In the Trenches with the Special Effects Team

Jonathon Barrass

Special Effects Floor Supervisor

Wolf/Dragon Units

UK/Iceland

Jonathon ‘Jona’ Barrass and I sat down this week between takes on a scene from Ep 309 (directed by David Nutter) to talk about his work on the show. We are perched on the edge of some electrical kit boxes in a field near Saintfield just outside Belfast. After a week of rain, everyone is reveling in the sunshine – apart from the crowd of Wildings who are running across the ground in heavy furs.

How did you find yourself in SFX?

A friend of mine was working on HBO’s ‘Band of Brothers’ in the SFX department, and I went along one day to lend a hand and show my face. I had no formal training so to speak, but with a military and engineering background, it meant I was used to the technical side and the fast pace. The military definitely helped with that.

You’ve worked on a lot of action movies, ‘Die Another Day,’ ‘Casino Royale,’ ‘Batman Begins,’ and five of the ‘Harry Potter’ films, do you prefer TV or movies?

Well, ‘Harry Potter’ particularly was very similar. All the outdoor elements with the wind, rain and smoke. Very similar indeed. But in the end I came back to TV because I prefer it. The pace is so much faster, and that suits me, plus with this show it still feels like a film when you see the finished product.

On ‘Game of Thrones,’ each department faces some pretty big challenges, what would you say is the biggest for the SFX team?

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