Archive for November, 2011

Season 2 – In Production

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Show creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss take you behind the scenes for an exclusive look at the filming of Season 2.

Extras Say the Darndest Things . . .

Monday, November 28th, 2011

By Cat Taylor

We couldn’t possibly have our show without the extras. They are the handmaidens, the guards, the peasants and the men of the Wall. Sometimes more than one. They can be both Lannister Guards and Stark Bannermen, or sailors from the Iron Islands and merchants in King’s Landing. They stand for hours in the cold, spend days running through the same field over and over again, dying on command and acting hilarious. To our extras, I salute you!

One extra to another: “I will sword you.”

In the tea tent: “Forget the Baratheons! We must guard the cake. We ARE the chocolate cake guard.”

During a fight: AD: “Can you move to your left?” Soldier: “I can’t. I haven’t got my glasses on.”

Extras Say the Darnedest Things . . .

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

By Cat Taylor

We couldn’t possibly have our show without the extras. They are the handmaidens, the guards, the peasants and the men of the Wall. Sometimes more than one. They can be both Lannister Guards and Stark Bannermen, or sailors from the Iron Islands and merchants in King’s Landing. They stand for hours in the cold, spend days running through the same field over and over again, dying on command and acting hilarious. To our extras, I salute you!

One extra to another: “I will sword you.”

In the tea tent: “Forget the Baratheons! We must guard the cake. We ARE the chocolate cake guard.”

During a fight: AD: “Can you move to your left?” Soldier: “I can’t. I haven’t got my glasses on.”

Taking an Epic Journey

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

By Cat Taylor

One of the greatest things about working on a show like Game of Thrones is that you are surrounded by beautiful things so much of the time. The costumes are gorgeous, the sets are so detailed you can always find a new facet when you look hard enough, and even the armor and weapons are beautifully finished. The cast isn’t too hard to look at either!  On some days though, the most beautiful thing is the scenery that we are surrounded by.

By necessity, the locations that we shoot at tend to be remote – it wouldn’t do to pull back from the gates of Harrenhall and see that the courtyard is built in the car park of a Pizza Hut. It’s also hard to weave the authentic medieval sound of a Boeing 777 arriving from Newark into the story line. Our sound and camera teams are exceptional (and we’ll be meeting them later), but that’s a lot to ask of anyone.

Just getting to these far-flung places can be a challenge. Tiny roads and large trucks are not always the best combination, and we can certainly be guilty of causing our own mini traffic jams as the crew makes way down roads used primarily for tractors and sheep. Sometimes there is no signal for phones or email, or the nearest shop is a few miles away. The crew lugs kit down paths the trucks can’t get to, and they run cables from the gennys out to beaches, huts and even cliff tops.

Even so, I’m not sure there are many better ways to see Northern Ireland than filming on this show. We are able to have access to places that you just don’t visit in day-to-day life. We get to see some of the greatest sights in a unique way, and even on the longest drives, you see some spectacular views that make it all worthwhile.

This season alone we have been up and down the northern coast of Antrim and into the corners of the country. Filming only a few miles from the world famous Giant’s Causeway and in tiny coves that are so startlingly beautiful it’s distracting. We have filmed on cliff tops and beaches, taken over the grounds of stately homes, caves and even old quarries. In what used to be empty rolling fields, there are castles and battlefield camps. Woodland clearings become campsites full of wagons and horses. A Godswood is just off a dirt track on the way south from the city. It’s all amazing to see.

The guy who is Jon Snow. And Bronn. And Jaime Lannister …

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

By Cat Taylor

One of the main reasons for GOT’s success is down to the excellent and experienced crew, which has a few characters of its own. Throughout the season, I’ll introduce you to a selection of the more unusual positions on the crew and hopefully explain some of the things you’ve seen on the credits, but never really known what that role entails.

First up: Stand in.

Graeme Livingston

Stand-in/Trainee AD

Dragon Unit

N. Ireland

Job Description: “The actors rehearse a scene with the director, and I watch. The actors are then taken off to hair, costume and make up. The lighting, sound and camera departments then set up for the shot, using me as a reference for the actors’ placing, distance from the camera and mics – that sort of thing.”

Strangest Moment on Set: “Talking at length about the Star Wars movies with another AD and the conversation being picked up by the director Neil Marshall and his First AD Gerry Gavigan, who actually worked on the original Star Wars. Surreal!”

Favorite GOT character: “Tyrion, without a doubt.  He’s incredibly smart and really funny. As a person Peter is a really great guy, but in the series he’s definitely the most fun to watch.” 

A Hint About Season 2: “There’s been quite a lot of sword fighting in this season, a lot more than last one. There’s a lot more combat. Anything with a sword fight keeps me happy. And a bit of blood.”?