Archive for October, 2012

Good Things Come In Threes

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

By Cat Taylor

Today is the first day of Game of Thrones becoming a three-unit show. That means that, for the next two weeks, on any given day, there could be three directors, three DOPs and three sets of crew all filming at different locations simultaneously. The name of our new unit, joining the ranks of WOLF and DRAGON?

RAVEN.

Which one would you be?

Somebody Call Stannis a Tow Truck

Friday, October 12th, 2012

By Cat Taylor

Photo Credit: Helen Sloan

It’s Friday morning and we are on the beach below Ballintoy Harbour. In the time that has passed since we filmed here last year, several meters of sand have been washed away from the tideline and the cove seems more intimate, perhaps fittingly for the scene about to take place between Stannis and Melisandre.

It’s a crazy day, with two directors filming scenes for three separate episodes, with three different combinations of actors. In an attempt to make a turn, a huge tractor hauling a trailer full of gear has become stuck in the sand. Wheels spinning, it goes nowhere but further down. After a few attempts to maneuver, it becomes obvious that we have two choices. 1) Have VFX paint out the giant blue tractor from every frame or 2) Start carrying gear.

A convoy of crew begins humping the kit from the trailer to the far side of the beach, and just about every department is in on it: hair and make-up joins burly locations men as they lift, haul and drag weights, lights, ropes and sandbags (!) across the beach and out of shot.

Above us, the B camera unit is setting up the first shot, a wide high pan over the beach and out to the wind churned sea from someone’s garden patio, as one of the houses overlooking the bay hosts the perfect spot. Below, the extras are in place for rehearsal – already resigned to being battered by the waves all day, they stand in the water to the knee as they hold a boat in place. You can see the water seep up their dark uniforms as they wait patiently. Out of shot the water safety team waits, in full wetsuits, in case they are needed. Finally the tractor is free, and the greens team takes over, raking the tracks in the sand and clearing trailers full of seaweed. We are ready to begin.

Emmys

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Photo credit: Filmmagic

There is a certain type of excitement that comes with the show that you are working on being nominated for an award like the Emmys. You are part of a team of hundreds who work unbelievably hard to make something for people to watch and enjoy.

Both the Creative Arts Emmys – which actually happen the week before the televised awards – and the Primetime Emmys that just aired this past Sunday, included nominations for ‘Game of Thrones,’ which won six awards overall.

On both nights, Twitter and Facebook were alive with updates from crew members who stayed up to the early hours in Belfast as news of the awards came in, with texts and emails flying when our winning departments were announced. The first person back in the office after the Creative Arts ceremony was Adam Chazen, a VFX Co-ordinator who came straight from the airport to the office, Emmy® statue in tow.  He was greeted with a front door festooned with pictures from the awards shows, pulled from the internet and press coverage by the girls of the production office, and a few shots emailed over by some of our nominees.

Everyone still in the office that Monday night wanted to hold the award, and so many pictures (and a couple of acceptance speeches for the less recognised categories – best abs in a foreign movie anyone?) followed.  Hilariously, the customs officers at Belfast City Airport seemed totally non-plussed by the arrival of so many statuettes. “Another winner?” one asked, before waving them through. Perhaps it was the Oscar® that came in last year for ‘The Shore,’ a wonderful short by Terry George (starring our very own Ciaran Hinds and Conleth Hill, no less) that spoiled it for them.

Then came this year’s Emmys. From the start of the red carpet coverage, we were hooked again. Playing “Spot the Throner’ via Twitter and text, the crew watched avidly as our gorgeous cast arrived for the televised awards. We searched the crowds as the show began for our David Benioff, Dan Weiss and Frank Doelger who were in attendance, as well as voting on who had our favourite dresses (Emilia, for me).

It’s been a few days and people are back on UK soil. Wolf crew is up and running on the sunny shores of Dubrovnik and Dragon continues in Belfast, it seems very far away now. The hangovers however…