Archive for October, 2013

A Fire Burns Bright in Belfast

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

By Cat Taylor

On a cloudy day in July, in a car park opposite the Paint Hall in Belfast, a group gathers by one lonely SFX truck. Tourists walking between the Titanic Museum and the Pump-House don’t even glance in our direction and a jogger runs down the road oblivious to our rag-tag bunch.

Then, on command, 15 feet of fire shoots through the air.

The first time, no one really notices the flame. SFX have a tight control on the rig and the fire is only coming in short bursts to give the camera crew and VFX team a chance to calibrate and get closer to the outlets.

Once the bursts come more regularly, a few begin people stop and point across the road and through the fencing. The flames, burning a hot bright orange are hard to miss – and that is what we want, because this is the dragon fire test for Season 4.

As the dragons grow and start to test their power, their fire breathing will get stronger and more powerful. The Dragons are legend for a reason and this season we will get a hint of why. The final tally, 22 canisters and 400 litres of gas – all for just one day in Essos.

An Eyrie Comes to an End

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

By Cat Taylor

Photo by Neil Davidson

For the last two weeks, one of the oldest sets in the studio has slowly been pulled down. On a show as large as ‘Game of Thrones,’ which spans so many worlds and cities, it’s not unusual for our Art Department and construction team to create a set that may only last one season, or is designed specifically to be made over after the shooting of one or a small number of scenes. Some of our sets have been made over so many times, they are now in their fourth incarnation. 

From the very beginning, one of the strongest sets – one of the most instantly recognisable and unique builds, has been the Eyrie. Designed by Gemma Jackson and constructed in one of the large cells in the old Paint Hall building, the Eyrie set was a full set. No trick shots or VFX were necessary to create the walls that stood in the round. They were built that way, in sections similar to pie slices, on a towering timber frame built with a raised platform to accommodate space for the moon door. 

Because of this, the set has to be torn down section by section, effectively reversing the building process for each part. Overseen by our marvellous Tommy “Tucker” Spence, four riggers, four stage hands and two carpenters are all working to bring it down safely. Each and every tile and step is broken down and taken away. The scaffold shell seems larger now that the walls are down; the winding stairs, suspended 4-feet off the ground, now lead nowhere. The circular tiled floor has had its slabs pulled up, and the doors and pillars have been salvaged for other sets in the future. The work only pauses on days when the cells next door are being used for filming. 

What is it making way for? That, my darlings, is a secret…for now.