GaleAnneHurd3 karma

My favorite experience is being able to interact with the fans, whether at a Comic-Con or just connecting with someone who loves the show at a coffee shop. As a fan myself, I geek out, too!

JamesCameronFan2 karma

What did you think of Avatar? Are you still friends with Jim?

GaleAnneHurd3 karma

Absolutely we are friends!

thegillinator2 karma

Who put together this 30th anniversary screening of The Terminator at the Egyptian? Will it be screening in any other theaters around the country?

GaleAnneHurd2 karma

I wish! There will be video online through Fox, though there is no date on it quite yet!

DetectiveCohle2 karma

Gale, how have you managed to stay looking so good for all these years? Are you secretly a terminator?

GaleAnneHurd3 karma

That must be it! How did you guess?

LordNedStark2 karma

What does your morning routine look like?

Best productivity tip?

What book do you wish you read when you were 22?

GaleAnneHurd8 karma

Wake up at 4:30 am, gulp down a coffee, get ready for whatever the Georgia weather might have in store that day, pack up the car and hit the road at 5:30 to make it to set by 6:30 for work.

Drink lots of coffee.

THE WALKING DEAD

lastofthetrue2 karma

Hi Gale, I'm a huge fan of The Walking Dead, and your work in general.

My question is: can you disclose anything about the upcoming show you're working on with Chris Carter? Thanks!

GaleAnneHurd4 karma

It’s called AREA 51 and it’s based on Annie Jacobsen’s non-fiction best seller of the same name.

ecafsub2 karma

So great to "see" you here, Ms. Hurd!

I love The Abyss (the director's cut absolutely changed the entire film--and seriously for the better), Terminator I & II (again, director's cut of II: major change) and Aliens (which is my gf's all-time fave & who believes Ripley is THE most bad-ass female protagonist EVAR.)

I'm hard-pressed to say which is my fave, but if it had to pin it down, I'd have to go with Aliens, followed by The Abyss, then...

Which of those are you most proud of?

GaleAnneHurd3 karma

Thank you, it's great to be asked to participate.

I love them all, it's kind of like asking a parent to choose their favorite kid. But if I had to choose, I'd say the first Terminator since it was the first film I produced. You always remember the first time.....

JimCamFan2 karma

Hi Gale! Massive fan here.

Do you think you and Jim Cameron will ever work together again?

GaleAnneHurd4 karma

I hope so, but he’s going to be tied up with AVATAR for a while. I am so excited to see what he’s cooked up in the amazing world of Pandora!

_ThisIsAmyx_2 karma

What's it like to work alongside Greg Nicotero?

GaleAnneHurd4 karma

A joy, since he’s not only amazingly talented but such a nice guy.

anuncommontruth2 karma

Hi Gale, huge fan of your movie resume. My question: What other science fiction and fantasy projects do you enjoy that you have not worked on?

GaleAnneHurd3 karma

Wow, do you have all day to talk about that? There are so many, from 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY to STAR WARS, the original THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, many of the superhero films (loved GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY this summer), the PLANET OF THE APES, the original ALIEN…

DuvallDesigns2 karma

Wow, thanks for taking the time to do this Gale! You are incredible! I have two questions, if that's OK.

Was there a project that you ever passed on? What was it and do you ever wonder 'What if?'

Is Gareth actually a bad guy, or are we as viewers projecting our disgust and hatred onto him because he's threatened characters that we love? From his flashback, it seems that he did not start as a bad person but was molded into one due to extreme and unfortunate circumstances.

GaleAnneHurd3 karma

I've passed on countless projects, and some have become pretty successful but most faded into oblivion. I really wanted to make RED MARS by Kim Stanley Robinson but the TV Network passed.

Gareth is a complicated character, but sometimes you have to judge a book by its cover. Or person by their actions, what they are doing is not excused by why they are doing it, unless they have no choice (LIKE RICK WITH THE CLAIMERS).

seismicor2 karma

Would it be hard to produce something as crazy (read: wonderful) as the first Terminator in today's world?

GaleAnneHurd5 karma

Producing indie films is harder than ever, but it might get made today, but I really wonder if it would ever make it to theaters? Probably not. That’s the sad state of affairs of the film business today. I always make sure to see films (especially) indies in the cinema since we are all voting with our ticket buying.

AvatarFanatic2 karma

What was your favorite movie to work on?

GaleAnneHurd7 karma

The Abuse; err, I mean, The Abyss – because it was the most demanding and rewarding that we all survived.

MaureenRP2 karma

Hi Gale,

A good portions of the projects you’ve worked on are focused around science fiction and paranormal topics. Of course Aliens, and now, it was just announced that you will be on board with the new show based off Whitley Strieber’s book Alien Hunter. My question is what are your thoughts on the existence of extraterrestrial life and has that influenced the type of projects you do?

P.s. The Walking Dead premiere Monday was a giant slice of amazing.

GaleAnneHurd4 karma

I absolutely believe we are not alone in the universe, I just hope any alien we encounter is not as violent a species as we are capable of being.

Thank you – kudos to our amazing cast and crew!

SharkPrince2 karma

Do you think you'll ever go back to the Terminator universe?

GaleAnneHurd4 karma

I would love to, but right now Jim and I don’t have the rights to the franchise. It’s kind of like having your child adopted and watching him or her from afar.

gailbrookski1 karma

Concerning the The Walking Dead - does the popularity of one specific character (and the actor) make that character (and actor) immune to being written out of the show??

GaleAnneHurd8 karma

No, as Robert Kirkman and Scott Gimple have both said, the fans have to care enough about a character to justify their death… I would definitely take out life insurance policies on all of them!