Archive for December, 2011

Why Working on Set in November Feels Like Going to a Rock Festival

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

By Cat Taylor

Anyone who has lived through the festival season knows that the key to surviving in style is preparation. And while there is no need for a stash of Valyrian steel in the tents of Glastonbury, there are certainly things that make the rules of surviving festivals the same as surviving filming.

  1. The field is full of tents, and positioning is everything. Avoiding horse dung, flooding, high winds and steep slopes is the ideal.
  2. Wellingtons or hiking boots are a must to avoid swamp foot. There is high risk that your foot will get stuck in the inches of thick and churned up mud. Socks will be the most important thing about your day.
  3. A smart crew member will avoid the portaloos at all costs, using honey wagons at base, or bushes if no lights are shining (and they happen to be male).
  4. By the third day, wet wipes become a human rights issue.
  5. Phone signal will drop in and out intermittently, usually just before you’re supposed to meet or call someone.
  6. Sun on the field will make it all seem worthwhile, even if you are helping push a 4×4 out of the muck.
  7. Security will spend a good deal of time explaining what is happening and why, sadly, passers-by aren’t allowed behind the scenes without a pass.
  8. The traffic to and from location will be dreadful as everyone tries to arrive at the same time.
  9. Finding the coffee hut and biscuits is like finding the Lost Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
  10. Occasionally, Snow Patrol swing by. It’s a lovely surprise to reveal that the producer’s guests for the evening are some of Belfast’s finest home grown talent. 

Season 2 – The Cold Winds Are Rising

Monday, December 12th, 2011


Meet the Guy Who Sees What Isn’t There (Yet)

Monday, December 12th, 2011

By Cat Taylor

Naill McEvoyVFX Data Wrangler

Dragon & Wolf units

N. Ireland/Iceland

Job description:

“We gather as much information as we can from a shooting day, be it lighting information, camera information, lens tilt, height…anything that helps us integrate non-existing elements into the final frame. The only way to make these look real is to light them correctly, and shoot them correctly so they fit into the original plate. If you’ve ever seen poor visual effects, I guarantee that it’s because it wasn’t lit right. So we take all the references, categorizing them all, so when we go back at a later date and shoot an element, we can recreate everything accurately.”

Biggest Challenge working on GOT:

“Well, essentially, GOT is a 10-hour-long feature film. It’s a TV show, yes, but HBO demands excellence. To film something of this scale, in our timeframe, everyone has to be on the top of their game, and every detail is important. And the mud. So many of our locations are muddy fields, or muddy quarries. I’ve woken up from dreams where I’m choking on mud. Look at where we are (in a very muddy field at Audley Tower, which is serving as one of Robb’s camps) everything is ridiculous! Every so often you take a step back and think this is crazy, but then it’s amazing. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing.”

VFX elements he’s most looking forward to in Season 2:

“I would like to see how the dragons have grown, progressed and improved. They appeared late in Season 1, right at the end of episode10. In the upcoming season, we see a lot more of them, and that’s really exciting. And the direwolves. We’ve been involved in creating them this season, and we’ve shot a lot of elements with them. These things are big, the size of small horses, and I can’t wait to see how they look.”

Favorite Character:

“I like the really evil guys. Viserys was so good. So evil. I think he was underrated in a lot of respects, but I thought he was great. And Joffrey. Joffrey was fantastic. I mean what a little bastard. Jack Gleeson is such an amazing kid in real life, all the kids have been amazing, but Jack in particular, being such a nice guy in real life and such a bastard on screen.”

Coordinating Fights & Stunts

Monday, December 12th, 2011


Lesson Two: Looking Good vs. Staying Alive

Monday, December 12th, 2011

By Cat Taylor

Fashion is not Dior versus Chanel. It’s North Face versus Jack Wolfskin. It’s wet weather gear versus gaiters. It’s wellingtons versus hiking boots. It’s merino wool versus hi-tech fabrics and very occasionally, it’s brushing your hair before you leave your house.